Vatican II’s message for contemporary Europe in crisis
The fortieth anniversary of Vatican II and the lessons that the Church in Europe can take from it in order to address the current crisis in the European Union will provide the main themes for debate during the autumn Plenary Meeting of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) from 16-18 November 2005 in Brussels.
The bishops will consider the legacy of the Second Vatican Council within contemporary European society as they discuss the European Commission’s new communication strategy ‘Plan D’, the need for active citizenship and the role of the Church within the EU’s period of reflection and debate.
The bishops will consider two draft statements for discussion during the course of the plenary concerning the current demographic challenges which face Europe and another on the ethical implications of EU research policy and funding.
Fr. André Gouzes OP from Sylvanes Abby, director of the choir that accompanied the European pilgrimage organised by COMECE to Santiago de Compostela in April 2004 to mark the enlargement of the EU, will record a CD in Malines of the hymns and music for the liturgy that he composed especially for the pilgrimage to Santiago. The choir will sing the Vespers celebrated in Santiago de Compostela on Thursday evening at 18.15 in the church of Saint Catherine in Malines.
The bishops will hear interventions from:
- Father Henri Madelin S.J., Member of the Catholic Information Office and Initiatives for Europe (OCIPE) and former editor in chief of the ‘ETVDES’ review;
- Mr. Rolf Annerberg, Head of cabinet for Mrs. Margot Wallström, Vice-President of the European Commission responsible for institutional relations and communication strategy;
- Mr. Philippe Hezog, President of ‘Confrontations Europe’, former member of the European Parliament and former university professor.
Journalists are particularly invited to attend a
At 14:00 on Friday 18 November 2005
at the Hôtel Eurovillage, 80 Boulevard Charlemagne, 1000 Brussels
Bishop Em. Josef HOMEYER of Hildesheim (Germany), President of COMECE,
Bishop Adrianus van LUYN of Rotterdam (Netherlands), Vice-President, and
Archbishop Hippolyte SIMON of Clermont (France), Vice-President.
will present the conclusions of the Plenary Meeting.
COMECE is a Commission of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of the member states of the European Union. The Bishops’ Conferences from Bulgaria, Croatia and Romania have observer status.
The following bishops will participate in the Plenary Meeting on behalf of their Bishops’ Conferences:Bishop Josef Homeyer (Germany); Bishop Adrianus van Luyn (The Netherlands);Archbishop Hippolyte Simon (France); Bishop Jozef De Kesel (Belgium); Archbishop Fernand Franck (Luxembourg); Bishop Piotr Jarecki (Poland); Bishop Anton Justs (Latvia); Bishop Egon Kapellari (Austria); Bishop William Kenny (Scandinavia); Archbishop Diarmuid Martin (Ireland); Archbishop Joseph Mercieca (Malta); Bishop Peter Moran (Scotland); Bishop Rimantas Norvila (Lithuania); Bishop Frantisek Rábek (Slovakia); Bishop Anton Stres (Slovenia); Bishop Amândio José Tomás (Portugal); Bishop András Veres (Hungary); and Archbishop Elias Yanes Alvarez (Spain).
The following bishops have observer status: Cardinal Josip Bosanic (Croatia); and Bishop Christo Proykov (Bulgaria).