ROMANIA-HUNGARY: MEETING OF THE BISHOPS OF THE TWO COUNTRIES IN IASI

The dialogue between the permanent Councils of the Bishops’ Conferences of Hungary and Romania, which started in 2008, was pursued in a meeting which took place from 23 to 25 November in Iasi, Romania. The Hungarian delegation was guided by Cardinal Péter Erdõ, president of the CCEE and of the Hungarian Bishops’ Conference, while the Romanian delegation was headed by Mgr. Ioan Robu, metropolitan archbishop of Bucharest and president of the Romanian Bishops’ Conference. As reported in a statement issued by the two delegations, the meeting provided the chance to present the respective dioceses in regard to their "responsibilities, achievements, difficulties, vocational situation, annual initiatives and hopes". Cardinal Erdõ spoke of the difficulties facing the Roma with particular reference to their integration into society and their being "subject and object of violence". Liturgy books and a possible collaboration were also discussed. Discussion also focused on the situation of Catholics in the diocese of Iasi and on their request to attend Holy Mass in Hungarian. The Romanian bishops replied that "everyone has the right to attend Mass in their own language" and that the fact of "belonging to the Catholic Church" "illuminates" even "the ethnic identity". The two delegations went on to meet the Orthodox Metropolitan Teofan and see some monasteries. Next meeting is to be held in Hungary in 2010. ” ” ” “

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