16:53 - CZECH REPUBLIC: OUTCOMES OF THE PLENARY OF THE BISHOPS CONFERENCE
(Sir Europe - Bratislava) - Approval of the Military and Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus as a private Christian association and establishment of the Commission for Caritas Czech Republic consisting of three bishops: these were among the topics discussed at the plenary session of the Czech Bishops Conference on 24-25 April. The prelates also discussed progress concerning preparation of the program of new religious education and formation of youth in parishes. Among the most significant events of the upcoming weeks will be the official opening of the Holy Year of St. Cyril and Methodius, due to take place on 25 May in Rome, with the Eucharistic celebration in the Basilica of St. Praxedes presided over by cardinal Péter Erdö, president of the Council of European Bishops Conferences (CCEE), in the presence of bishops and representatives from various countries. Afterwards, the bishops focused on the 100th anniversary of the Pontifical Mission Societies, stressing that last years collections aimed at helping children from poor countries amounted to 8 million CZK (320,000 EUR). Finally, participants in the plenary session agreed to publish the Word of bishops regarding the situation in Czech society in the near future.