Statement on the Accession of the Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia to the Hungarian Reformed Church
On 21 June 2011, at the Temesvár (Timişoara, Romania) meeting of the General Convent, the Presidium (the Bishop and the Lay President) of the Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia signed the Constitution of the Hungarian Reformed Church with legal reservation, thus joining the unity of the Reformed communities of the Carpathian Basin.
The accession, as part of a decade-long process, is an event that is democratic both in its intentions and in its use of methods, one that care of the historical traditions of East-Central Europe, follows the norms of the European Union, and respects linguistic and national differences. The Hungarian Reformed Church is a – legally unregistered – community with 130-year-old roots in terms of its structure, carrying on the legacy of 500 years of Reformation in its theology and traditions. Its aims – set forth in the common constitution – are to achieve a greater spiritual unity and through that a more effective service.
With the foundation of the Hungarian Reformed Church on 22 May 2009, the member churches resolved to establish a common synod, according to the practices of Protestant ecumenical understanding. The signing of the common constitution was welcomed by several partner churches as well as global church organisations (among others, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches) as the sign of the ecumenical commitment of one of the largest Reformed ecumenical communities in Europe.
The Hungarian Reformed Church is filled with hope that through the accession of the Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia, one of the aims of the unified church will be achieved: the Reformed people of Hungary and Slovakia can await the future by following Christ together, as members of one body. It is a special responsibility of the Reformed community of the Carpathian Basin to strive to achieve dialogue and reconciliation among the nations of the region.
We believe that the fact that the accession happened with so called legal reservation shows a responsible attitude, as it takes into consideration the unique features of the Slovakian Reformed community as well as the realities of the region and it is in harmony with the relevant paragraphs of the common constitution. Joining the community with legal reservation ensures that linguistic and national differences are respected, and therefore the two Slovakian speaking, earlier nationality-based, presbyteries that belong to the Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia will continue to have the same rights and privileges as before. On the basis of the statement by the Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia ratifying the common constitution it can be established that the accession not only assures the neutrality of Reformed Slovakian people, but in fact it enhances their rights in the common church.
Christ is the future, together we follow Him!
29 June 2011
The Presidium of the General Convent