14th General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches, Budapest, 3-8 July 2013.

14th General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches, Budapest, 3-8 July 2013.

14th General Assembly of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) started its work in Budapest on 3 July 2013. On this Assembly are present 470 participants of which 220 are delegates with the right to vote and who represent 120 registered Churches and religious communities: Orthodox, Anglicans, Protestants and Old-Catholic. Roman Catholic Church is not an official member of CEC, but actively participate in the work of CEC through the Council of the Bishop’s Conference of Europe.    

At the Assembly, the Serbian Orthodox Church is represented by a five member delegation: His Grace Ignatie Bishop of Branicevo, His Grace Andrej Bishop of Remesiana, His Grace David Bishop of Stobi and Administrator of Strumica from Autonomous Archdiocese of Ochrid, deacon Zoran Aleksic and Miss Julija Vidovic.

Although it is a regular meeting of the Assembly which is being held every six years, this Assembly has a special importance because it will adopt a new Constitution of CEC which shall be in accordance with its mission and role of the Conference in changing Europe. 

The role of CEC is to connect the Churches and to facilitate their common voice to the European Institutions regarding the issues that are of their common interest.

From the day when the CEC was established in 1959, in the period of the Cold War, when the center of CEC’s mission was to connect the Christians from the East and West, and up to the present day, the situation in the social settings and in Churches drastically changed. Under the different challenges of our society as: secularism, growth of the poverty, corruption, global climate changes, violations of the fundamental human and religious rights etc., CEC is seeking the ways to establish the communication and adopt a policy that will make the very organization more efficient and thus fulfill its goal which is to be recognized and used as a platform for better communication and give the necessary information and expertise to the member Churches on local, regional and national level. 

The participation of the Serbian Orthodox Church in the work of this European platform has been and is now in regards to the following: prosecution of Archbishop Jovan of Ochrid, relationship of the Church and State in Montenegro, respect of the religious freedom and human dignity, the status of the Serbian Orthodox Church on Kosovo and Metohija and the questions of ownership.

At the Pan-Orthodox meeting, held at the end of the first day, the Orthodox Churches agreed upon important questions with regards to the instruments and work mechanisms of this Organization.

The Assembly will end on 8 July 2013 after the election of new members of the Governing Board and eventually voting for a new Revised Constitution.