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The 9th Consultation, Lisbon, Portugal

17-21 May 2006

"Building Bridges - Growing Hope"




9th Consultation, Lisbon, Portugal
17-21 May 2006

Theme:  “Building Bridges – Growing Hope”

There were 52 representatives present from 26 countries, representing 38 churches, associations and organisations, together with 2 guests and 2 observers from other organisations.

The consultation took place at the the Mother House of a Portugese Order of Sisters: the Congregação das Franciscanas Hospitaleiras da Imaculada Conceição at Linda-a-Pastora, near Lisbon and was organised by Fr J Nuno Ferreira da Silva.

Fr J Nuno Ferreira da Silva


Representatives arrived, shared and evening meal and settled in.


The Opening Ceremony

The Opening Ceremony had been prepared by Fr J Nuno Ferreira da Silva (Portugal) and Kathleen O’Connor (Ireland) and took place in the garden of the house, with representatives moving from place to place. 

Right to Left: Kathleen O'Connor (Ireland), Derek Brown (Scotland) & Anne vandenhoeck (Belgium)

Those present were invited to exchange a rose with someone else. At the climax of the ceremony a white dove was released by Fr Stavros Kofinas, the Coordinator of the Network.
Unfortunately Fr Nuno was unable to be present at the ceremony because of ill health.

9.30 am  Official visit of Her Excellency Dra Carmen Pignatelli, the Deputy Secretary of State to the Health Minister of Portugal

Dra Pignatelli, Mons Vitor Feytor Pinto (Portugal) and Fr Stavros Kofinas (Ecumenical Patriarchate)

Fr Nuno welcomed and introduced the Deputy Secretary of State to the those present.  Dra Pignatelli then gave an address, welcoming the representatives to Portugal and wishing them well for the consultation.  Fr Stavros replied.
Dra Pignatgelli then greeting the representatives individually, before the taking of a group photograph.

  Welcome to Portugal by Dra Pignatelli 71KB

  Reply by Fr Stavros Kofinas 96KB

Group Photograph


10.15 am  Session 1


Welcome and Introductions
Fr Nuno (Portugal) welcomed the representatives to Lisbon and to the consultation.  Fred Coutts (Scotland) then chaired a session when the representatives briefly introduced themselves.

  Fred Coutts

Information about chaplaincy in different European Countries and about the representatives themselves can be found in the Country section of the website.  Click on the flag of the country to find the information.

Coordinator’s Report
Fr Stavros Kofinas (Ecumenical Patriarchate) reported on his activities as Coordinator of the Network over the past two years. Full Text of the Coordinator's report

Fr Stavros Kofinas

  Coordinator's Report 186KB

  Coordinator's Report in German translated by Rudolf Albisser (Switzerland) This will be published in a book about changes in hospital chaplaincy (Spitalseelsorge im Wandel) 92KB


2.30 pm Session 2

Organisation of Prayer Services

Fr Stavros explained the decision of the Network Committee about the organisation of prayer services at the consultation, trying to respect the position of different churches, as was the practice at European and World ecumenical meetings.  Prayer rooms had been set aside for Roman Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox prayer.  The Muslim representative would use his own room.  Representatives could attend whichever prayer time they wished. At the beginning of the first session of each day there would be an opening prayer which would be acceptable to all groups.
After a long discussion it was decided that Prayer Time would continue as proposed by the committee but that a time of common prayer would be held in the chapel at 8.45 am each day before the first session.  Kirsti Aalto organised this time of common prayer. 
The committee will consider again how to organise prayer time for the next consultation

  Prayer time in the chapel.


Building bridges with the European Union (EU)

Anne Vandenhoeck, Margaritis Schinas, Fr Stavros Kofinas in Brussels

Fr Stavros and Anne Vandenhoeck (Belgium) reported on meetings held in June 2005  in Brussels  with Officials of the EU:

  • Dr Michael Weniger (Policy Advisor to the President of EU, Jose Manuel Barroso on Dialogue with Religions, Churches and Humanism )
  • Vice President of the European Parliament, Dr Antonios Trakatellis
  • Markos Kyprianou was not able to meet with Fr Stavros. But a meeting was held with Margaritis Schinas (Director of the office of The Commissioner of Public Health)

Full Report of the meetings in Brussels

Greeting to the 9th Consultation
of the European Network of Healthcare Chaplaincy

Dear Representatives of the European Network of Health Care Chaplaincy,

I would like to send my warmest greetings, as you gather for the 9th Consultation of the European Network of Health Care Chaplaincy in Lisbon.

