Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, gave the inaugural lecture at the online international conference on “Dominicans and Christian Unity” organized by the Institute of Ecumenical Studies of the Angelicum on 18–19 June 2021.
In his lecture entitled “The Service to Truth and Christian Unity” [FR], Cardinal Koch underlined that “Dominican theologians have the duty to commit themselves to the ecumenical search for unity in truth, as their entire concern is for the knowledge of truth”, while nonetheless reflecting that “such a passion for truth can no longer be taken for granted in contemporary society and, unfortunately, to some degree in the Church as well”.
After the inaugural lecture, the first part of the conference recalled some of the Dominican pioneers of the ecumenical movement, such as Yves Congar, Christophe-Jean Dumont, Jean-Marie Tillard, Jean Jérôme Hamer and Marie-Joseph Le Guillou. The second part was dedicated to the sites of the Dominican ecumenical commitment, in particular the Dominican ecumenical centres of Bari, Fribourg, Helsinki, Kyiv, Baghdad and Valencia. The third part reflected on some current ecumenical issues in which Dominicans are involved, both in the East and the West.
Within the framework of the conference and the Tillard Chair, Bishop Charles Morerod of the Diocese of Lausanne, Geneva and Fribourg, gave a lecture on “Thomist Contributions to Ecumenism”.
The meeting gathered about twenty theologians, either Dominicans or linked to the Order of Preachers, such as Hervé Legrand (Paris), Jorge Scampini (Buenos Aires), Petro Balog (Kyiv), Franck Lemaitre (Paris), Philippe Denis (KwaZulu-Natal ), Emmanuel Albano (Bari), Gabriel Salmela and Marie-Augustin Laurent-Huyghes-Beaufond (Helsinki), Rami Simun and Philippe Khoshaba (Baghdad), Michel Mallèvre (Paris), Barbara Hallensleben (Fribourg), Andrés Valencia (Valencia).