Encounter. Reconciliation. Future.
This is the title of the fourth International Event of Together for Europe which took place in Munich, Bavaria. The journey began with a Congress from 30th June to 1st July, 2016, for members of the over 300 Movements and Communities which are involved – two hundred of these were represented at the Congress which was held in the Circus Krone Building. There were plenary sessions in the morning and in the afternoon, 17 Forums and 19 Round Tables on various topics related to current critical situations such as refugees and their integration, ecumenism, the environment, dialogue with Islam, the economic crisis and the search for the common good, the difficult relationship between European countries … 1,700 participants from 32 countries of Europe and beyond.
In the afternoon of 2nd July in the popular “Karlsplatz (Stachus)” square, over 5,000 people including many young people gathered for a Outdoor Rally. The testimonies of reconciliation during the journey of 15 years as part of Together for Europe were powerful; the brotherly embrace between leading representatives of the Catholic, Lutheran and Orthodox Churches was poignant and full of hope. “Unity is possible” – this is what the audience in the square and people in various parts of the world who, in over 7000 listening points, were connected with live-streaming, were able to see and experience.
The video messages of Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew I were compelling and visionary.
The stage was vibrant with the bands and choirs of young people of different nationalities.
The centre piece of the stage was a door which “opened up to the future” as a symbol of the journey so far and the future towards which we wish to travel, to reach a full sharing of the values that are rooted in the Gospel.