Global Christian Forum meeting in Rome

10 Feb 2022

The Facilitation Group of the Global Christian Forum (GCF) expanded by some experts on world Christianity met in Rome from 5-9 February 2022, hosted by the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity (PCPCU). The Catholic Church was represented by Reverend Andrzej Choromanski, PCPCU staff for multilateral relations and member of the international Committee of the GCF, and Professor Katherine Shirk-Lucas from the Institut Catholique de Paris. During the meeting the group revised the ongoing programmes of the GCF focusing on local, national and regional meetings as well as the involvement of young Church leaders in GCF life. Due to the pandemic several GCF activities had to be postponed or moved to virtual space. Despite these challenges, the GCF continues to bring a fresh air and a distinctive voice to the ecumenical movement today.

Essential time during the four-day meeting was dedicated to planning for the Fourth Global Gathering of the Global Christian Forum. The meeting has been scheduled to take place in Ghana in April 2024, on the theme “That the world would know” (John 17:23) with the participation of about 250 delegates from all streams of modern Christianity. The Facilitation Group also discussed aspects of the planned gathering such as the involvement of youth, the just geographical and confessional distribution of the participants, and a frame programme. The group also visited the PCPCU, meeting with the President and the Secretary to discuss a specific contribution of the GCF to the search for Christian unity. The meeting culminated with the participation of the group in the general audience with the Holy Father, who expressed his personal appreciation of the GCF project. A Narrative Report was issued at the conclusion of the meeting.

The Global Christian Forum is a unique ecumenical platform bringing together all the major streams of world Christianity. It is not a structured organisation but an “open space” based on the principle of participation rather than formal membership where Christian leaders meet periodically to pray together, to nurture mutual respect and spirit of unity, and to address together issues of common interest. Its distinguishing mark is the practice of sharing faith stories, either personal or ecclesial, during meetings. The GCF secretary is Reverend Dr Casely Essamuah (Methodist Church, Ghana/USA), who is supported by an international Committee composed of 25 members meeting annually and a Facilitation Group composed of eight persons which acts as an executive body. The previous global gatherings took place in Limuru, Kenya (2007), in Manado, Indonesia (2011) and in Bogotá, Colombia (2018).

The previous in‒presence meeting of the Facilitation Group took place in Christiansfeld, Denmark, from 11‒13 October 2019.


Main photo © Servizio Fotografico | Vatican Media