The Presidents of the 34 Bishops’ Conferences in Europe, which make up the Council of European Episcopal Conferences (CCEE), are to meet in Vilnius, Lithuania, from 2-5 October.
Bearing in mind the post-synodal document Ecclesia in Europa, published on 28 June 2003, the Bishops will examine the present-day challenges facing the Church in Europe.
The first day will be devoted to socio-political and international questions: Europe, the relationship between Europe and the other continents, the enlargement of the Union, and the Constitutional Treaty. The basic question will be: in view of the European make-up, what will be the Church’s contribution to the general world view?
By coincidence, the assembly of European Bishops will take place at the same time as the Meeting of Head of States and Governments for the opening of the Inter-governmental Conference to review the Treaties (Rome, Saturday 4 October): this coincidence is a sign that Europe is growing and developing thanks to a multiplicity of vital institutes. And so the Churches hope that as soon as possible – as foreseen by the present Article 51 of the Convention – appropriate ways and means will be developed for “an open, transparent and regular dialogue” between political and religious institutions.
In the document Ecclesia in Europa the Pope’s call to European Christians was to “give Europe hope once again”. For CCEE this means facilitating dialogue and sharing: with the world of culture, with other churches, other religions (in particular with Islam). In recent years Bishops’ Conferences have also collaborated with the means of social communication, and on human mobility and environmental issues. As well as themes linked to evangelisation, the Bishops will be discussing these at Vilnius.
The Plenary Assembly will end with Mass celebrated in Vilnius Cathedral on Sunday 5 October 2003. A News Release will be published at the end of the meeting on 6 October.
St Gallen, 19 September 2003
Venue: the Plenary Assembly will take place at St Joseph’s Seminary in Vilnius (Kalvariju g. 325, LT – 2021 Vilnius. Tel. ++ 370 / 5 / 270 16 02, Fax. ++ 370 / 5 / 271 22 50).
News Conference: there will be a News Conference on Friday 3 October at 1230 at St Joseph’s Seminary in Vilnius (Kalvariju g. 325, LT – 2021 Vilnius. Tel. ++ 370 / 5 / 270 16 02, Fax. ++ 370 / 5 / 271 22 50).
For further information:
- St Gallen: CCEE Secretariat, Tel. ++ 41 / 71 / 227 3374, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Vilnius: Mgr. Gintaras Grusas, Tel. ++ 370 / 5 / 21 25 455, LVK@takas.It
The Council of European Bishops' Conferences (CCEE) consists of the Presidents of the 34 Bishops' Conferences in Europe. The president is Bishop Amédée Grab of Chur, and the vice-presidents are Archbishop Josip Bozanic of Zagreb and Cardinal Cormac Murphy-O'Connor, Archbishop of Westminster. The secretary general is Mgr. Aldo Giordano. The secretariat is in St. Gallen, Switzerland (www.ccee.ch).
Information of the Lithuanian Bishops’ Conference