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European Bishops: Minsk to host plenary assembly of Ccee about youth and Europe

Youth and Europe: these are the two key themes at the centre of the yearly plenary assembly of the Council of European Bishops Conferences (Ccee), which, from September 27th to October 1st, will bring to Minsk, Belarus, the presidents of the Bishops Conferences from as many as 45 countries across the continent. At the invitation of monsignor Tadeusz Kondrusiewicz, archbishop of Minsk-Mohilev, for the first time in the history of Ccee the plenary assembly will be going to Belarus to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the printing of the Bible, the first book ever printed in Belarusian. “The Bishops – as written in a release posted by Ccee today – will discuss young people, especially what young people are like today, their wishes, their needs, their fears, their expectations and their relationships, the challenges that today’s ever-changing world raises to the Church in thinking about its pastoral service and proposing the Gospel to this specific group of people, who are the future of the Church”. A European symposium was held in Barcelona last March, that had brought together bishops and directors of the youth, vocational, school and university pastoral services. So, Minsk’s plenary assembly is one further opportunity to get ready for the forthcoming Bishops’ Synod about young people, due to take place in Rome in autumn 2018. The second topic that will be discussed by the plenary assembly will be Europe, with the bishops sharing views, above all, on the contribution and mission of the Church in the building of the common European home and how to announce Christ’s Gospel in Europe. The patriarchal exarch of all Belarus, metropolitan bishop Pavel of Minsk and Zaslavl, the deputy prime minister of the Republic of Belarus, Vasily Zharko, the mayor of the city, Andrei Shorets, and leaders of the country’s other religions will be at the opening of the meeting. In the morning of Thursday, September 28th, the president of the Republic of Belarus, Aleksandr Lukashenko, will give audience to the attendees. The plenary meeting will end on Sunday, October 1st, with the bishops taking part, in groups, in Eucharistic celebrations in several parish churches around Minsk, in order to get closer to the local community.

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