Conference in Stutgart, Germany: Stolen Churches or Bridges to Orthodoxy?

At the Academy of the Diocese of Rotenburg in Stuttgart (Akademie der Diözese Rottenburg Stuttgart), from 19 to 21 July 2019, a conference titled Stolen Churches or Bridges to Orthodoxy?, was organized by the aforementioned Academy and the Ecclesiological Investigations International Research Group.

Financial support was also provided by the Renovabis organization, which enabled the theology students from Central and Eastern Europe to attend this event and take an active part in the discussions. Among the students who had scholarships were also representatives of the Faculty of Orthodox Theology of University of Belgrade: Mr. Jovica Vukasović from the Doctoral Studies program and Mr. Nikolai Sapsaj from the Master Studies program.

Others who took part in the conference were, Protodeacon Dr. Jovan Aničić  (Serbian Eastern American Diocese, Department of Christian Education, New York), Ms. Tijana Petković (Serbian Eastern American Diocese, Tübingen University–Theologicum), and Mr. Branko Malešević (Sorbonne University, Paris). Other participants and representatives came from 19 countries: Germany, USA, Switzerland, France, Greece, Canada, Italy, Russia, Ukraine, Great Britain, Romania, Australia, Bulgaria, Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Belarus, India and Georgia.

The conference aimed to encourage the dialogue between the Orthodox and Eastern Catholic Church for the first time in the history of inter-Christian dialogue, and we may expect more similar conferences. During the three days of intense presentations and discussions, there were many topics related to the status of uniates and the relation of Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians towards them.

It should be noted that Dr Vladimir Latinović, a professor at the University of Tubingen, in the best possible way contributed to the conference. For example, although the Renovabis Foundation offered 10 scholarships for students, thanks to the dedication of Dr. Latinovic, the aforementioned organization has since allocated 35 scholarships. Therefore, students from Central and Eastern Europe, who are doing their master and doctoral studies, could attend a unique event and experience exchange and learn something new about inter-Christian relations.

Translation: Eastern American Diocese