A three‒day planning meeting of the National Office for Ecumenism and Interreligious Dialogue of the Italian Bishops’ Conference took place in Rome and Assisi from 17‒19 September 2021, coordinated by Reverend Giuliano Savina, Director, together with regional staff members and representatives of some ecclesial movements. The video message [IT] of Cardinal Kurt Koch was presented at the opening of the meeting on the theme “Mission and Vision”. Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, invited participants to promote unity and communion in their dioceses. Bishop Stefano Russo, Secretary General, made reference to the “Permanent Observatory” as an initiative that could assist the synodal journey of the Catholic Church, while Bishop Derio Olivero, responsible for ecumenism, affirmed that the culture of dialogue is the way to overcome the challenges of the exculturation of Christians, that is, the exclusion of the Church from contemporary culture.
On 17 September, in Rome, Bishop Brian Farrell, PCPCU Secretary, presented the document “The Bishop and Christian Unity. An Ecumenical Vademecum” published in 2020 as an instrument to encourage the ministry of local bishops in promoting unity.
In the meeting with the regional representatives for ecumenism, Monsignor Andrea Palmieri, PCPCU Under‒Secretary, focused on relations with the Orthodox Church, in particular on theological dialogue and the dialogue of life. After presenting the new tools made available by the PCPCU (web page, publications, Ut unum sint course) and the latest developments in dialogue with Christian communities of the West, Monsignor Juan Usma, Head of the Western Section, examined the increasingly current reality of the Pentecostalization of Christianity at the worldwide and Italian levels, and also presented the outcomes of the International Catholic‒Pentecostal Dialogue fifty years after its establishment. Reverend Father Norbert Hoffmann, Secretary of the Commission for Religious Relations with the Jews, met with area representatives to discuss relevant issues.