24 May 2024

DECLARATION | Churches affirm role of Christian values in European politics and society

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17 May - As Europe prepares for the 2024 EU elections in June, representatives of various Churches gathered in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 15-17 May 2024 to highlight the role of Christian values in European politics and society amid growing secularisation. Mgr. Crociata stated: “Churches have the opportunity and responsibility of giving our societies the hope of not losing memory of the roots that bring life to the values which hold our communities together”. Press Release| Speeches [12] | Photo Gallery | Declaration: EN FR DE

DOCUMENT | COMECE-CEI open letter to the European Union

8 May - On the occasion of Europe Day and in view of the upcoming European elections, Mgr. Mariano Crociata, President of COMECE, and Card. Matteo Maria Zuppi, President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference (CEI), addressed an open letter to the European Union. Letter: EN | IT

NEWS | COMECE regrets conversion of Church of Saint Savior in Chora into a mosque: “Another major blow to Interreligious Dialogue”

23 May - The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) commented on Thursday, 23 May 2024, regarding the recent implentation of the decision by Turkish authorities to transform the Church of Saint Savior in Chora into a mosque. “This step further dilutes the historical roots of the Christian presence in the country. Any interreligious dialogue initiative promoted by Turkish authorities loses credibility”. Read the Press Release

REPORT & VIDEO | The Living Laudato Si’ European Survey, a first-of-its-kind initiative

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20 May - The European Laudato Si’ Alliance (ELSiA) unveiled the results of the ‘Living Laudato Si’ in Europe’ survey. The results of this groundbreaking initiative assess the impact of Pope Francis’ encyclical Laudato Si’ on ecological efforts by Catholic groups across Europe. Press Release| Watch the video of the press conference|Full Report

NEWS | Interreligious Dialogue highlighted as key to strengthening European democracies at Berlin CoE Conference

14 May - In the context of the conference titled “How can interreligious engagement help to re-invigorate the European democracies?” held in Berlin, Germany, on Tuesday, 14 May 2024, COMECE emphasised the positive role of religion, including interreligious dialogue, in strengthening the values that are foundational to democracy.
COMECE General Secretary Fr. Barrios Prieto remarked: “The Council of Europe and the European Union should engage more structurally with religious communities, not only during times of democratic backsliding, polarisation, and instrumentalisation of religion. Religions can offer, in these post-secular and post-true times, deep roots to the values that are the foundation of democracy, like the dignity of the human person, solidarity, respect for the other.” AgenSIR coverage | Press Release

VIDEO | Webinar on Religious Heritage and sustainable society is now available

6 May - The video recording of the online conference “Religious Heritage: an overlooked driver for a more sustainable and inclusive society” is now publicly available for viewing on the COMECE YouTube channel. The event was organised by COMECE, the Protestant Church in Germany (EKD) and the Future of Religious Heritage (FRH). Read the News | Watch the video

EVENT | International conference “The geopolitics of Higher Education”

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7 May - COMECE is delighted to invite you to participate in the international conference “The geopolitics of Higher Education” to take place at the COMECE Secretariat, Brussels, on Wednesday, 12 June 2024 from 9:30 to 17:00 (CET). This one-day event is organised by COMECE and the International Federation of Catholic Universities (FIUC) to explore how the changing geopolitical order is affecting the higher education sector at the global scale. The event will feature contribution from experts, stakeholders and representatives of the European Commission. Read the News | Register now by clicking here | Download the Programme

INTERVIEW | Ecclesia Magazine dedicates issue to EU, featuring extensive interviews with COMECE leadership

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22 May - In view of the upcoming European elections, Revista Ecclesia has published an issue focused on the European Union and the Catholic Church's mission of dialogue with EU institutions through COMECE. The issue features extensive interviews with COMECE President Mgr. Mariano Crociata and General Secretary Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto. These interviews are available in Spanish. Revista Ecclesia is owned by the Spanish Bishops' Conference. You can find the interviews here: https://Mgr. Crociata | Fr. Barrios Prieto

DOCUMENT | Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales publishes document on Catholic approach to arms control and disarmament

