16 November 2023

ASSEMBLY | Assembly of EU Bishops adopts declaration on peace in Europe in the world

10/11 - The Bishops of the European Union, gathered in Brussels for the 2023 Autumn COMECE Plenary Assembly (8-10 November), adopted a statement on peace in the context of the serious deterioration of international security. EU Bishops: “We call on Europe to offer a renewed vision for justice and peace, a Europe which fully employs its potential to settle conflicts and to light lamps of hope, acting as a united, trustful and integrating force, cherishing democratic principles and the rule of law, within and outside its borders”.

📰 Read the Press Release
📑 Read the declaration [ENITFRCZ]

NEWS | Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto confirmed as General Secretary of COMECE for a second mandate

10/11 - The EU Bishops confirmed Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto as General Secretary of COMECE for a second mandate of four years. The confirmation took place in the context of the 2023 Autumn Plenary Assembly of COMECE, which was held in Brussels on 8-10 November 2023.

📰 Read the Press Release
📑 Read his biography

ASSEMBLY | Mgr. Crociata's report to the COMECE Assembly

8/11 - The President of COMECE, Mgr. Mariano Crociata, opened the 2023 Autumn Plenary Assembly of EU Bishops by addressing the Bishops with a report providing valuable insights into the EU's and COMECE's most pressing issues, especially in the context of ongoing conflicts in the European Union's neighborhood and in view of the 2024 elections for the European Parliament.

📑 Read the Report

ASSEMBLY | EU Bishops dialogue with EP First Vice-President Othmar Karas

Schermata 2023-11-16 alle 11.59.00
8/11 - The First Vice-President of the European Parliament, Othmar Karas, participated in the 2023 Autumn Plenary Assembly of COMECE. His participation offered a fruitful opportunity for a dialogue on Europe's current socio-economic and geopolitical challenges in view of the June 2024 elections of the European Parliament.

📑 Read Karas' speech

ASSEMBLY | First Vice-President Pedro Silva Pereira participates in the EU Bishops' Assembly

Schermata 2023-11-16 alle 12.04.27
9/11 - The second day of the COMECE Assembly featured a dialogue meeting between the EU Bishops and the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Pedro Silva Pereira. The exchange focused on socio-economic affairs, migration and possible outcomes of the 2024 EU elections.

ASSEMBLY | Former EEAS coordinator Federica Mogherini participates in the COMECE Assembly

WhatsApp Image 2023-11-16 at 12.30.09
10/11 - Federica Mogherini - Rector of the College of Europe and Former High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy - was invited to participate in the third day of the COMECE Assembly. Thanks to her participation, the Bishops had the opportunity to exchange on the current military and political crisis in Europe and in the Holy Land and the role of the European Union.

NEWS | COMECE advocates for the importance of confessional religious education at all levels of learning

6/11 - COMECE welcomed the resolution on the system of European Schools adopted by the European Parliament last September. The resolution insists on maintaining the current provision of religious and ethical education. General Secretary Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto explained COMECE's advocacy for confessional religious education at all levels of learning by stressing its fundamental role for “the integral development of young people, allowing them to delve into questions of belief, spirituality, life and meaning. Educating children on religion is an important factor also for religious literacy in the European Union”.

📰 Read the News

NEWS | COMECE facilitates dialogue meetings between the Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church and high-level EU representatives

Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, receives Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC).
8/11 - COMECE facilitated a series of dialogue meetings with high-level EU officials for His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych and Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC), and H.E. Mgr. Stepan Sus, Head of the Pastoral and Migration Department of UGCC.
The delegation met among others with Mr. Olivér Várhelyi, European Commissioner for Neighbourhood and Enlargement, Mr. Michael Siebert, EEAS Managing Director for Eastern Europe, and with Members of the European Parliament gathered in the EPP Working Group on Intercultural and Religious Dialogue.
The various encounters allowed for an exchange on the current situation in Ukraine plagued by Russia's war of aggression, the growing humanitarian needs ahead of the upcoming winter, as well as on the respective roles of local Churches and of the European Union.
The visit of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic delegation to Brussels took place in the context of the 2023 Autumn Plenary Assembly of COMECE.

📸 Photos of the meetings

NEWS | Mgr. Vokál presided over COMECE Commission on External Affairs

15/11 - Bishop Jan Vokál presided over the Autumn meeting of the COMECE Commission on EU External Relations. Fifteen experts representing their respective Bishops' Conferences held a series of exchanges with institutional, academic and Church actors on a number of current and emerging foreign policy issues.
The agenda of the meeting included discussions on the global role and responsibility of the EU in the current geopolitical context and on the ongoing violent conflicts in the Holy Land and Ukraine.
The meeting also featured an exchange with representatives of the Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development and of the Office for International Justice and Peace of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops on the respective current and upcoming priorities in their work.
The next meeting of the Commission will take place on 20-21 March 2024 in Brussels.

