ROME, JUNE 11, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The council of European bishops’ conferences is gathering this weekend in Rome to reflect on the priesthood, the sexual abuse crisis, how the Church relates to civil authorities and the media, and ecclesial collaboration.
The 38th Meeting of the Secretaries-General of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences will continue through Sunday, and began with the participation of the secretaries-general in the vigil on Thursday of the closing Mass of the Year for Priests.
“In this way, the meeting hopes to be an occasion to reflect and celebrate, together with thousands of priests who have come from all over the world, on our ministry as priests and secretaries general of the Episcopal Conferences, and to represent, in a certain way, all the priests of our European countries,” Father Duarte da Cunha, secretary-general of the council, stated in a communiqué.
The meeting will be addressed by experts in the various themes to be discussed, including Msgr. Ettore Balestrero, under-secretary for Relations with States of the Secretariat of State, Msgr. Domenico Pompili, director of the National Office for Social Communications of the Italian episcopal conference, and Jesuit Father Federico Lombardi, director of the Vatican press office.
Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, and Msgr. Robert Deeley, secretary and collaborator, respectively, of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, will address the meeting on the sexual abuse crisis.
The meeting will conclude Sunday with a Mass said at the Church of St. Anthony the Portuguese in Rome.
Thirty-three episcopal conferences are members of the council, which has its headquarters in St. Gall, Switzerland. Cardinal Peter Erdo, archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, is president of the council.