European Catholic-Orthodox Forum Under Way in Lisbon

Focused on European Economic Crisis

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LISBON, Portugal, JUNE 5, 2012 (Zenit.org).- A forum on the current economic and financial circumstances facing Europe began today in Portugal, at the invitation of the patriarch of Lisbon, Cardinal José da Cruz Policarpo. 

The third annual Catholic-Orthodox Forum will continue through Friday at the Seminary of Nossa Senhora de Fátima. The main theme of the four-day event is: The economic crisis and poverty. 

The theme will be examined from three perspectives: the search for the origins of the current economic crisis, the search for common answers proper to the Churches, and the role the Churches are called to undertake at this particular moment of the life of the European continent. 

"We do not intend to carry out a purely economic-financial analysis of the current economic crisis, even though experts in these fields will be present for our reflections," said Cardinal Péter Erdő, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest and president of the Council of Episcopal Conferences of Europe.

"We are aware that the current economic decline, which endangers our very own models of society, constitutes just the tip of the iceberg and has much deeper origins which can be sought in 'deviated and extreme' forms of phenomena [...]," he said. 

Archbishop Erdő went on to say that only love "for the human person, for work, for our societies can enable us to tackle this difficult situation." 

"Therefore, in Lisbon, we will ask ourselves if it is possible, even necessary to find some link between an authentic Christian life and the world of economy, that is to live holiness in the economy," he said. 

The meeting will be marked by moments of work and prayer. There will also be an ecumenical prayer service on Wednesday and the event will conclude with a Mass on the Solemnity of Corpus Christi at the Cathedral of Lisbon the following day.