The Community Today

The Taizé Community comprises around eighty brothers from different church backgrounds – Catholic, Anglican, Protestant – and from nearly thirty countries. By its very existence, it is a “parable of community”: a tangible sign of reconciliation between divided Christians and separated peoples.
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Most of the brothers live in the village of Taizé (Burgundy, France). Other brothers, who have been sent on mission, share the living conditions of those around them in Asia, Africa, Latin America and in a district of the Paris suburbs. These small fraternities of a few brothers are a simple presence among their neighbours and in the local churches. By their very nature they remain temporary.

During the year, the community welcomes tens of thousands of young adults from Europe and other continents. They come for week-long meetings, during which they experience prayer and life together with time for biblical reflection and exchange with others, in an environment where they can ask questions about their lives and their future.

Since 1978, the community has organised a European Meeting of Young Adults at the end of the year. It is held in a different city each year, at the invitation of the local churches. Youth meetings are also held in Africa, Asia and the Americas. Several pilgrimages to countries with an Orthodox tradition have allowed young people to discover the treasures of this heritage.

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Over the years, many Church leaders have visited Taizé. Pope John Paul II came to Taizé in 1986, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople in 2017 and, since 1973, four Archbishops of Canterbury. The Lutheran bishops of Sweden came to Taizé together twice, in 1994 and 2022, and the Lutheran bishops of Finland in 2024. Metropolitans and bishops from various Orthodox Churches have also visited Taizé, as have many bishops and pastors from all over the world.

Alongside the brothers, Sisters of Saint Andrew, an international Catholic community founded more than seven centuries ago, and Polish Ursuline sisters play an important part in welcoming the young people who visit Taizé.

The brothers of the community live from their work alone. They do not accept donations or personal inheritances for themselves.

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After the dramatic death of Brother Roger at the age of 90 on 16 August 2005 during evening prayer, brother Alois, whom he had chosen many years previously as his successor, continued the work of the founder of the community, leading youth meetings with the brothers in Taizé and on all the continents. He also took part in many ecumenical gatherings and visited Catholic, Orthodox and Protestant leaders on various occasions, to maintain links of communion and friendship with their Churches.

In 2019, brother Alois made public several accusations of sexual violence involving brothers and the community began the work of “ascertaining the truth” [https://www.taize.fr/en_rubrique3821.html]. Subsequently, as further testimonies reached the community, brother Alois’ initial statement was regularly updated. The community has undertaken to publish a report year by year, prepared by an independent team which has been mandated to receive and follow up safeguarding alerts. Ongoing training in safeguarding is now part of the life of the brothers, sisters, volunteers and staff so that Taizé can be a safe place for those who visit.

On 2 December 2023, brother Alois handed over his office as prior to brother Matthew, who is British and of Anglican denomination and has lived in Taizé since 1986.

Printed from: https://www.taize.fr/en_article6525.html - 25 July 2024
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