The Church in a pluralist Europe
45th Meeting of the Secretaries General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences in Europe
Bucharest, Romania, June 30 - July 3, 2017
What role for the Church in a "plural" Europe? In the current European context, marked by social, cultural, political, and economic pluralism, the Secretaries General of the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences in Europe will discuss, during this four-day meeting in Bucharest, the mission of the Church on the Continent, identifying challenges and sharing their experiences.
Works will be opened in the afternoon of June 30 by the Secretary General of CCEE, Msgr. Duarte da Cunha, and by the Secretary General of the Romanian Catholic Bishops' Conference, Don Francisc Ungureanu. The opening session speakers will include the Latin Metropolitan Archbishop of Bucharest, H.EX. Msgr. Ioan Robu, the Greek-Catholic bishop of the capital city, H.EX. Msgr. Mihai Fraţilă, and the Apostolic Nuncio for Romania and the Republic of Moldova, H.EX. Msgr. Miguel Maury Buendía. In addition to a presentation of the Church in Romania, in the year of the 10th anniversary of the Third European Ecumenical Assembly in Sibiu, the afternoon will be devoted to the theme of the meeting, The role of the Church, and specifically of the Catholic Bishops' conferences, in a pluralist Europe, introduced by Prof. Daniel Barbu, professor at the Faculty of Political Sciences of the University of Bucharest.
During the meeting, the discussion of the main theme will be articulated through sharing times in plenary and in working groups around the various experiences of the Catholic Bishops' Conferences in their relations to political and civil institutions in their respective countries.
Subsequently, the meeting will provide moments of sharing on some of the topical issues, particularly in the areas of the family and migrants pastoral care; the preparation of the Catholic Bishops' conferences for the forthcoming Synod on Young People; child protection in the Church; dialogue with Muslims; and, finally, ecumenical dialogue.
On the evening of Saturday, July 1, the Secretaries General will attend a prayer vigil with young people in the parish church of Santa Maria Regina in Cioplea, Bucharest.
On Sunday, July 2, after the Eucharistic celebration in the Latin cathedral church of Bucharest, presided over by Msgr. Robu, the Secretaries General will visit the children's homes in Singureni and Voluntari, a church under construction for the community South of Bucharest, and Prison Jilava – the place of martyrdom of blessed Vladimir Ghika and other witnesses of the faith. In the afternoon, the meeting will continue with reports on CCEE and Comece activities.
The works will end on Monday, July 3rd. The meeting will be held behind closed doors. A final press release will be released on Tuesday, July 4.