Meeting of the General Secretaries of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe comes to an end


On June 13, 2010, the 38th meeting of the General Secretaries of Bishops' Conferences of Europe in Rome has come to end. The plenary meeting in Rome marked the completion of the Year of Priests, and its participants, together with thousands of priests from all over the world, on June 10 and 11 took part in its final prayer services, headed by Pope Benedict XVI. A prayer service was also held for the deceased Bishop Luigi Padoveze, who was killed at the beginning of June in Turkey.

This year the annual meeting of the General Secretaries of Europe's Bishops' Conferences was devoted to the challenges in interchurch cooperation, in particular, in the internal relations between churches and intereparchial contacts in the Catholic Church, as well as the relationships of the church with the public bodies of authority and the outer world and public opinion. "As these questions are currently in the spotlight, the church wants to consider them in order to produce certain mechanisms to better reveal to each other different projects which take place in the churches and to learn how we should react to events that take place in the politic space and in our societies, where the church operates in Europe," reported Bishop Bohdan (Dzyurakh), Secretary of Synod of Bishops of the UGCC.

During the meetings, Cardinal Angelo Baniasco, president of the Bishops' Conference of Italy, and Cardinal Josip Bozhanich, archbishop of Zagreb and vice president of Council of Bishops' Conferences of Europe, talked about the most important task of the churches in Europe, which is to "protect" humanity, considering its relationship with Christ, stressing that to go against the current sometimes requires courage. The work continued with an exchange of opinions on the activity of the Bishops' conferences and issues of the day in the different European countries, reports the Radio Vatican.

Fr. Federico Lombard, TI, Director of Vatican Press Center, Vatican Radio and Vatican television Centre, and Fr. Domenico Pompili, speaker of Episcopal Conference of Italy, gave a report about the relationship of the church with the world of communication and public opinion. Fr. Lombard noted the importance to pay attention to the "globalization of information," which means that that which takes place at the local level immediately has resonance on the international level, and vice versa.

Father Pompili warned of the danger of "transmitting" a stereotypical imagine of the church, in accordiance to which Christianity in society, encompassing a variety of values, is made out to be one competitor in the daily competition to confirm certain values. Instead courage is needed to discard the above-mentioned role, giving preference to beauty and strength of testimony. The use of new means of public communication can help. This block of the meeting ended with a visit of the studio of the Catholic channel TV2000.

Thirty-three Bishops' Conferences make up the Council of Bishops' Conferences of Europe, which are presented by their heads, and also by the Archeparchies of Luxemburg and Principalities of Monaco, Maronite archbishop of Cyprus, and the administrative bishop of Chisinau, in Moldova. Ukraine has two representatives: from the Synod of Bishops of the UGCC and from the Conferences of Bishops of Roman Catholic Church in Ukraine. The council is currently headed by Cardinal Peter Erde, archbishop of Eshtergom-Budapest.

Source: Information Department of the UGCC
with materials from "Radio Vatican"