International Congress Renovabis

The International Congress Renovabis is a 2-3 day long conference event with participants from all over Europe. It serves to inform about and discuss important developments in church and society in Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe.

24th International Renovabis Congress

„Ecumenism in Central and Eastern Europe – Task and Enrichment“

9.-11. September 2020, Munich

All plenary events and the group work in the context of the congress will take place at the Munich School of Philosophy (Kaulbachstr. 31A, 80539 Munich). Conference languages will be German, English and Italian.

In Germany and many countries of Western Europe the cooperation of the different Christian communities in everyday life on different levels, i.e. ecumenism, has been a matter of course for decades. Hardly more conscious is the fact that the ecumenical movement formed itself only a little more than one hundred years ago mainly in the Protestant area and that the Catholic Church after a long reluctance plays an active role only since the Second Vatican Council (1962-1965). In Central, Eastern and Southeastern Europe ecumenism still has to struggle with many traditional prejudices – here the confessions are often reserved, sometimes even hostile towards each other.

The 24th Renovabis International Congress will describe the current state of ecumenism in Eastern Europe, with experts from Renovabis' partner countries describing the specific situation in their home countries. An introductory lecture will be given by Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity. Among the individual topics will be the role of ecumenism in overcoming conflicts between nations, but also the question to what extent denominations can set common signs in all parts of Europe in the face of ever stronger secularization. Whether in the end also the theologically and dogmatically justified divisions between Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant Christians can be overcome by this must remain open – the goal of unity is at any rate a mission of the Gospel („Ut omnes unum sint“, compare Jn 17:20-26).

Please note:
On the second day of the congress there will be a broad group work in the form of a modified „Barcamp“ where the participants will be able to contribute their themes, their expertise and their own examples of ecumenical work.

Congress 2019

The 23rd International Congress Renovabis took place on the 11th and 12th September 2019 and focused on the subject „The Urban Church. Challenges in Providing Pastoral Care, both East and West“.

The ecclesiastical landscape in Central and Eastern Europe has changed considerably since the beginning of the 20th century. Previously, ecclesiastical life took place predominantly in rural areas within classical parish structures. Since then, industrialization and rural exodus have given rise to many big cities in which profound changes took place in the 20th century as a result of war, communist rule and the upheavals 30 years ago. Today, especially the big cities are characterized by increasing secularization. The churches have responded to the developments by designing new forms of pastoral care. Lectures, panels and working groups compared these experiences in East and West and intoduced new approaches.

download programme

About the Congress

To bring up topics of pan-European importance: this is one of the tasks of Renovabis' congresses. Over the years, the event has developed into an important forum for dialogue between participants from Eastern and Western Europe. Greetings were addressed to the congress by Pope Benedict XVI., representatives of the Orthodox and Protestant churches, Chancellor Dr. Angela Merkel, the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Dirk Niebel, and the Prime Ministers of Bavaria, Horst Seehofer, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Winfried Kretschmann, and Rhineland-Palatinate, Kurt Beck.

International Congress Renovabis: Overview (in german)

Pfarrer Dr. Christian Hartl
11.09.2019 · Rückblick
23. Internationaler Kongress 2019
Der 23. Internationale Kongress Renovabis fand am 11. und 12. September 2019 zum Thema „Kirche in der Großstadt. Herausforderungen für die Pastoral in Ost und West“ in München statt.
26.09.2018 · Rückblick
22. Internationaler Kongress 2018
„Erinnerung und Aufbruch - Wege zur Versöhnung in Europa“: unter diesem Titel stand der Internationale Kongress 2018, der erstmals in Berlin stattfand. 253 Frauen und Männer aus insgesamt 26 Ländern nahmen daran teil.
Wehende Europafahne vor Gewitterhimmel, die Sonne strahlt hinter Wolken hervor.
21. Internationaler Kongress 2017
Der 21. Internationale Kongress Renovabis fand vom 6.-8. September 2017 zum Thema „Die Krise als Chance für Europa! Die Verantwortung der Kirchen“ in München statt.
Blick auf das Schlusspodium beim Internationalen Kongress Renovabis 2016
20. Internationaler Kongress 2016
Im Mittelpunkt des 20. Renovabis-Kongresses stand die Rolle und Tätigkeit der Orden in den heutigen Gesellschaften in Mittel- und Osteuropa.

Documentation of the Renovabis International Congresses

The presentations and reports of the International Congresses Renovabis are summarised in documentations which can be obtained from the Renovabis (e-mail: or downloaded below as PDF files (in German).


Content created: 24.10.2017, last modified: 12.03.2020