His Beatitude Sviatoslav in Switzerland spoke about challenges to Ukrainian society

Thursday, 04 October 2012, 20:31
On Friday, September 28th, in St. Gallen (Switzerland) the Association of European Conferences of Bishops (CCEE) continued with their next plenary session.

The gathering began with a Divine Liturgy, led by Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa, President of the Bishops Conference of Italy and CCEE Vice-President.  Co-celebrators included:  Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops, Cardinal José           da Cruz Policarpo, Patriarch of Lisbon, His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Major Archbishop of Kyiv-Halych Eparchy and Bishop Markus Büchel, Bishop of St. Gallen and Vice-President of the Switzerland Conference of Bishops.

Cardinal Marc Ouellet opened the Plenary Session.  He underlined the importance of cooperation between Bishops Conferences in light of the resolutions of the Second Vatican Council.  The speaker stressed that the current economic crisis is a crisis of hope, that of trust towards contemporary social institutions.  Among European youth the will to live is diminishing, while a distrust that their efforts can assist in making the world better is increasing.

“This meeting of the bishops of Europe should help us to deeply probe the reasons of the current social and spiritual crisis.  In the Pastoral Constitution of the Second Vatican Council, Gaudium et Spes, the Church proclaims that Christ is the center of human history and that in Him a person today can find answers to all her/his questions.  The Church trough its preaching should assist the contemporary person to discover everything in the person of Jesus Christ,” stressed the speaker.

Following were speeches by Professor Kuno Schedler, Professor of Business Economics at the University of St. Gallen,  Professor Marta Cartabia, Doctor of Law and a judge at the Constitutional Court of Italy and Archbishop of Brussels and President of the Belgium Bishops Conference in Belgium, André-Joseph Léonard.

In an open discussion the bishops shared their pastoral experience and described the social situation in their countries.  His Beatitude Sviatoslav analyzed the challenges to Ukrainian society within the context of the rebirth of soviet social myths and the distortion of democratic institutions of government.

The speaker talked about the crisis of social institutions in Ukraine, citing the example of the disregard for due process, in the Parliament’s ratification of the scandalous language law and the course of the current pre-election campaign.  UGCC Primate emphasized the danger of a return to restored totalitarianisms, temptations of limiting citizen rights and freedoms of society as well as the distortion of the rule of the law under the pretext of forming a cruel and “effective” vertical rule.

The Plenary Session of the Association of European Conferences of Bishops (CCEE) will continue until Sunday, September 30, 2012.

UGCC Department of Information

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