The Plenary Assembly of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences begins this afternoon with a speech by the CCEE President, Archbishop Gintaras GRUŠAS. The Assembly, held in Malta from 27 to November 30, is entitled: “New steps for a Synodal Church in Europe”. The work of the bishops will be articulated around three main guidelines: updates on the Synod, the relationship between the Synod and the supranational structures, and the update of the Charta Œcumenica, the joint document of cooperation between the Christian confessions in Europe signed in 2001 by CCEE and CEC.
The Assembly will begin on the afternoon of November 27 with the greeting of the Archbishop of Malta, Charles J. SCICLUNA, and Archbishop Savio HON TAI – FAI SDB, Apostolic Nuncio. Cardinal Pierbattista PIZZABALLA, Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, will also provide an update on the situation in the Holy Land via video call from Jerusalem. Then, Archbishop Gintaras GRUŠAS will give the keynote speech. The day will end with the Eucharistic celebration and Vespers in the Co-Cathedral of St John the Baptist.
On November 28, Cardinal Mario GRECH, General Secretary of the Synod, will provide a report on the Synod, which will be further discussed in working groups. In the afternoon, Cardinal Robert Francis PROVOST OSA, Prefect of the Dicastery for Bishops, will address the Assembly. It is the first time that the Cardinal, recently appointed at the helm of the Dicastery, will participate in the work of the CCEE. Then, Cardinal Grzegorz RYŚ, Archbishop of Łódź and member of the group for updating the Charta Œcumenica, will report on the steps forward for updating the Charta.
On November 29, Cardinal Jean-Claude HOLLERICH, General Relator of the XVI Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops, will give a talk on the relationship between supranational structures and synodality for a new missionary impetus of the Church in Europe.
The Assembly will end on November 30 with speeches from Bishop Mariano CROCIATA, COMECE President, and from Monsignor Marco GANCI, Observer of the Holy See to the Council of Europe. There will be, as usual, a final message from the Presidency.