2014-04-09 08:51:06

Hope in the Ecumenical Future

(Vatican Radio) Concrete cooperation among Churches and ecclesial communities as they continue their search for full, visible unity: the major ecumenical challenges and opportunities facing global Christianity in 2014; the influence of Pope Francis on the tone and climate of ecumenical dialogue over the past year; these are just a few of the issues that will be under consideration at the 8th International Conference on Hope in the Ecumenical Future, sponsored by the Ecclesiological Investigations organization and taking place in Ripon College and Oxford from April 9-11.

Vatican Radio's Philippa Hitchen is scheduled to be a featured speaker at the conference, which she previewed for us in a conversation with her colleague, Linda Bordoni.

"[Participants] come from a wide variety of Christian denominations," Philippa explained, "Protestant, Catholic, Orthodox, Anglican - also Pentecostals and Evangelicals - and they're usually young, up-and-coming scholars and authors, professors amongst them - and mainly, they are people who do not represent the voice of an institution." Asked what will be her main focus, Philippa said, "They've asked me to speak on 'witnessing hope: urbi et orbi' - and that's [a topic] partly based on a conversation I had with one of the organisers, talking about how privileged it is in a way to be here [in Rome], to be able to meet with so many of the leaders of other Churches, who come to talk with Pope Francis."

Listen to Linda and Philippa's extended conversation: RealAudioMP3

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