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Finland: one hundred years of ecumenical cooperation. Celebrations in Helsinki on 15 October

This 2017 marks one hundred years of ecumenical cooperation for the Churches in Finland. Indeed, it was 1917 when Lutheran theologian and biblical scholar Arthur Hjelt, inspired by the Church of Sweden Archbishop of Uppsala, Nathan Söderblomin, founded the national Committee of the World Alliance in Finland, which led to the birth of the Council of Churches, still active today. To celebrate this event, an ecumenical service will be held at the Lutheran Cathedral of Helsinki at 10am on Sunday, 15 October, which will be attended by representatives of the eleven member Churches; Archbishop Kari Mäkinen, current president of the Council, will deliver the homily. The service will be live broadcast on Yle Radio. A reception will follow in the Cathedral’s Crypt during which a scholarship and the 2017 ecumenical award will be conferred. In the evening, at 7pm, a “Jubilee Concert” with the participation of three choirs will take place at the Orthodox Cathedral of the Dormition. A statement on the website of the Catholic Diocese in Finland explains that “the Catholic Church has been a member of the Finnish Ecumenical Council since 1968” and that the Bishop of Helsinki, Mgr. Teemu Sippo, has served “as its president for two terms (2009-2015)”.

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