England: three-year plan of bishops
They call it "National Vocations Framework" and it is the three-year plan that the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales has promoted, in order to help young people discover their vocation. The announcement was made by Father Christopher Jamison, Director of the National Office for Vocations, as part of the annual assembly of bishops held in Leeds last weekend. The project has been inspired by the question posed by Benedict XVI to teenagers and college students during his visit to England in 2010, "What kind of person would you be?". To answer this question, the "National Vocations Framework" will give every young Catholic person who is interested the opportunity to be part of a group of discernment and to have access, in the parish, to a spiritual guide to help him/her find his/her vocation. "The Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales wants to focus on young people, so often unjustly criticized by the media”, said the Archbishop of Southwark and Vice-President of the Catholic Bishops‘ Conference of England and Wales, Mgr. Peter Smith, recalling that 3,000 young people met the Pope during his trip, and 8,000 more gathered for a festival last month. For the first time, the Pontifical Nuncio, Mgr. Antonio Mennini, took part in the plenary meeting of Leeds. In his speech he stressed the need for dialogue with the secular world as well as for more cooperation between Jews and Muslims in defence of life and marriage. The Nuncio also encouraged the bishops to generously support the personal Ordinariate of Our Lady of Walsingham, created in 2011 by the Pope to allow Anglicans to become Catholic while keeping some elements of their own liturgy. He also expressed words of appreciation for the Queen, who is celebrating 60 years of Kingdom: "In everything she does, especially in her Christmas messages, she demonstrates the Christian faith inspiring her", said the Nuncio.Ukraine: honour to metropolitan Sheptytskyi
The House of Commons of Canada has recently unanimously recognized the activity of metropolitan Andrey Sheptytskyi (1865 – 1944), former head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, during the World War II as an example “of devotion to the basic human rights”. The proposal to distinguish the activity of the leader of the largest religious community of the Western Ukraine was submitted to the Parliament by the Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism of Canada, Jason Kenney. The members of Canadian Parliament noted that “at the darkest time of the history of Europe, during the mass murder of Jews and the Nazi occupation, metropolitan Shetytskyi spoke loudly against violence in his sermons “Thou shall not kill”. Thanks to his efforts, more than 160 Jews were rescued, one of whom was present at the session of the House of Commons of Canada when the decision was passed.Czech Republic: bishops on the ECHR decision
The Czech Bishops’ Conference joins its voice to those of representatives of Churches and religious societies in Europe regarding the decision No. 2330/09 delivered by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) on 31 January. The Court’s decision condemned the state of Romania for having refused, according to its system of law, to register an association “Păstorul cel Bun”, which had been established by several clergymen and laymen of the Romanian Orthodox Church despite the disagreement of the hierarchy and contrary to the internal regulations of the Romanian Orthodox Church. “In contradiction with the practice of courts, the Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights preferred the right of an association to the right of the Romanian Orthodox Church to independent administration of its internal matters”, reads the statement, affirming that “without respect for the Church hierarchy the ecclesial ministry lacks its raison d’être”. The Czech Bishops’ Conference hopes that the ECHR will reconsider the case, so that all aspects may be “taken into account properly”.Slovakia: archaeological discoveries to the Vatican Museums
The Vatican Museums plan to exhibit Slavonic archaeological discoveries from Slovakia. “The idea was brought forth last year upon discussion of our ambassador to the Holy See, Jozef Dravecký, with representatives of the Slovak Ministry of Culture and director of the Vatican Museums Antonio Paolucci”, explains Matej Ruttkay from the Archaeological Institute in Nitra, emphasizing that discoveries from Bojna represent “a significant proof of the beginning of Christianization in Europe”. According to the website www.sita.sk
, the exhibition should take place in 2013 in the Raphael´s Rooms, on the occasion of the 1150th anniversary of SS. Cyril and Methodius’ arrival to the region of Great Moravia. Visitors will have the opportunity to see ancient plaquettes and bells from the 9th century, articles of common use decorated with crosses, as well as precious historical documents. “The scenario of the exhibit has already been prepared and submitted to the Vatican Museums’ authorities. This year we deal with architectonic studies and we are awaiting final confirmation of the exhibition”, concludes Matej Ruttkay.