HERITAGE | Christian ARTworks: Procession of Nuestra Señora de la Paloma (Spain)

3/11 - This month, our ‘Christian Heritage month by month’ column presents you with the Procession of Nuestra Señora de la Paloma, one of the most important religious traditions in Madrid, Spain.

📰 Read the News
🔗 News from the Archdiocese

NEWS | COMECE VP Mgr. Hérouard elected co-president of Justice and Peace Europe

14/11 - Our First Vice-President Mgr. Antoine Hérouard was recently elected as Co-President of Justice and Peace Europe, alongside Maria Hammershøy. While expressing our congratulations to them and our best wishes for a successful mandate, we look forward to a continued fruitful cooperation.

📰 Read Press Release

NEWS | CCEE meeting on Migration and Asylum takes place in Hungary

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18/10 - COMECE participated in the CCEE Migration Section meeting held in Szombathely (Hungary) earlier this week. Our adviser José Luis Bazán updated the participants on the ongoing EU policy initiatives regarding migration, asylum and human trafficking.

📑 Pastoral Orientations on Human Trafficking

NEWS | COMECE participates in CCEE-CEC Joint Committee in Belgrad

6/11 - COMECE participated in the CCEE-CEC Joint Committee meeting that was held in Belgrad (Serbia). Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto, General Secretary of COMECE, commented: "Glad to be here as brothers and sisters in Christ to reflect together on the new challenges in our world and for ecumenism that we are called to face together."

NEWS | Salesian delegation from Colombia visits COMECE

3/11 - The Secretariat of COMECE received a Salesian delegation from Colombia. During the meeting, the delegation presented its mission of reintegrating into Colombian society young people with a past linked to armed groups. COMECE emphasised supporting this mission and advocating for the EU's recognition of this indispensable social work. The COMECE advisers who received the delegation were José Luis Bazán and Marek Mišák.

VIDEO | UN meeting on the environment: COMECE calls EU leaders to work towards protection of the Creation

Schermata 2023-11-16 alle 15.01.43
3/11 - Contributing to Regional Dialogue on the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment organised by the Brussels Office of the United Nations, COMECE adviser Johannes Moravitz shared Pope Francis' message encouraging world leaders to work towards the implementation of this right.

📺 Watch the video of the conference

DOCUMENT | COMECE President on current challenges in the Euro-Mediterranean area

3/11 - Our President Mgr. Mariano Crociata addressed the Istituto Superiore di Scienze Religiose of Benevento (Italy) with an interesting speech on the Church's view and Europe's responsibility in the Euro-Mediterranean current challenges.

📑 Read the Speech

DOCUMENT | Mgr. Crociata's speech during the Seminar 'A Europe of Hope Today!'

Schermata 2023-11-16 alle 15.21.35
4/11 - Mgr. Mariano Crociata, President of COMECE, delivered a keynote address at the seminar 'A Europe of Hope Today!' in Bologna (Italy). The conference was organised by ACLI and Cooperazione Cristiana per l'Europa, commemorating the 60th anniversary of Robert Schuman's passing and the 20 years since Ecclesia in Europa.

📑 Read the speech

EVENT | Event on Laudate Deum to be held in Brussels on December 7

16/11 - The European Laudato Si' Alliance (ELSiA), COMECE and the Jesuit European Social Centre (JESC) invite you to participate in the event "The new 'Laudate Deum' of Pope Francis and the European Union's Green Transition" to be held at the COMECE Secretariat in Brussels on Thursday 7 December 2023 from 18:00 to 19:30. More information will soon be shared on our website. In the meantime, you can already book your participation: Click here to register!

Next at COMECE

16-19 November
COMECE General Secretary will participate in an ELSiA Eco-spirituality workshop to be held at the Taizé community.

17 November
Autumn meeting of the COMECE Commission on Culture and Education. The meeting will be presided over by H.E. Janusz Stepnowski. The meeting will be held online.

20 November
Online meeting of the COMECE Youth Net.

22 November
Participation in the Prosperes Consortium final conference on the protection of places of worship. The event is to take place in Łódź (Poland).

27-30 November
COMECE President and General Secretary, H.E. Mgr. Mariano Crociata and Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto respectively, will participate in the CCEE Plenary Assembly to take place in Malta.

28 November
Autumn meeting of the COMECE Commission on Ethics. The meeting will be presided over by H.E. Mgr. Anton Jamnik. The meeting will take place in Brussels.

28-30 November
COMECE will participate in the International Conference "Freedom of Religion in Public Space“ to be held in Prague (Czech Republic).

30 November-2 December
COMECE will participate in the CCEE meeting of Bishops’ Conferences legal advisers.

4 December
COMECE Standing Committee meeting to be chaired by H.E. Mgr. Mariano Crociata.

4-5 December
The General Secretary of COMECE will participate in the XXV Annual Meeting of the EPP Group on Intercultural Dialogue to take place in Santiago (Spain).

7 December
ELSiA event on Laudate Deum to take place in Brussels from 18:00 to 19:30. Info soon available on our website. You can book your participation here: Click here to register!

The Catholic Church in the European Union

Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences
of the European Union