16 February 2024

NEWS | “Winning the battle against human trafficking is possible!”

14/02 - COMECE and the Santa Marta Group held a conference at the European Parliament highlighting the positive contribution that Churches and faith-based organisation give to the fight against human trafficking, protecting victims and making perpetrators accountable. COMECE: “Human trafficking is not an inevitable crime. The long-term commitment of all social, economic, religious, cultural and political actors can lead to winning this battle!”

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VIDEO | Article 17 TFEU: Churches and EU address disinformation ahead of 2024 EU elections

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13/02 - Fake news, disinformation and conspiracy theories are plagues in our society, dangerous tools against our democracies, especially given the 2024 EU elections. This topic was at the center of the Article 17 TFEU Dialogue Seminar with Churches, religious communities, and philosophical and non-confessional organisations held at the European Parliament, Brussels. COMECE was represented by Steven Van Hecke, professor at the Catholic University of Leuven.
The Seminar was hosted by MEP Othmar Karas, First Vice-President of the European Parliament and Responsible for the Implementation of Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

📺 Watch the video

STATEMENT | COMECE and CIDSE urge Council to adopt Due Diligence Directive

14/02 - In anticipation of the imminent vote by the Council of the EU on the Corporate Sustainability Due Diligence Directive (CSDDD), COMECE and CIDSE jointly issued a Statement urging EU national governments to promptly adopt the compromise text resulting from the political trialogue negotiations held last December. “Now more than ever, we need mandatory supply chain due diligence to stop corporate abuse and guarantee global solidarity.”

📑 Read the Statement

NEWS | Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury visits the Secretariat of COMECE

15/02 - The entire staff of the Secretariat of COMECE was honoured to receive a visit from His Grace Justin Welby, Anglican Archbishop of Canterbury, Rev. Robert Innes, Bishop of the Diocese in Europe, and other representatives of the Church of England. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss pressing current topics in Europe and the world, including migration, asylum and the necessity for a new architecture of peace. The meeting also featured the participation of H.E. Mgr. Noël Treanor, Apostolic Nuncio to the European Union,

NEWS | EU Churches exchange on Christian values in view of 2024 European elections

13/01 - COMECE, CEC and the Interparliamentary Assembly On Orthodoxy organised a conference on the significance of Christian values in Europe's future, especially in consideration of the upcoming European elections in June 2024.
The participants noted with concern the ongoing consequences of the wars in Ukraine and in the Holy Land, and of the economic, health and energy crises in Europe and the world. They also exchanged on the challenges posed by migration.
In this context, they shared how Christian have the potential to give a positive contribution to the European political landscape, raising voices from grassroots, and strengthening democracies.

NEWS | AEFJN delegation at COMECE to discuss food security and agroecology in the context of the EU-Africa partnership

02/02 - COMECE General Secretary Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto received a delegation of the Africa-Europe Faith and Justice Network (AEFJN), a faith-based organisation promoting economic justice between the two continents. The delegation included Br. Alberto Parise (a Comboni Missionary from Italy) and Br. Elvis Ng'andwe. Together, they exchanged on opportunities for collaboration on issues like food security and agroecology in the context of the EU-Africa partnership.

NEWS | Presidents of Justice & Peace Europe in Lviv (Ukraine): "Ukrainian people defends its freedom and the idea of a free and democratic Europe"

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15/02 - Archbishop Antoine Hérouard and Maria Hammershoy, Co-Presidents of Justice and Peace Europe visited Lviv (Ukraine) responding to the invitation of Yuriy Pidlisny from the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.
They visited several military cemeteries and witnessed the damage done to buildings by Russian missile attacks. They prayed for the victims of the war. Resuming their visit, Mgr. Hérouard said: “We better understood how the Ukrainian people is not only defending its freedom, but also the defend the idea of a free and democratic Europe”.
Maria Hammershoy added: “Protecting the life and dignity of the human person, as well as sharing the grief of war is an ongoing concern. In caring for the victims of war, listening to their stories and supporting their basic needs, the Church in Ukraine demonstrates, through her structures, who she is.” The Presidency was accompanied by the General Secretary of Justice and Peace Europe, Stefan Lunte.

📰 Read the Press Release

STATEMENT | European Justice and Peace Commissions express solidarity with Ukraine and its refugees in Europe

11/02 - The Secretaries General of the European Justice and Peace Commissions met in Berlin where they met with Ukrainian refugees and with organisations supporting them. It was an opportunity to listen to their stories, needs and concerns. A final Statement was issued to express solidarity with Ukraine and its refugees in Europe.

