France, Ukraine, London, Kek

France: the Churches, solidarity to migrants “In our capacities as leaders of the Christian Churches of France we want to encourage the faithful of our communities to persevere in their solidarity towards migrants”. These are the opening words of the joint appeal to the French Christian communities drawn up the presidents of the French Bishops’ Conference, of the Protestant Federation and of the Orthodox Bishops’ Assembly. The message – undersigned by cardinal André Vingt-Trois, by Rev. Claude Baty, and by Metropolitan Emmanuel – was released on the same day in which the Parliament was debating the draft law on migration. “Today – the bishops write in their message – given the tragic situations faced by migrants, there is no room for prejudice. There ought to be a change of mentality accompanied by joint solidarity with all those displaced from their homelands and seeking our hospitality. And despite the challenges of society, we hereby reaffirm that the migrant is a human person possessing inalienable and fundamental rights. We must change our outlook; we must experience mutual sharing with those who suffer and not remain silent before injustices. This is the path we must undertake. “What you have done to one of these small ones… you did to me”. Christian Church leaders ended their message with an encouragement to all those committed in providing assistance and care to migrants within Christian associations, voicing concerns regarding “the possibility of emendations to the draft law on migration which – according to local workers – could have serious repercussions on the respect of the rights of migrant citizens living in France”. Ukraine: ecumenical Social Week in Lviv On October 4-10 took place the Third Ecumenical Social Week organized by the Institute for Ecumenical Studies of the Ukrainian Catholic University in cooperation with the Polytecnics of Lviv, the urban municipality and regional institutions. The theme of this year’s meeting was “Faith, responsibility, philanthropy”. Experts from Ukraine and from abroad attended the meeting. Amongst them figure the director of the World Bank for Ukraine, Belarus and Moldova Martin Raiser; the head of the supervising Council of ‘Ukraine 3000′ Kateryna Yushchenko; the vice-president for international relations of the Social Weeks of France Bernard Chenevez, and the representatives of the embassies of France, Canada and United States in Ukraine, along with Christian Church delegations. In his address Martin Raiser underlined: “in post- socialist Countries the lack of faith is due to a long period of tension caused by the fierce activity of the KGB and related institutions. An individual could have faith only in himself. But faith is extended to others – explained the director of the World Bank for Ukraine -: it is one of the critical elements of the social capital concept, which can explain excellent financial output of entire societies and economies”. Mark Hardy, chairman of non-profit administrative programs of the Notre Dame University (United States), broached the question of fidelity in business and media conditioning. He noted that prevailing positive reviews on the free press could attract investors’ attention. “The rule of the law and a strong State ought to be enforced. But it’s equally important to have free press, capable of controlling businesses’ ethical behaviors”, the expert remarked. London: a survey for women bishops The Anglican Church of England announced the names of the members of the working group tasked with assisting the Committee set up by the Chamber of Bishops for the preparation of a draft statute providing for women bishops’ ordination. The working group – consisting of 8 people – was asked to conclude their survey by next fall. It is therefore to be expected that the draft article will be examined in February 2012. In its statement the Anglican Church points out that the final version of the article cannot be drawn up by the Chamber and approved by the Synod until the regulation undergoes royal endorsement (namely, not before 2013).Kek: recognition to metropolitan Emmanuel Viorel Ionita, Secretary General ad Interim of the Conferences of European Churches (CEC-KEK) conveyed heartfelt congratulations on behalf of the European body to Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, KEK president, for the appointment of the title of Knight of the Order of the Legion of Honor, conferred by the president of the French Senate, Gérard Larcher, on behalf of the President of the French Republic past October 6. Metropolitan Emmanuel is the titular Bishop of the Greek-Orthodox Metropolis of France. The ceremony took place in the Luxembourg Palace in Paris with the participation of Parliament members, official representatives and diplomats of the Churches in France.

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