COMECE participates in the High-Level Meeting of EU and Religious Leaders hosted by the European Commission on Friday 27 January 2023 to share perspectives on how to address the wide-ranging consequences of the war in Ukraine in the European Union. Cardinal Hollerich: “the contribution of Churches is and should be considered an essential ingredient for advancing in EU policies promoting the common good”.
H.E. Mgr. Antoine Hérouard (Archbishop of Dijon) and H.E. Mgr. Cyril Vasil’ (Archbishop of the Greek-Catholic Eparchy of Košice) participated in the meeting on behalf of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE).
From the onset of the Russian aggression against Ukraine, Mgr. Vasil’ and his Church community have been among the first
Slovak responders to the refugees fleeing from the horrors of the war, offering humanitarian and spiritual support.
During the meeting with the European Commission, Mgr. Vasil’ emphasised the role of Churches as “frontline operational field actors in the provision of humanitarian assistance in many critical areas in the world, including Ukraine and neighboring countries”.
Based on his grassroots experience in Eastern Slovakia, he pleaded for EU’s continued support for
“voluntary engagement of individuals and organisations committed to accompanying the most vulnerable coming from Ukraine”.
Mgr. Hérouard, who is the President of the COMECE Social Affairs Commission, dwelt on the socio-economic impacts of the war in Ukraine on EU societies. He reiterated the Catholic Church’s call on the European Union and its Member States “to policies aimed at achieving concrete solidarity towards the most fragile members of our societies, persons and families who are unable, or have great difficulties, to meet their basic needs due to rising prices, especially energy and food prices”.
The High-Level Meeting between EU and Religious Leaders is an annual occasion of exchange based on Article 17 of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), which foresees an open, transparent and regular dialogue between the EU institutions and Churches.
Due to its deep roots in the social fabric of each EU Member State, the Catholic Church is firmly committed to further strengthening the dialogue process together with its ecumenical partners.
In this context, the President of COMECE, H.Em. Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ, highlighted that “the contribution of Churches is and should be considered an essential ingredient for advancing EU policies promoting the common good”.
Interviews to be published here this evening