Bishops’ conference, Czech Republic, Poland

Family: European bishops at work for the synod European Bishops’ Conferences at work to disseminate as much as possible the questionnaire that the secretariat of the Synod has sent, last October, to world bishops, in preparation for the Synod assembly on the family which will be held in the Vatican from 5 to October 2014. The Swiss Bishops’ Conference invites Catholics “to send proposals, criticisms and expectations on these issues”, involving also “family members and partners (regardless of their confession or religion)”. In accordance with the President of the Swiss Bishops Conference (CVS), Msgr. Markus Büchel, bishop of St. Gallen, an online consultation has been compiled by the Institute of pastoral Sociology (SPI) of St. Gallen. The Institute will analyze the responses and will send the results of their analysis to the Bishops’ Conference. The bishops of Belgium, instead, rely on the Catholic media for the dissemination of the questionnaire. In fact, the websites and Kerknet will post the questionnaire (already online 8 November) published by the newspapers “Dimanche” and “Kerk en Leven” on November 27. Responses can be sent to the secretariat of the Belgian Bishops Conference by email which will then be analyzed with the help of experts in pastoral theology. The bishops invited to participate specifying, however, that “it is not a public poll” but rather useful material to inspire the bishops. The English Bishops’ Conference was probably the first to publish the questionnaire on the website, while Irish bishops on November 6 invited Irish Catholics to submit their answers to the diocesan Offices. Czech Republic: special edition of the Bible 110 illustrations by 11 Czech and Slovakian artists will enrich a special edition of the Bible for the Jubilee of Sts. Cyril and Methodius in two versions published simultaneously in the Czech Republic and in Slovakia. A public presentation was held a few days ago in Prague to the presence of Cardinal Dominik Duka, president of the Czech Bishops’ Conference, a promoter of the project in support of “dialogue between the Biblical message and contemporary art”. “There aren’t many nations, like ours, that have such a wide range of Biblical translations and major editions of the Holy Scripture. The Cyril-Methodius anniversary can be associated to the 400th anniversary of the Bible of Kralice, the first translation of the Bible from its original version in Hebrew and Greek. It is an occasion to rejoice, that also in 2010 the Czech Bible is a bestseller, considering that four different editions are already on the market. This shows that the commitment of Cyril and Methodius is valid even today and it continues to bear topical relevance”, wrote card. Duka commenting on the special edition. Poland: a new step in Catholic-Orthodox dialogue “To inaugurate the progress in the dialogue between Poles and Russians, Catholics and Orthodox, so that it may extend from the official level to encompass ecclesial communities and civil society”: these are the objectives of the conference on “the Future of Christianity in Europe and the roles of the Polish and Russian peoples”, that will be held November 28-30 in Warsaw. Polish Catholic and Orthodox Bishops, along with intellectuals and Catholic personalities will meet a delegation from the Patriarchate in Moscow led by Metropolitan Ilarion to discuss how to tear down the walls erected in the course of history and continue the dialogue. The president of the group for contacts with the Orthodox Russian Church, Monsignor Wojciech Polak, pointed out that the meeting is an outcome of the document signed in 2012 by the two Churches. “History is the memory of the future”, the prelate pointed out, and said he hopes that the conference “will be an opportunity for debating scientific and cultural themes along with the promotion of the family and life, to share a joint witness with the rest of Europe” as well as “food for thought to build the future together”.

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