The second day of the European Catholic Social Days was devoted to the theme of digital and ecological transition. Now in this third edition, the days are organised jointly by the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union.
At the beginning of the day, CCEE and COMECE, together with the Slovak Bishops’ Conference which is hosting the initiative in Bratislava, presented a joint statement welcoming the call of Pope Francis to consecrate Russia and Ukraine to the Immaculate Heart of Mary as well as asking all bishops across Europe to join the initiative.
In the morning session, Bishop Paul Tighe, secretary of the Pontifical Council for Culture, addressed the issue of new technologies and their impact on morality and culture. In particular, he highlighted how new technological developments, especially those involving artificial intelligence, require new pastoral and moral responses.
This theme was also central to the panel that followed the keynote address. Sarah Prenger, president of the International Young Workers Movement, addressed in particular the issue of the transformation of working life by and with new technologies. The same theme was addressed by Ulrich Hemel, president of the Federation of Catholic Entrepreneurs, who spoke about the impact of new technologies, as well as by Miriam Lexmann, member of the European Parliament’s Committee on Employment and Social Affairs.
During the debate, particular attention was given to the Call for an AI Ethics, promoted by the Pontifical Academy for Life in 2020 and signed by several international institutions.
In the afternoon debate, Catholic Non-Governmental Organisations were called upon to contribute. The initial presentation was made by Daniel Guéry, from the French Bishops’ Conference and coordinator of the platform of Catholic NGOs accredited at the Council of Europe.
The topic of ecological transition was addressed from various perspectives. The keynote address was given by Helga Kromp-Kolb, emeritus head of the Centre for Global Change and Sustainability at the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences.
Then, the discussion included Monsignor Bohdan Dzyurakh, from the Ukrainian Greek-Catholic Church; Marie Lavall, International President of the International Federation of Catholic Parochial Action Movements; and Philippe Lamberts, co-president of the European Parliament’s group of the Greens/European Free Alliance.
You can download the programme, speeches, contributions, videos and photos from the official event website: www.catholicsocialdays.eu