22 May - The International Affairs Department of the Catholic Bishops' Conference of England and Wales has issued 'Called to be Peacemakers,' a document on the Catholic approach to arms control, disarmament and the ethical use of weapons. COMECE is pleased to have contributed to this publication. We encourage policymakers and the broader public to read and share this document. Read the document

INTERVIEW | COMECE General Secretary on EU elections, youth, abortion and Churches' role in Europe

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15 May - The Spanish magazine Mundo Cristiano dedicates an issue to the European Union in light of the upcoming European elections. The issue features an interview with Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto, General Secretary of COMECE, who shares insights on the Church's mission of dialogue with EU institutions, particularly on topics such as youth, abortion, and the role of Churches in a secularized society. Read the full interview here

ARTICLE | Scientific Journal publishes COMECE article on climate crisis and the Catholic Social teaching perspective

16 May - The Journal for the Study of the Christian Church has recently published an article on Catholic Social Teaching's view of the climate crisis and political obstacles. The objective of this article is to explore some of the main obstacles for earnest and successful political engagement with the climate crisis. The article was written by Johannes Moravitz, COMECE Adviser on Ecology, Energy and Agriculture. We encourage you to read it. Read the article

EVENT | Governmental responsibility and personal ethos

24 May - In the framework of “European Future Talks” on “Values and Europe”, former President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy, will deliver a keynote on ‘Governmental Responsibility and Personal Ethos.’ The event will be held on Wednesday, 5 June 2024, from 18:00 to 20:00 (CET) at the Chapel for Europe, Brussels. More info

NEWS | Press officers of European Episcopates gather in Lisbon for CCEE annual meeting. Focus on Artificial Intelligence

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17 May - COMECE Press Officer Alessandro Di Maio participated in the Annual Meeting of Press Officers and Spokespersons of the Bishops' Conferences in Europe, organized by CCEE in Lisbon, Portugal. During the meeting, Di Maio updated the Bishops' Conferences communication experts on COMECE's initiatives in preparation for the 2024 European Parliament elections, as well as in the areas of Artificial Intelligence, EU media policies and communication. The conference also featured the participation of Mgr. Nuno Brás da Silva Martins, President of the CCEE Commission on Social Communication and Vice-President of COMECE, and Paolo Ruffini, Prefect of the Dicastery for Communication. The programme of the conference also included a pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Fatima. More info

INTERVIEW | COMECE initiatives ahead of the 2024 EU elections

8 May - Rome-based newspaper Città Nuova interviewed COMECE press officer, Alessandro Di Maio, and adviser Emilio Dogliani about some of the EU Bishops' recent initiatives ahead of the 2024 elections of the European Parliament. Read more

NEWS | Exchange on opportunities, challenges and risks of AI

22 May - Our general secretary Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto and adviser Friederile Ladenburger received a delegation from the AI Faith & Civil Society Commission. Together, they discussed the opportunities, challenges and risks of Artificial Intelligence and the need to unite leaders from faith and civil society to promote more regulation of AI.

Next at COMECE

23 May
COMECE Annual Data Protection experts meeting to be presided over by H.E. Mgr. Theodorus C.M. Hoogenboom.

24 May
COMECE hosts studying day of European Schools coordinators.

27 May
Meeting of the COMECE Standing Committee to be presided over by H.E. Mgr. Mariano Crociata.

28 May
ELSiA virtual Assembly.

29 May
Meeting of the COMECE ad-hoc working group on the Future of Work.

29 May-2 June
COMECE General Secretary, Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto, will participate in the Deutscher Katholikentag to take place in Erfurt, Germany.

3-4 June
Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto, General Secretary of COMECE, will participate in the European Jewish Association Annual Conference in Amsterdam. He will contribute to the discussion on Freedom of Religion.

4 June
COMECE adviser Alessandro Calcagno will participate in the 12th meeting of the EU Forum on the Protection of Public Spaces.

5 June
Event on Governmental responsibility and personal ethos to take place art the Chapel for Europe. More info

12 June
International conference “The geopolitics of Higher Education”. Info & Registration

The Catholic Church in the European Union

Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences
of the European Union