Church in Europe, Spain

Church in Europe: doctrine of the faith and new challengesEsztergom, Hungary, was chosen as the venue of the meeting between the superiors of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the presidents of the doctrinal commissions of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe, January 13-15. “In an Instruction dated 23 February 1967, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, at the behest of Blessed Pope Paul VI, asked the Bishops’ Conferences to establish their own Doctrinal Commissions within the Conferences, as a consultative body assisting the Conferences themselves and individual bishops in their regard for the doctrine of the faith”, reads a statement by CCEE. To strengthen collaboration between the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and the Doctrinal Commissions, in 1982 it was decided that the Presidents of such Commissions at a continental level should meet periodically. “One of the original characteristics of these meetings lies in the fact that the superiors of the Congregation go to the different continents, thereby underlining the importance of the local and regional jurisdictions and their responsibility in tackling doctrinal issues.” The first of these meetings took place in Latin America, Bogotá (1984); there were subsequent meetings in Kinshasa, Africa (1987); in Vienna, Europe (1989); in Hong-Kong, Asia (1993); in Guadalajara, Latin America (1996), and in San Francisco, North America (1999) and in Dar es Salaam (2009). Now Cardinal Péter Erdõ, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest and President of the Council of European Episcopal Conferences, has acceded to the request of Cardinal Gerhard L. Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, for another meeting. This meeting “indicates the desire of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to support the local episcopates – as Pope Francis emphasises, too, – in their task of promoting and safeguarding the doctrine of the faith, taking into account the specific challenges to be tackled today in the European continent.”Spain/1: “Tragedy of abortion, supporting maternity”Given the latest figures of the Spanish Minister of Health on abortion, the RedMadre (Mother Network) Foundation pointed out that the rise in the number of abortions in Spain, over one hundred thousand each year, is outrageous. The Government is thus called to address this problem with the adoption of measures in support of pregnant women that would enable them to bring their pregnancy to completion. “Doing nothing cannot justify the reduction in the number of abortions”, said Amaya Azcona, general director of the RedMadre Foundation. In fact, the slight decrease in the number of abortions registered in 2013 is the result of “merely vegetative factors” and not of non-existence public policies for the protection of motherhood, denounced the RedMadre Foundation. Nor can this slight decrease be connected to the “Aído Act”, as the latter has not resulted in a decrease in the number of abortions, that continued being practised in violation of the law in private clinics. Moreover, according to the RedMadre Foundation, the figures released by the Ministry of Heath are due to structural causes: less women in fertile age, decrease of migrant women and increase in the migration of young women. Notwithstanding objective figures, the director-general of the RedMadre Foundation Amaya Azcona, pointed out that “abortion is an immense tragedy and the Government should address this problem with a law in support of pregnant women.”Spain/2: formation and work, projects for young peopleThe Federation of Salesian social Platforms “Pinardi” and JP Morgan have launched the project “First professional experience”, an initiative to improve the job potential of some 80 youths who have not yet completed their studies. The agreement develops an innovative cooperation model, whereby participants access a job experience in a real-life environment that provides them with skills, training, maturity and all the necessary tools needed to achieve quality employment in the middle-term. Jesús Javier Llorente, Pinardi President, has underlined that his initiative is aimed at “offering opportunities to those same young people that find it hard to access” and thanked strategic partners for their “efforts and their confidence in a shared commitment as a means to fight youth unemployment”. Ignacio Álvarez-Cedron, general manager of the Markets of J.P. Morgan Iberia, said: “The collaboration between different agencies is a key to finding solutions to the serious problem of youth unemployment.” J.P. Morgan participates in the program through its Foundation, which funds fully this initiative as part of philanthropic activities in Spain. The project, pioneer in the methodology of integral development, provides various forms of cross training, which enable young people to acquire the skills necessary for the new market production model.

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