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ALC Noticias - HUNGARY Changes in the Protestant Churches

From Worldwide Faith News <>
Date Thu, 28 Sep 2006 20:27:29 -0700

Jueves 28 de septiembre del 2006 | Correio-e: |Editora: Claudia Florentin

HUNGARY Changes in the Protestant Churches

BUDAPEST, 19 September (ALC) Professor Dr. Michael Bünker (Vienna) will head the Secretariat of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe starting in January 2007.

Dr. Michael Bünker from the Evangelical Church in Austria was convened as the General Secretary by the Council of the Community of Protestant Churches in Europe (CPCE) - Leuenberg Church Fellowship ? at the 6th General Assembly in Budapest yesterday. At the beginning of 2007, Dr. Bünker will succeed President Dr. Wilhelm Hüffmeier (Berlin) who has headed the Secretariat for the past 19 years. The Secretariat, which until now had shared premises with the Evangelical Church of the Union, in Germany, will now move to Vienna. The move is a consequence both of Hüffmeier's retirement and of structural changes within the Evangelical Church in Germany (EKD).

Bünker was born in 1954 and studied Theology in Vienna. He is married and has two children. He has been a member of the Executive Committee since the last General Assembly, held in Belfast in 2001. He teaches at the University of Vienna.

In an interview Michael Bünker said that the Secretariat?s move to Vienna underscores the continuity of the work of CPCE, as the Secretariat has always been attached to a member church. The deep changes that will certainly come about will be due to the fact that CPCE will coordinate its activities in a country where Protestantism has been a minority for centuries. This constitutes a challenge for "ecumenical mission", which should not be restricted to Protestantism but also seek dialogue with the Anglican and Orthodox Churches. At the same time there is a "challenge to advance evangelism while affirming secularism" along with the "challenge to establish a dialogue toward human rights and mutual respect."

The aims of the new General Secretary are "modest and demanding at the same time", in his own definition, referring to the coordination of the CPCE activities in the form of doctrinal conversations and regional groups as well as the implementation of the resolutions of the General Assembly and the Council. "Certain ecumenical questions need clarifying," he affirms, adding that "what is still needed is a dialogue with the Roman Catholic Church and - in future ? with Pentecostal-Charismatic groups. But above all, the main concern is to strengthen the voice of Protestantism and contribute to ethical decision-making in Europe."

Source: Prensa

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