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Ukraine, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Ireland
Ukraine: UGCC strategy of development
The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church (UGCC) has great prospects in the eastern part of Ukraine and, therefore, regular development of its parishes in the region should be ensured. This opinion was expressed by the head of the UGCC, His Beatitude Sviatoslav Shevchuk, during his visit to the Donetsk-Kharkiv Exarchate on 16 May. According to his words, next year’s Synod of Bishops of the UGCC will be held in Kyiv and its main theme will be the life of the Church in the east of Ukraine. “We must think about systematic development of the UGCC in the context of the Church Development Strategy adopted for the period until 2020”, said His Beatitude, affirming that the Donetsk-Kharkiv Exarchate is the most developed of all exarchates, having “tremendous prospects”. Patriarch Sviatoslav noted the importance of the pastoral address to the clergy, monastic orders and the laity of the UGCC entitled “Living the Parish as the Place of Meeting with the Living Christ” and explained that a group of experts led by bishop Ken Nowakowski of New Westminster, Canada, has been established to supervise the implementation of the development strategy. Within this project, special attention will be paid to the formation of seminary students in a missionary spirit.
Slovakia: media projects related to evangelization
The Council for Social Communication of the Bishops’ Conference of Slovakia offers possibility to apply for grants for media projects related to the topic of evangelization. Their content should be oriented to the support of Catholic media and their work, media education, professional trainings, seminars and conferences. Selected projects will be supported from the collection taking place traditionally on the 7th Sunday of Easter in all Catholic parishes of the country. Last year, the Council distributed more than 172,000 €, supporting the complete Slovak edition of the movie Jesus of Nazareth by Franco Zeffirelli; a documentary about the work of artist and director of Centro Aletti in Rome, Marko Rupnik; a Lenten project for the Slovak youth; translation of the Holy Scripture on the internet; and a project of Christian mobile cinema. The deadline for submitting applications is 30 August 2012. Apart from the detailed description of the future project and its financial budget, the Council requires recommendation by a competent local Church authority. For more information: www.tkkbs.sk[>>].
Czech Republic: academy of canon law in brno
A new institution of the Catholic Church has been established in Brno, Czech Republic: the Academy of Canon Law. The creation of the Academy was initiated by Mons. Vojtech Cikrle, bishop of Brno, with the aim to provide professional help to the faithful working in ecclesiastical courts or performing activities regarding other disciplines of the canon law. The Academy will offer the chance to study this subject in various programs and its founders hope it will raise the level of education in this area and provide spiritual guidance as well. “This project is based on our conviction that canon law has an irreplaceable position in the life of the Church and plays the role described by Pope Paul VI as ‘diaconia of law’”, explains Mons. Karel Orlita, judicial vicar of the Diocesan Ecclesiastical Court in Brno and president of the newly established Academy. According to his words, this service, embodied in the Code of Canon Law, thus becomes “an instrument of growth for the ecclesiastical community towards holiness in concrete dimensions of everyday life”. Currently, the Academy cooperates with the Catholic University of Lublin (Poland) on the program of postgraduate study of the canon law. For more information: http://akademie.biskupstvi.cz/[>>].
Ireland: the stone that commemorates the abuse at Dublin 2012
During the opening ceremony for the International Eucharistic Congress in Dublin, due to take place from 10 to 17 June (www.iec2012.ie[>>]) at the Royal Dublin Society, the “Healing stone” will be unveiled to commemorate the victims of the sex abuse. The granite stone has been carved with a prayer composed by someone who suffered such abuse. In an official notice from the congress organisers, father Kevin Doran, secretary general of the event, stated that: “Stone speaks of permanence”: “To say something is ‘carved in stone’ is to say that it is here to stay rather than just a passing thought. The stone represents the firm determination to work for healing and renewal”. The secretary added that, “for many who have experienced abuse, either themselves or to a member of their family, the pain of abuse can sometimes be like a stone weighing heavily on them. It is a stone that, in some way or other needs to be rolled back so that they can be set free”. Father Doran added: “It is planned that after the Congress, the Stone will be given a more permanent home on an accessible site, where people can pause and pray, and so that there will be a permanent public reminder of our need never to take safeguarding for granted”.