Plans for a common future of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe and the Old-Catholic Churches of the Union of Utrecht

On the 18th of October 2013, the president of the Union of Utrecht, Joris Vercammen, was invited by the Rt Rev Pierre Whalon, Bishop in Charge of the Convocation of Episcopal Churches in Europe to address their annual convention, taking place in Rome. In his talk, the Archbishop introduced the churches of the Union of Utrecht, and proposed a long-term vision on Episcopal – Old-Catholic cooperation on the European continent. The Archbishop suggested action was needed on four levels:

1. Creating more sensitivity in all parishes for our calling to catholicity

2. Preparing a common structure and possibilities of working together within the dioceses

3. Preparing the institution of a ‘Anglican-Old-Catholic Bishops’ Conference for Western Europe’

4. Creating an new old-catholic/episcopal diocese for the parishes in France and Italy

He said: “I am convinced that churches and confessions have to be less concerned about themselves and should cultivate a more open mind for the gospel and more concern about what is happening in the world in general and cultures in particular”. He added: “The visit of Presiding Bishop Katharine Jefferts Schori in May 2011 to Utrecht has inspired us to go further in developing a model for a more extended cooperation between the Episcopal Convocation in Europe and the Churches of the Union of Utrecht. At least we need to start preparing a common future. A close partnership between the Episcopal Convocation and the Union of Utrecht will be a real contribution to the realization of the ecumenical aim of the visible unity of the church, and as such, it will be a major contribution to the ecumenical movement in Europe”.

Archbishop Joris also invited members of the Convention to the International Old-Catholic Congress in Utrecht in September 2014.

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