While extremists are trying to spread divisions in our streets, London faith communities are united in this very difficult time. With those words, for SIR Europe, Catholic Primate Msgr. Vincent Nichols comments the murder of a soldier in the Woolwich quarter, South East of London, by two men who are said to have shouted Islamic slogans. The President of the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales supported also a press release published by Faiths Forum for London, association for promoting interreligious dialogue, including representatives of the nine religious communities of London, local authorities, business world and the academic world. As representatives of many religions present in London, we deplore the terrible attack of Woolwich, it is written in the press release signed by representatives of the Catholic Church, the Anglican Church, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu and Hebrew communities, and of the Baptist Church. All our religions emphasize the holiness of human life, and no injustice will justify such a barbarian assault, for which a young man lost his life. Terrorism has no place in our streets. Launched in 2010, the purpose of the Forum is improving relations between different religious traditions with meetings and moments of prayer, above all, in relation to cases of extremism.
During the Week of Hope promoted by COMECE, discussion will focus on issues such as the presence of believers in society today, the cohabitation of different faiths, the public role of women, persecution and martyrdom, and service to the poor and the marginalised. Other topics to be addressed are education, economy, the fight against crime, and migration. Each one of these aspects will be illustrated through the presentation of several figures of saints and blessed of the Catholic Church, from Fr. Jerzy Popieluszko (Poland) to Hildegard Burjan (Austria), from Pedro Poveda (Spain) to Fr. Pino Puglisi (Italy), passing through Hildegard of Bingen (Germany) and John Henry Newman (England). The Week will end on 27 June with a Mass at the church of Notre Dame du Sablon. For more information: www.comece.org.
(Sir Europe - Brussels) - A Week of Hope at the heart of the European quarter in Brussels: the proposal comes from the Commission of the Bishops Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) which is holding a dense agenda of events, from 23 to 27 June, to mark the 10th anniversary of the publication (on 29 June 2003) of John Paul IIs Apostolic Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa, a milestone in the Churchs magisterium on evangelisation and the Christian presence in the Old Continent. Hence the invitation of COMECE bishops: Today, in the light of the current crisis, scepticism and doubt sometimes seem to dominate. However, looking back at what we have achieved in Europe, we should all remain hopeful Europeans. In the European Year of Citizenship, the bishops invite each citizen to transmit their hopes through their individual work and commitment, by joining the Week of Hope. The events will kick off on Sunday, 23 June, with an opening Mass at the Chapel of the Resurrection. Then, from Monday 24 to Thursday 27, there will be three meetings a day: Start your Day, in the morning, with a moment of prayer; Have a Break, at around midday, with an appetising debate; and Finish your Day, in the evening, with an exchange of views. (continued)
The European Court of Human Rights updated its site (www.echr.coe.int) yesterday, to grant users an easier access, and to give them a wider range of information relating to its organisation, activities and law. It is a site with a new conception, it is written in a note, with characteristics including innovative search options, more dynamic news feeds, and more exhaustive information on the Court and the Judgement Register. The site will be regularly updated and further functions will be added or developed in the next few months. Internet is the crucial element of the information activities of the Court and is the main vehicle to spread information to the general public, the greatest possible, declared President of the Strasburg body Dean Spielmann. Fostering access to the law of the Court, for experts, judges, lawyers, academicians, as well as the general public - he said - will increase the standards of human rights in all the countries in which the European Convention is applied, and beyond their borders, too. In 2012 the visitors of the site were over 5 million.
(SIR Europe - Brussels) - Migration and mobility are sustainable development essential driving forces, but world cooperation should increase. UN high level dialogue of last October is an extraordinary chance to foster development and migration world programme, and to promote concrete measures improving the lives of migrants: European Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström explains the meaning of a document of the EU Commission on migration and development to define a EU common position with a view to dialogue on this theme, set up by the UN general assembly next 3 and 4 October. They will talk about migration governance, inclusive governance based on rights, with the aim of promoting the role of migrants as innovation and development agents, too. In particular, the Commission points out a few elements: acknowledging migration as development factor; respecting the dignity of migrants, and defending their fundamental rights; drawing attention to the connections of climate changes, environmental decline and migration; acknowledging the challenges posed to cities by urbanisation increase; strengthening migration governance through bilateral and regional cooperation, involving civil society as well; encouraging workers mobility on regional and international level.