The 41st Meeting of the Secretaries General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE) will convene this afternoon in Warsaw, Poland to discuss the state of the European continent as well as reflecting on “the theme of Christian proclamation in the Year of Faith.” The four day meeting will discuss the mission of the Church in Europe in the light of the Post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Ecclesia in Europa” which was released on June 28th, 2003.
A communique released by the CCEE stated that the “Secretaries of 33 Catholic Bishops’ Conferences in Europe will focus on lights and shadows of the current crisis that is affecting the European continent and is challenging the Church in her mission to proclaim the Gospel.”
“The point is showing that Jesus is today the source of hope for man and for Europe as Blessed John Paul II wrote in Ecclesia in Europa”, Msgr. Duarte da Cunha, CCEE General Secretary, said.
“Many people today think they can live without faith. This is what our secular culture wants us to believe. But nobody thinks that it is possible to live without hope! It is becoming almost impossible to imagine a world, a life devoid of hope.”
“The proclamation of the faith in Jesus Christ,” he continued, “which is the very heart of the new evangelization, is also an offer of hope to the world. Faith and hope are in fact intimately connected. In short, man is called to choose in what he can put his hope: in a technical and juridical approach to economy that is never able to give rise to a lively human society? Or in the paradox of gratuitous love, which is a gift of our hope placed in Jesus that breaks down all forms of national and personal self-interest, that includes the other person as a friend and not as a competitor, and gives value to any life? With its many activities, real signs of hope, the Church in Europe seeks to make visible the presence of Jesus and show how, even today, you can find Him.”
Also participating at the meeting will be Fr. Raymond O’Toole, Secretary of the Federation of the Asian Catholic Bishops Conferences (FABC), and Fr. Peter Felet, Secretary of the Assembly of Catholic Bishops of the Holy Land. Both are expected to brief the participants of the meeting on the current situation of Christians in their respective areas.
The meeting of the secretaries generals will conclude with a Mass in the Cathedral of Warsaw which will be celebrated by Archbishop Celestino Migliore, Apostolic Nuncio to Poland.