Virtual visit of the Bossey Ecumenical Institute

26 Jan 2021

Every year during the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, on the invitation of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, a group of students and faculty members from the Bossey Ecumenical Institute, Switzerland, visit Rome and the Vatican. The students come from diverse parts of the world and represent various Christian traditions. The programme normally includes visits to different offices of the Roman Curia, encounters with representatives of religious orders and with Catholic lay movements, visits to theological faculties and guided tours to the main sites of Christian history in Rome, as well as participation in a Sunday Eucharist in one of the Catholic parishes. The culmination of the programme is attendance at the Vespers celebrated by the Holy Father for the closing of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity in the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls.

As this year the visit scheduled for 19-26 January was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic the students met online with representatives of some Roman dicasteries, including the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue. On 25 January, they also took part via streaming in the Vespers presided over by Cardinal Kurt Koch for the closing of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity.

Founded in 1946, the Ecumenical Institute at Bossey is the international centre for encounter, dialogue and formation of the World Council of Churches. Every year it brings together a group of about thirty students from diverse churches, cultures and backgrounds for ecumenical learning, academic study and personal exchange. The Director of the Institute is Reverend Professor Ioan Sauca, Romanian Orthodox Church, and the Dean is Reverend Professor Lawrence Iwuamadi, priest from Nigeria, who is the first Catholic appointed to this office since the foundation of the Institute.