It was a great pleasure meeting with the head of your Network this past June and learning about your aim and goals. Likewise, I am honoured that you accepted to become partners of dialogue with my office.

You, as chaplains, have a very important task in serving the spiritual needs of the sick. Your experience is very valuable and is an asset to all of us. The theme of your consultation, Building Bridges – Growing Hope shows your willingness to exchange opinions and knowledge within the spirit of dialogue that characterizes the European Union. I am particularly interested in learning about your discussion on the issue of palliative care.

My office will always be open to you for whatever assistance you may need. Hopefully, we will find the opportunity to meet again in the near future.

With my best wishes for a successful consultation,

Dr. Michael Weninger
European Policy Advisor on
Dialogue with Religions, Churches and Humanism
of the European Union


Message to the 9th Consultation of the European Network of Health Care Chaplaincy

It is a pleasure to salute the 9th Consultation of the European Network of Health Care Chaplaincy which brings together official representatives from national associations, faiths and churches actively involved in supporting and providing spiritual care in health-care settings in the European Union and beyond.

In my capacity of Commissioner responsible for Health, I am well aware of the added value your members contribute to the overall promotion of public health in Europe today and I wish to encourage you to pursue further your noble activity.

Since I took over my responsibilities in Brussels, I have been made aware of the importance of palliative care and its increasing relevance in today’s European societies. I am particularly pleased that the European Parliament and other institutions are also actively engaged in exploring fully the potential for a sustained provision of such services for everybody, regardless of nationality, faith and socio-economic condition.

As you know, I have myself ordered a broader study of all parameters linked to palliative care in Europe and am sure that I shall benefit from the Statement you will be issuing at the end of your meeting in Lisbon.

I wish every success for your 9th Consultation and I look forward to our future cooperation.

Mr Markos Kyprianou
Member of the European Commission
 responsible for Health and Consumer Protection


As a result of these meetings ENHCC is now a "Partner in Dialogue" with Dr Weniger and Anne Vandenhoeck receives regular briefings. ENHCC was invited to comment on an EU document under preparation on Palliative Care and it was suggested that the Network should issue a statement on palliative care and encourage the Commissioner to hold a joint meeting with other organisations on this subject.   This matter would be discussed later after the present by David Mitchell (Scotland)

It was agreed that Anne Vandenhoeck should be the representative of ENHCC in Brussels and that ENHCC should continue to hold meetings with EU.

Kirsti Aalto (Finland) reported that CEC (Conference of European Churches) had a Commission on Church and Society. Kirsti is a member of the group on Bioethics which is working currently on ageing issues which links to palliative care.

It was agreed that Kirsti Aalto should represent ENHCC as well as her own church on the Bioethics Group.


4.30 pm Session 3

Building bridges between theology and pastoral care

Anne Vandenhoeck

Anne Vandenhoeck (Belgium) led a session on how theology influences the practice of pastoral care. She invited 4 representatives from different traditions to answer these questions:

  • Tell us one story from your religious tradition that relates to your pastoral care and represents the theology behind it.
  • What does a chaplain in your tradition represent?
  • How does theology in your tradition influences the organisation of health care?

  PowerPoint Presentation by Anne Vandenhoeck

Fr Adamantios, Yunus Dudhwala, Dana Kalnina-Zake  and Marlène Inauen

Short presentations were made by:

Dana Kalnina-Zake 
representing Latvia, belonging to the Lutheran tradition
Text 106KB

Father Adamantios Avgoustidis
representing Greece, belonging to the Orthodox tradition
Text 70KB

Imam Yunus Dudhwala
representing the UK, belonging to the Muslim tradition
Text 82KB

Marlène Inauen
representing Switzerland, belonging to the Catholic tradition



9.00 am Session 4

Anne Miller-Lauprete (France) made a presentation and led a discussion on the topic: Building bridges across cultures and faiths.

Anne Miller-Lauprete (right) meets Dra Carmen Pignatelli

Text of the talk by Anne Miller-Lauprete 462KB

  PowerPoint slides 2121KB

  Discussion questions 41KB


11.00 am  Session 5

Building bridges with the Medical Community
Palliative Care in Europe and the spiritual health care giver
Coordinated by Rev. David Mitchell (Scotland)

David Mitchell made a presentation on the development of Palliative Care Standards in the UK.

  Rev David Mitchell

  PowerPoint Slides 220KB

After a discussion a statement by the European Network of Health Care Chaplaincy Statement on Palliative Care was agreed, to be used as a tool by the representatives.
Full Text of the Statement

Statement on Palliative Care  36KB

  Statement on Palliative Care 156KB

Letter from EU Commissioner with responsibility for Health


Archpriest Sergiy Filimonov, Doctor of Medicine, Doctor of Theology Chairman of Saint-Petersburg Society of Orthodox Doctors gave a presentation on Organizational forms of medical-social institutions of the Russian Orthodox Church and Orthodox public organizations.

