From 6–9 October Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, visited Austria at the invitation of the Pro Oriente Foundation for the celebration of the 35th anniversary of its Salzburg section.
Welcomed on 6 October in Vienna by the President of the Pro Oriente Foundation, Emeritus Ambassador Dr Alfons Koss, and by the Apostolic Nuncio in Austria, Archbishop Dr Pedro López Quintana, on 7 October Cardinal Koch met with His Eminence Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and President of the Board of Trustees of Pro Oriente.
On the same day Cardinal Koch visited Salzburg, where he was welcomed by Archbishop Franz Lackner, OFM, President of the Austrian Bishops’ Conference, and by Professor Dietmar Winkler, President of the Salzburg section of the Pro Oriente Foundation and Consultor of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Cardinal Koch presented an academic lecture on “The Ecumenical Exchange of Gifts Between East and West. Challenges–Difficulties–Prospects” [DE] .
On 8 October Cardinal Koch visited the village of St Radegond for a prayer at the tomb of Blessed Franz Jägerstätter. After being welcomed in Linz by Bishop Manfred Scheuer of the Diocese and Dr Josef Pühringer, President of the Linz section of the Pro Oriente Foundation, Cardinal Koch visited the Abbey of Saint–Florian, where a concert was given in his honour by the Sankt Florianer Sängerknaben. Following an ecumenical meeting at the Basilica of Pöstlingberg with representatives of the various confessions in the Diocese, the Cardinal was received by Mr Thomas Stelzer, Governor of Upper Austria. The same evening he held a conference in the theatre of Linz on the theme “What Kind of Christian Future for Europe? Reflections on the Spiritual Identity of Europe” [DE].
Created in Vienna in 1964 by Cardinal Franz König, the Pro Oriente Foundation promotes reconciliation among Christians of the East and West through ecumenical dialogue and academic encounters.
Photos © Pro Oriente