At the invitation of the Archabbot of the Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma, Ciril T. Horobágyi, and the Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary, Tamás Fabiny, the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, Cardinal Kurt Koch, accompanied by Fr Augustinus Sander OSB, official of the Dicastery, took part in various ecumenical events in Hungary, from 7 to 10 June 2021.
The opening on 7 June 2021 was a lecture by Cardinal Koch on "Europe and its Spiritual Identity" as part of an online conference organised by the Institute for Strategic Studies of the University of Budapest and the Otto von Habsburg Foundation.
On 8 June 2021, a symposium on the topic of "God and the World" took place in the Abbey of Pannonhalma, which received much media attention and was also broadcast online. Cardinal Koch spoke on "The Relationship of Christian Faith to the World from an Ecumenical Perspective".
In the afternoon, a double book presentation took place: a collection of ecumenical essays by Cardinal Koch had been translated into Hungarian, as well as the most important documents of the Catholic-Lutheran dialogue.
The conference ended with an ecumenical vespers in the abbey church, attended by the Benedictine community and numerous Roman Catholic, Greek Catholic, Lutheran and Reformed representatives. Cardinal Koch, who presided over the vespers together with the Lutheran Bishop Tamás Fabiny and the Reformed Bishop Károly Fekete, gave the sermon on "Being Ecumenical Ambassadors of onversion and Reconciliation".
At the House of Dialogue in Budapest, Cardinal Koch gave a lecture on "The Ecumenical Exchange of Gifts between East and West" on 9 June 2021.
Cardinal Koch had numerous meetings with representatives of political and church life, including the Deputy Prime Minister of Hungary, Zsolt Semjén, and the Reformed Bishop Zoltán Balog. The Presiding Bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Hungary, Tamás Fabiny, offered Cardinal Koch a commemorative silver medal in memory of the Lutheran Bishop Lajos Ordass (1901-1978) who gave witness to Christ through various persecution.
Photos : Hajdú D. András ©Pannonhalma Archabbey // Erzabtei Pannonhalma