On September 15-16, 2021, the Catholic Academy of Berlin hosted the 25th anniversary congress of the Renovabis Foundation, which supports church initiatives in Central and Eastern Europe. This year’s theme of the congress was “All shall be one. Ecumenism in Central and Eastern Europe ‒ a task and enrichment”.
Sergii Bortnyk took part in the congress at the invitation of the organizers. He delivered a report entitled “What contribution can the Churches make to flourishing of the public life? (example of Ukraine)”, outlining his vision of the topic from an Orthodox perspective. Archpriest Ihor Shaban, who presented the topic from the perspective of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, also spoke at the same session. The session was moderated by Burkhard Haneke, Director of the Renovabis.
In his report, Sergii Bortnyk focused on several important aspects:
– importance of distinguishing between public and state interests for participation of Churches in the public life;
– instability in the attitudes of Ukrainian citizens ‒ both in the context of political elections and in relation to the Russian factor as such;
– division of preferences and values of Ukrainians along the west-east line;
– the nature of the Church and the biblical foundations of the conservative worldview of believing Christians;
– danger of alienation of believers from the public life and the need for rationally founded theology.
The congress was held in a hybrid form with a combination of traditional participation and the use of modern digital technologies. Here you can read the speech of Sergii Bortnyk in German.