- Europe english
Portugal, Germany, Austria
Portugal: Social communication day
Soul-searching as the basis for “a stronger Christian message” will be the core theme of the 46th World Social Communication day, organized by the Portuguese Catholic Church on May 10th. To give more emphasis to the theme “Silence and Word: Path of Evangelization” proposed by Benedict XVI, National Secretariat Director of Social Communication, João Aguiar Campos, announced the event will be hosted in “an appropriate venue for silence like the Clarisse Monastery in Lisbon”. According to the priest “the Pope’s message is an enormous challenge: in a society immersed by noise and information with little time dedicated to deep reflection it is difficult to provide tin-depth communication”. “One of the evils of our time” -he added -”is we live especially through actions and reaction, assertions and comments; all unravels quickly, and the word is often shallow, devoid of any true meaning”. The theme is already on the agenda of days of National Communication, scheduled for November 27-28, but also an Iberian Meeting of Episcopal Commissions for Social Communications in Fatima from June 25th to 27th , dedicated to “Media: doors to faith”. “Portuguese and Spanish bishops must take advantage of potential means of communication to involve those who stand outside church parvises: the radio, television, the internet by presenting a religious aspect to life can become doors to faith for many people”, concluded the canonical João Aguiar Campos.
Germany: youth and dignity of human life
“The value of awareness and dignity of human life are daily challenges”. Msgr. Robert Zollitsch , president of the German Episcopal Conference (Dbk) said at the end of the ”Week for Life” organized in Germany from April 21st to 28th. Msgr. Zollitsch acknowledged the commitment of dioceses and Catholic and Evangelic communities to the event. “For more than 20 years, the Week for Life has been the most important ecumenical initiative carried out by the two Churches and is now more current than ever”, the bishop claimed. The initiative organized by Dbk together with the Evangelical Church in Germany (Ekd) included a series of events to raise the public opinion’s awareness on this topic. This year’s event was centered on inter-relational solidarity: Msgr. Zollitsch emphasized the role grandparents play in the family, “by promoting, even due to changes in living patterns and parent’s increased professional commitments, a better society for children”: “Encouraging youngsters to have confidence in the future and build a family – he concluded is a challenge for society as a whole”.
Austria: presents “Long night of the Churches”
An ecumenical prayer in Vienna scheduled for June 1st will start the “Long night of the Churches” 2012. The announcement was made a couple of days ago by the Catholic Austrian press agency Kathpress, adding that the inauguration, scheduled in Vienna’s Greek-Orthodox Cathedral at 6 pm, will be attended by metropolitan Arsenios Kardamakis and representatives from the capital’s Christian Churches. Card. Christoph Schönborn, president of the Austrian Episcopal Conference and archbishop of Vienna will attend the ceremony. The eighth edition of the “Long Night of the Churches” includes many events: discussions, guided visits to Churches open all night, concerts, exegetics lessons and ecumenical functions. Austrian federal president Heinz Fischer prepared a speech highlighting how “through this precious and topical event Christian Churches take a step towards today’s people”, a gesture that deserves “praise and acknowledgement. “ Notwithstanding bad weather conditions 310,000 people attended last year’s edition. The initiative is promoted by all Churches and Christian communities represented by Örkö, the Ecumenical Council of Churches in Austria.