📑 Read the Statement

INTERVIEW | Pope Francis receives COMECE President Mgr. Crociata to discuss about Europe

COMECE President Crociata and Pope Francis
29/01 - H.E. Mgr. Mariano Crociata, President of COMECE, had an audience with Pope Francis. Their discussions encompassed various topics including European integration, peace, the recently agreed EU Pact on Migration, and the role of youth in our societies.
Bishop Crociata further elaborated on these discussions in an interview with AgenSIR. Read the interview below for insights into the key points addressed during the audience.

📰 Read the interview

STATEMENT | COMECE on the Artificial Intelligence Act: “It does justice to the ethical foundations of the EU”

02/02 - COMECE issued a statement titled “A European Call for Responsibility – Ethical Demands for a Human-Centric Artificial Intelligence,” welcoming the recent adoption of the EU regulation on Artificial Intelligence (AI). Bishop Jamnik: “It is the first robust EU regulatory framework for AI that does justice to the ethical foundations of the European Union.”

📰 Read the News
📑 Download the Statement

STATEMENT | COMECE on farmers' protests: “A sustainable future of our food system and a secure and flourishing future for farmers can coexist”

farmers protests eu Berlin
30/01 - While major farmer protests are taking place across the European Union, COMECE issued a statement showing solidarity with farmers and calling on the policymakers to put the human person in the centre of political considerations on agriculture. COMECE: “a sustainable future of our food system and a secure and flourishing future for farmers can coexist”.

📰 Read the News
📑 Download the Statement

OPPORTUNITY | Church-run Universities in Rome launch a new online joint Diploma in Integral Ecology

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31/01 - Church-run Universities in Rome launch a new online joint Diploma in Integral Ecology, aiming to respond to “the unprecedented challenge facing the planet.” Admissions open up to 31/03/2024.

📝 Info & Registration

OPPORTUNITY | Web Academy on the ecological challenge

30/01 - The University Institute Sophia Web Academy organises the interdisciplinary course “The ecological challenge–Towards a new person-nature pact”. The course consists of 7 classes held in English to present the environmental problem as the result of an anthropological crisis.

📝 Info & Registration

EVENT | Presentation of a book of spiritual poems to be hosted at the COMECE Secretariat

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02/02 - The Secretariat of COMECE will host the presentation of the Spanish translation of the book 'Permanece en vela', collecting a series of spiritual poems written by Gilles Baudry. The translation was realised by Mari Sol Pérez Guevara. The event is open to the public and it will include a poetry recital and a Spanish wine tasting. Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto, General Secretary of COMECE, will participate in the event.

Next at COMECE

16 February
H.E. Mgr. Mariano Crociata will preside over the monthly Standing Committee meeting.

21 February
Fr. Manuel Barrios will celebrate the Holy Mass in the European Parliament at 8:30 (Room ASP 00H152).

21 February
Fr. Manuel Barrios will intervene as panelist in the EPP Group Conference "A Social Market Economy that cares".

19-21 February
H.E. Mgr. Aegidius Zsifkovics, Bishop of Eisenstadt, will visit Brussels to meet with various EU representatives. The visit will also be an occasion to meet with the staff of the Secretariat of COMECE. He will be accompanied by a group of Austrian journalists.

21-22 February
Adviser Alix de Wassaige will participate in the Conference "Future of work: rethinking workers' rights in the digital age" to be held by the European Trade Union Institute (ETUI).

22 February
COMECE will host the presentation of the Spanish translation of the book 'Permanece en vela' collecting a series of spiritual poems written by Gilles Baudry and trabslated by Mari Dol Pérez Guevara. The event is open to the public.

23-25 February
Adviser Emilio Dogliani will participate in the Congress on Catholic Education to be held in Madrid, Spain.

26 February
COMECE will host the yearly meeting of the Brussels-based Catholic organisations working with the EU institutions.

28 February
Adviser Alessandro Calcagno will participate in and contribute to the final conference "Shield Project" dedicated to the protection of places of worship in Europe.

29 February-1 March
H.E. Mgr. Theodorus C.M. Hoogenboom will preside over the COMECE Legal Affairs Commission. On this occasion, the members of the Commission will also visit the EU Court of Justice, Luxembourg, and exchange with some of its judges.

3 March
A group of young people from the Fondazione Regina Pacis (FRP) will visit the Secretariat of COMECE to learn more about COMECE's mission of dialogue with the EU institutions.

7 March
Monthly meeting of the COMECE Standing Committee. The meeting will be presided over by H.E. Mgr. Mariano Crociata.

The Catholic Church in the European Union

Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences
of the European Union