Religious conference debates the reform of the Papacy for the 21st century

Religious conference debates the reform of the Papacy for the 21st century

Leading international religious academics will join forces with Aberdeen’s religious leaders for an Ecumenical Conference at the University of Aberdeen later this month.

The global event, entitled Commitment to Ecumenism: An Ecumenical Discussion of Ut Unum Sint (translates into That They May Be One), will be held on Friday and Saturday, May 27 and 28, 2005, at King’s College.

Organised by Dr Francesca Murphy, Reader in Divinity and Religious Studies at the University of Aberdeen, and two Aberdeen postgrads, Eric Puosi and Chris Asprey, the two-day event has attracted academics from as far afield as Italy and the US.

The conference aims to explore our commitment to Ecumenism and to discuss theological reflections on the Encyclical letter Ut Unum Sint – a paper written by the late John Paul II in May 1995.

The event will be officially opened by the Anglican University Chaplain Douglas Heddle, and will culminate with a closing speech by the Roman Catholic Bishop of Aberdeen Peter Moran.

International speakers at Friday’s seminar include Professor Charles Morerod, from the Angelicum University in Rome and Dr David B Hart, from the University of Virginia, as well as Professor Donald McLeod, from the Free Church College in Edinburgh.

On Saturday, Dr Peter Donald will attend the conference representing the Church of Scotland. Speakers include Professor Vigen Guroian, Loyola University, Baltimore, and Dr Susan Frank Parsons, University of Nottingham. The conference will close with a round table discussion.

Academics from the University of Aberdeen including Professor John Webster, Chair in Systematic Theology, and Dr Nick Thompson, Lecturer in Divinity and Religious Studies, will also feature on the day’s programme of events with a series of talks and lectures.

Dr Murphy said she was delighted to be welcoming a distinguished group of scholars to the conference. She said: “Within days of his election to the Papacy, Benedict XVI had already spoken of the importance of Church unity and ecumenism to all Christians in the 21st century.

“We hope this conference will help to bring Christians together. We know now that what unites us is more important that what divides. The question of the conference is, ‘Does the Papacy itself have to divide us?’ People think it does. But maybe the Papacy could become a resource for ecumenism.

“After all, a divided Church can’t really preach the unity and the love of God.”

The Commitment to Ecumenism: An Ecumenical Discussion of Ut Unum Sint conference (May 27 – 28) will take place in KCG7, King’s College, University of Aberdeen.

Friday’s programme will run from 9.00am – 4.00pm, while Saturday’s agenda runs from 9.30am – 4.00pm.

Tickets are available by contacting Dr Francesca Murphy on (01224) 272382 or email: f.a.Murphy@abdn.ac.uk, or e.e.puosi@abdn.ac.uk. Further information on the conference is available at www.abdn.ac.uk/divinity/news/UtUnumSint

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