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POUR NOS AMIS FRANCOPHONES

L’Eglise évangélique vaudoise, ainsi dénommée suite au rapprochement initié en 1974 et conclu en 1979 des Eglises vaudoises et des Eglises méthodistes en Italie, c’est l’une des plus anciennes Eglises de la Réforme, issue du courant des Pauvres de Lyon de Pierre Valdes en 1170

C’est dès 1532, soit 27 ans avant les réformées français, lors du synode de Chanforan que l’Eglise vaudoise décida de rejoindre le courant de la Réforme française et engagea la traduction de la Bible en français en finançant ce travail confié à Pierre Robert Olivétan, le cousin de Calvin.

En 1686, le Duc de Savoie bannit les pasteurs vaudois, interdit les cultes et impose aux enfants le baptême catholique. Sous l’influence du pasteur Henri Arnaud, les Vaudois se rebellent, un certain nombre parvient à gagner Genève, mais en 1689 organisent en secret leur rentrée au Piémont, le «Glorieuse Rentrée». La liberté de culte leur fut accordée en 1848. Nous pouvons voir ainsi tout ce qui rapproche, historiquement et théologiquement, l’Eglise vaudoise des Eglises françaises issues de la Réforme. 

Aujourd’hui, l’Eglise évangélique vaudoise est forte de 172 paroisses dans toute l’Italie et aussi en Suisse. Si un quart d’entre elles sont dans le Piémont et le Val d’Aoste, il y a des paroisses partout en Italie, aussi bien en Sicile que dans les Pouilles et en Vénétie. La faculté de théologie est installée à Rome. 

Chaque année le dernier dimanche d’août, le synode de l’Eglise vaudoise se réunit à Torre Pelice. Pour être complet, elle a aussi essaimé au XIXe siècle en Amérique du Sud; ainsi il y a 25 paroisses d’une Eglise évangélique vaudoise indépendante autour du Rio de la Plata.

A Pâques 2015, à la messe du samedi soir dans la cathédrale de Pinerolo (Piémont, Italie) et au culte de Pâques le matin suivant dans l’église protestante de la même ville étaient présentes réciproquement deux délégations des respectives communautés Chrétiennes. Leur présence avait comme but d’offrir pendent la célébration le vin pour l’Eucharistie aux Catholiques de la part des Protestants et le pain pour la Sante Cène aux Protestants de la part des Catholiques. Les deux Eglises ont déjà maintes fois échangé des prédications. Elles collaborent depuis longtemps pour la diaconie dans leur ville. Dans cet échange elles se sont rencontrées, sans pour autant que aucune dimension doctrinale n’ait été touchée. Pourtant, déjà dans ces limites l’échange était très signifiant, pouvant faire apercevoir d’importantes allusions au dépassement d’anciennes controverses et le souhait ou la promesse de futurs pas en avant dans la fraternité. Les deux délégations étaient conduites respectivement par le Pasteur Gianni Genre de l’Eglise Vaudoise et par l’Évêque catholique Monseigneur Piergiorgio Debernardi (représenté pour des raisons d’horaire par don Larios Valencia au culte protestant de Pâques).

Voir: 

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/32mswrrtw3xi59w/AACrJ-Ts_5jtCcUEg4sN0yR7a?dl=0

http://www.vitadiocesanapinerolese.it/chiesa/cronaca/photogallery-la-veglia-pasquale-nella-cattedrale-di-pinerolo 


Gianni Genre, pasteur de l’Église évangélique vaudoise, est pasteur de Pinerolo, mieux connue par les Français sous le nom de Pignerol. Il a été pendant 5 ans, de 2000 à 2005, le modérateur de la Table vaudoise, l’équivalent de président du Conseil national. Alga Barbacini, diacre, est à Pignerol depuis 2014.

En savoir plus: http://www.museeprotestant.org/notice/histoire-des-vaudois/

 

FOR OUR ENGLISH-SPEAKING FRIENDS

The Waldensian Church, which was so donominated after the process of integration between the Methodist and the Waldensian Churches - completed during the years 1974 and 1979 - is one of the eldest Churches of the Reformation, stemming from the movement named after Waldo of Lyon in 1170.

It was in 1532 in Chanforan that Waldensians decided to join the Reformation and to translate the Bible into French, through donations given to Pierre Robert Olivétan, Calvin’s cousin.

In 1686, the Duke of Savoy forced on the Waldenses a tragic choice: abjuration, exile or death. Thousands were brought in Piedmontese prisons on their way to exile. Three years after, as a result of a favourable international politics situation, some managed to return to their land marching through the Alps: the «Glorious Return» in 1689. It was only in 1848 that they enjoyed full civil rights and became free citizens.