PowerPoint Slides 1541 KB



9.00 am Session 6

Building bridges across the Atlantic
Ms Jo Schrader, Executive Director of the Association of Professional Chaplains (USA), gave a presentation describing the work of APC and drawing parallels with ENHCC.

Fr Stavros with Jo Schrader

  PowerPoint Slides 293KB


11.00 am Session 7

Building bridges amongst ourselves
Further networking between countries, associations, churches in the area of spiritual health care


Dr Ursula Pfäfflin spoke about the forthcoming international conference of the International Council for Pastoral Care and Counselling in Poland in 2007.  The theme is “Treasure  in Earthen Vessels: Care of Souls facing Fragility and Destruction
- Individual and Systemic Perspectives” and the conference will discuss problems encountered in the  fragility and destruction of people's lives through natural disasters, AIDS, trafficking etc.

Dr Ursula Pfäfflin


Fr Adamantios Avgoustidis (Greece) spoke about The European Council for Pastoral Care and Counselling  10 European Conferences had been held, the most recent being in Sweden when the president of organisation as Kirsti Aalto.

The next conference will be in at the University of Leuven in Belgium in 2009. Anne Vanderhoeck is the Secretary of ECPCC  Information will be on the website

  Fr Adamantios Avgoustidis


Letters were read from Rune Forsbeck (Honorary Participant from Sweden) and Fr Angelo Brusco (Representative from Italy) sending greetings.


Anne Vanderhoeck (Belgium) spoke about the ENHCC electronic library on the website.  Only 20 articles had been received.  She encouraged people to send in articles in any language, together with a short summary (4-5 sentences is enough). [Go to the Library]

Knowledge of ENHCC

Fr Stavros said he had become aware how little many chaplains knew about the Network.  He encouraged representatives to go back to their associations and churches and tell people about the work of ENHCC.  A full discussion followed with representatives making helpful suggestions about how to spread the word about the Network.


2.30 pm Session 8



Fr Stavros gave a statement of the financial position of the Network.  He reminded representatives that the Committee had decided (as stated in the Constitution) that the participation fee would be 100 Euros a year for each organisation. 

Thanks were given for those who had given extra money (particularly France and Portugal) to sponsor representatives from some of the Eastern countries.

Legal Issues

Fr Stavros explained how the Network now has legal status under the Laws of Greece.  This was necessary to allow a bank account to be opened.   To complete this process a legal document will be sent out to all the representatives for signature to define the "membership" of the Network. (See Coordinator's Report)


Fr Maxime suggested that French should be the second language of the Network. The representatives from the French Catholic Chaplaincy organisation spoke little English which limited their participation in the discussion.   Fr Nuno explained that he had investigated simultaneous translation for the consultation but the costs would have been far too great.   Fr Stavros reminded representatives that the Constitution of the Network states that  English will be the language of operation.  However this subject of language would be considered by the committee before the next consultation.

General Discussion

General discussion followed with various representatives making comments and suggestions for future consideration.

Next Consultation

Consideration was given as to where the next Consultation (10th) should be held in 2008. Various places were considered: Germany, Wales, Belgium.  After discussion it was decided by a large majority that the 10th Consultation would take place in Estonia 28 May - 1 June 2008, organised by Rev Naatan Haamer (Estonia)

  Naatan Haamer


Elections to the ENHCC Committee

Fr Stavros thanked the present committee for all their work. There had been much open contact through e-mail and in Istanbul at the Committee Meeting in October.

Fr Stavros Kofinas had been elected for 4 years at the 8th Consultation in Dublin in 2004 – so he remains in  post until 2008.

Elections then followed and the following were elected to the Committee in terms of the Constitution:

The Committee:

  • Organiser of Next Consultation:
    Rev Naatan Haamer  (Estonia)

  • Organiser of Past Consultation: 
    Fr José Nuno Ferreira da Silva  (Portugal)

  • Ordinary Member:  Ms Anne Vandenhoeck  (Belgium)

  • Ordinary Member:  Rev Kirsti Aalto  (Finaland)

  • Alternate Member:  Rev Edward Lewis  (England and Wales)

  • Alternate Member:  Ms Dana Kalnina-Zake  (Latvia)

Webmaster:  Rev Fred Coutts (Scotland)

Pictures and more information about the Committee are on the Committee Page.


The session closed with each representative giving a blessing in his or her own language.