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COMECE Plenary: final statement, “building bridges of dialogue and promoting an inclusive Europe”

(Brussels) – The European Bishops have called on Christians and all people of good will “to discernment and responsibility and to fully participate in political life, working together for the common good, building bridges of dialogue and promoting an inclusive Europe capable of fully developing persons, families and communities”. The plenary assembly of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) ended this afternoon with this invitation that looks ahead to the 2019 European elections. The three day meeting (24-26 October 2018) focused on “future EU challenges” in dialogue with high-level officials of the Union: Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Luca Jahier, President of the European Economic and Social Committee; and Michel Barnier, the EU’s chief negotiator for Brexit, a statement from COMECE released at the end of the assembly explained. Following the exchange with Federica Mogherini, the Bishops encouraged the European Union to “expand its action in favor of global peace and solidarity and to lead by example in implementing the rule of law for the benefit of all”. After the exchange with Luca Jahier, they highlighted the “fundamental need to protect and promote the dignity of work and the centrality of the human person in the context of artificial intelligence”. Following the exchange with Michel Barnier, the Bishops “expressed their concerns about the impact of Brexit on the daily life of citizens in the UK and all around Europe, and prayed for a sense of responsibility to prevail in the ongoing negotiations”. On the plenary agenda was also a day of prayer in Ypres, the scene of bloodshed during World War I, to “reaffirm the support of the Catholic Church for the peace project built through the European Union”. COMECE also expressed support for the Statement on Climate Justice signed today in Rome by the Presidents of continental Bishops’ Conferences.

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