Today, the Waldensian Church is organized in 172 local churches, in Italy and Switzerland. The Waldensian Faculty of Theology, founded in Torre Pellice in 1855, was then based in Rome.

Every year, on the last Sunday of August, the Synod takes place in Torre Pellice, with deputies coming from all over Italy. To complete this short history, one must also aknowledge the presence of 25 local churches in Rio de la Plata, in South America, where a number of Waldensian families emigrated in late XIX Century.

Gianni Genre is pastor of the Waldensian Church in Pinerolo. He has been Moderator of the Waldensian Board, i.e. President of the Board for five years, in 2000-2005. Alga Barbacini, deacon, is at Pinerolo since 2014.

To know more: http://www.fondazionevaldese.org/en/percorsi/

https://www.oikoumene.org/en/member-churches/waldensian-church

WHAT WE BELIEVE

The Waldensian church, together with all other Christian denominations, adheres to the common confessions of faith of the early church ecumenical councils: The Apostles’ Creed, The Nicene Creed of Constantinople. Following the Reformation (1532, in Chanforan), the Protestant churches adhered to new confessions of faith which express their understanding of Christianity. The Waldensians did this in 1655 during a particularly tragic moment of their history, when French and Savoyard troops assaulted the valleys of Piedmont. The Declaration of Faith of 1655 was published for the first time in French in the “Relation vèritable de ce qui s’est passé dans les persucutions et massacres, faites cette années, aux églises reformées de Piedmont etc”.

Protestant worship (or the Service) is centred around and based on the preaching of God’s Word. There is a place for singing and prayer, in relation to Bible reading and preaching. Simplicity and moderation are distinctive features of Protestant worship which has no need of a particular place or time. Besides Bible study groups, Sunday School and Catechism classes, Service takes place on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. Moreover, there is nothing sacramental about the role of the preacher, but his/her particular preparation as far as Bible teaching is concerned as well as the maturity of his/her faith. Protestant worship is usually carried out as follows:
Introit, Confession of sin, Bible reading, Sermon, Confession of faith, Prayer of intercession, Final prayers and benediction. Hymns are sung in-between. 

The Lord’s Supper is celebrated on various occasions, and it is usually celebrated between the Confession of faith and the prayer of intercession. The main parts are: the reading of the institution from the New Testament; a prayer of thanksgiving; invocation of the Holy Spirit; breaking of the bread and blessing of the wine; distribution of the bread and wine to those present. It is open to all and with baptism is a sign of the Lord’s promises. 

Individual freedom and independence from State power has always been central to the Waldensian faith. The “Freedom Week” recalls the 17th February 1848, when the Civil Rights Bill was issued. Since then we are called to remember and fight for religious freedom, freedom of conscience which is always in the making: freedom for all, not just for some, and in larger contexts of society. 

 

OUR ORGANIZATION 

The Waldensian churches are organized according to the presbyterian-synodal system: presbyterian, because the governing of the congregation is not entrusted to a bishop but to a council of elders (New Testament term), called Session; synodal because the Synod is the governing assembly of every part of the life of the church as a whole: doctrinal, disciplinary, administrative.

The organization of church life is governed by assemblies. Every church has its own assembly which elects the council of elders responsible for the handling of local issues. A number of these who are entrusted with the task of preaching and teaching, are called pastors although there are also lay preachers who help with the preaching and catechists who help with the teaching. The pastors, men and women, are allowed to marry. 

Jesu Christ is the head of the Church which is the body.

 

HOW YOU CAN HELP

Waldensians have put into practice what Cavour considered to be the most suitable relationship between religion and politics: a free Church in a free State. It follows that all activities carried on are totally self-funded through free donations by local and foreign friends  and by registered church members who take care of the current needs. Some income is also received through own properties’ rental.

In 1993 the Synod voted to access to the law otto per mille IRPEF (a percentage of Income Tax funds if covenanted by tax payer). In making this decision, however, the Synod stated that the received sum would not be used for ecclesiastical purposes, that is to say, for the maintenance of pastors or related church activities, but only for social aid, humanitarian and cultural projects - in Italy and abroad - to be carried out in co-operation with religious or lay organizations. 

 

OUR MAIN MISSION

Our mission is evangelization, that is witness of the Gospel, as stated by the Synod in 2013: our congregation is a place of faith, hope and love - even though we are still sinners - but we keep on as written in the Bible: “Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage—with great patience and careful instruction” (2 Timothy 4:2). 

We are grateful for having a Faculty of Theology based in Rome. 

We are members of the World Council of Churches (WCC) In brief, our main mission is in three spheres:

-worship,

-teaching, 

-social aid.

 

The Waldensian Church of Pinerolo is part of the Waldensian Church (Union of Waldensian and Methodist Churches).

For further information, go to the website of the Waldensian Church, international version: http://www.chiesavaldese.org/eng/indexen.php