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Title: The Reception of the Decree on Ecumenism "Unitatis Redintegratio" in Cieszyn Silesia
Authors: Budniak, Józef
Keywords: ecumenism; Cieszyn Silesia; Second Vatican Council; history; reception
Issue Date: 2019
Citation: "Rocznik Teologii Katolickiej" T. 18 (2019), s. 169-181
Abstract: There are certain places throughout the world where ecumenical movements are born and have arisen out of the very essence the sociocultural realities of these places. The Cieszyn region of Silesia is such a place. In Cieszyn, different nationalities, cultures, and religions converge because the region both literally and symbolically contains many borders. Many Christian denominations peacefully coexist within Cieszyn, which is home to the largest community of Lutherans in Poland. The ecumenical movement within Cieszyn arose as a necessary and inevitable consequence of the coexistence of these Churches. For this reason, the Cieszyn region of Silesia is a perfect example of contemporary trends that are occurring within the ecumenical movement. Ecumenism in the Cieszyn region of Silesia has a very long and rich history that began more than five centuries ago, meaning long before the Second Vatican Council issued the Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio. Two Christian denominations—Roman Catholic and Lutheran—have coexisted in Cieszyn Silesia and, therefore, have become a symbol of an ecumenism based on faith and tolerance as well as survival and respect. Each of these represent the modern understanding of ecumenism today. The ecumenical movement can serve as a solid foundation that strengthens a sense of unity within local communities that share the same cultural and Christian roots so that these communities can achieve a common goal: to build a civilization of love, peace, and justice. Based on the examples of ecumenical relationships at work provided in this article, it is possible to say that the wise of “today” look back on “yesterday” in order to build a better “tomorrow.” Therefore, it is safe to assert that an ecumenism well-lived in the present that is also firmly rooted in history is a source of hope for the future of Christian Churches and communities. When presenting how the multi-denominational population of Cieszyn Silesia received the Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio, a statement made by one of the most eminent Polish ecumenists, Father Prof. Wacław Hryniewicz, comes to mind: “An authentic reception can be achieved only when the partners differ from each other, because diversity enables the true relationship between giving and taking.”
DOI: 10.15290/rtk.2019.18.12
ISSN: 1644-8855
Appears in Collections:Artykuły (W.Teol)

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