The 22nd gathering of the Conference of International Interconfessional Religious took place this year in Sweden between 31st August and 5th September. 43 monks and nuns from 8 different Church traditions were represented (Roman Catholic, Anglican, Methodist, Reformed, Lutheran, Coptic, Bulgarian Orthodox and Syrian Orthodox). What participants held in common was their monastic life and coming together to live it in the Swedish Lutheran Retreat Centre of Stjanholm and the newly founded monastery of Korsets Kloster at Alberga which is in the Syriac Orthodox tradition.
The CIR conference has always sought to find unity through the common monastic life, praying for unity and sharing the pain of disunity around the Eucharist. Each day the Eucharist was celebrated according to one of the traditions represented. The Syrian Orthodox parish of St Gabriel’s Norrkoping kindly hosting the participants on the Sunday. The Lutheran celebration took place in the cathedral church at Vadstena where the conference had a day’s visit. The Roman Catholic celebration of the Vigil of Sunday taking place at Korsets Kloster and the Anglican celebration in the chapel at Stjanholm.
The theme of the presentation for each of the speakers from the Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Anglican and Reformed traditions was “How can our treasure become our gift?”. After each paper was presented there was a chance for questions and then small group discussion in language groups. Many participants find it is here that there is deep exchange between those of different traditions and cultures. Friendships and exchanges have been fostered through this meeting over many years and one of the joys of this conference was the widening of participation with religious attending from Sweden as well as Latvia, Bulgaria and Hungary, countries not previously represented in recent years.
The 23rd Conference will be held in 2025 at the Anglican convent of Tymawr in Wales.
Source: Le blog du Congrès Interconfessionnel et International des Religieux, https://ciirblog.wordpress.com/