24th International Congress of the Society for the Law of the Eastern Churches

September 20, 2019

The Chairman of the ELS, together with Professor Norman Doe of the Centre for Law and Religion, took part in the 24th International Congress of the Society for the Law of the Eastern Churches, which was held in Rome from 16-20 September and brings together experts from the Eastern Catholic, Orthodox and Oriental Churches. The Society, which aims to promote better international and interconfessional scholarly collaboration among specialists in the law of the Eastern Churches and of the civil law, is marking its 50th anniversary.

The participants in the Congress were received in audience by Pope Francis, who said that the work of the Society was of fundamental assistance to ecumenical dialogue and that the participants could learn from one another in all areas of ecclesial life, such as theology, the experience of spirituality and liturgy, pastoral activity and canon law. Said His Holiness, ‘Canon law is essential for ecumenical dialogue.’ Many of the theological dialogues pursued by the Catholic Church, especially with the Orthodox Church and the Oriental Churches were of an ecclesiological nature.  Since ecclesiology found expression in the institutions and the law of the Churches, theological dialogues also had a canonical dimension.  Ecumenical dialogue also enriched canon law.