Declaration of the 2012 International Old Catholic Theologians’ Conference

A total of 45 participants met in Neustadt van der Weinstraße, Germany, from 20 to 24 August 2012 for the 43rd International Old Catholic Theologians’ Conference, which was titled “Liturgy on the move: Principles, the current situation, looking ahead”. They found that more recent insights arising from an ecumenical, interdisciplinary study of liturgics confirm the common view of the structure of the Eucharistic Prayer that the International Old Catholic Theologians’ Conference identified in Altenberg in 1979. A review of current practice in the Old Catholic Churches, however, called to question the extent to which this consensus is reflected in reality.

Further clarification is also required on how celebrations of the Eucharist can reflect the diversity of the worshippers’ experiences, needs and lifestyles. Is it better to restrict the choice of Eucharistic Prayers for each local church, or to expand it? How can the many aspects of salvation history be reflected? What is the best way to deal with terminology that some find problematic? How can this terminology continue to express the transforming, community-giving presence of Christ? How can mission and mystagogy be expressed in liturgy? As laid out in the Consensus Declaration of 1979, the language and carrying out of the Eucharistic Prayer should be such that the “whole being with joy and suffering” feels included. A “liturgical-catechetical approach” is also crucial.

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