The Saint Irenaeus Joint Orthodox–Catholic Working Group gathered for its sixteenth annual meeting from 9–13 October 2019 in Trebinje (Bosnia and Herzegovina) at the invitation of the Serbian Orthodox Church. The 2019 meeting was chaired by the Catholic co–president of the Working Group, Bishop Gerhard Feige of Magdeburg, and its Orthodox co–president Metropolitan Serafim (Joantă) of Germany, Central and Northern Europe (Romanian Orthodox Church).
After the publication of Serving Communion, the first common study of the Irenaeus Group, this year’s meeting was the first step on a new stage of its work. It concentrated on various aspects of unity and schism, taking in biblical, historical, and systematic approaches. Several case studies were examined, including the contemporary situation in Ukraine. The reflections of this year’s meeting were summarized by the participants in a communiqué.
The Saint Irenaeus Joint Orthodox–Catholic Working Group, established in 2004 at Paderborn (Germany), is composed of 26 theologians, 13 Orthodox and 13 Catholics, from a number of European countries, the Middle East, and the Americas.
Reverend Father Hyacinthe Destivelle, official of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and member of the Irenaeus Group since 2006, participated in the meeting in Trebinje.
The next meeting of the Irenaeus Group will be held in October 2020 in Rome (Italy).