As a ministry of the Friars of the Atonement, the Center was officially inaugurated as an
Ecumenical Center in 1968, but has been engaged in ecumenical activity since the late ’50s.
During the years of the Second Vatican Council the Palazzo Doria Pamphilj in Piazza
Navona, site of the Centro Pro Unione, was the scene of encounters with and among the
“ecumenical observers” invited to the Council by the Secretariat for the Promotion of Unity among Christians, first at the request of Pope John XXIII and then by Paul VI.
The prophetic strength of the commitment to Christian unity of the Friars of the Atonement,
anticipated the Second Vatican Council, and, immediately post-Council, became the driving spirit to put into practice the official directives of the Council itself.
This was done through the creation of an extensive network of ecumenical and interreligious relations, the establishment of theological dialogue among specialists (rendering the Centro an historic site of the ecumenical movement) and the concern for ecumenism, education and formation in all its dimensions.