COMECE Assembly called on the EU to rebuild the global architecture of peace

11.11.2023, 18:00
Ukraine and world
COMECE Assembly called on the EU to rebuild the global architecture of peace - фото 1
Bishops of the European Union gathered in Brussels for the autumn Plenary Assembly of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) on November 10, 2023, adopted a statement on peace in the context of a serious deterioration of international security. The main guest of the Plenary Assembly was His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Head of the UGCC.

Bishops express deep concern about the serious deterioration of international security and peace. "The world seems to be returning to a dangerous dynamic reminiscent of some of the darkest periods in human history that should have remained in history textbooks," the statement said.

While paying special attention to Russia's war against Ukraine, the pain of the Armenian people in the Caucasus, and the suffering of the civilian population in Israel and Palestine, the bishops of the European Union also expressed concern about the consequences of such international polarization and regional instability for European communities, "fueling fears, undermining dialogue, and threatening the unity of society."

COMECE members "strongly condemn all forms and manifestations of antisemitism, radicalization, and xenophobia, which often [...] lead to violent extremism and terrorism," spreading in some European countries.

With the European elections in 2024 in mind, the COMECE Assembly calls on EU leaders and all European citizens to focus their efforts on building "a Europe that engages all its potential to resolve conflicts and ignite beacons of hope, acting as a single, trustworthy and unifying force, nurturing democratic principles and the rule of law both within its borders and beyond."

COMECE also calls on European and national political representatives to be active creators of a renewed vision of stability, justice, and peace and to propose it to the European continent and the world. "Resisting the logic of war, the European Union must initiate new processes of dialogue and develop consistent diplomacy for peace, leading the reconstruction of a global architecture of peace based on effective multilateralism and respect for international law," the declaration states.

The declaration was developed after a series of fruitful discussions between high representatives of the EU and the Church. This dialogue provided EU bishops with an opportunity not only to discuss current crises in European neighborhoods but also to reflect on socio-economic and democratic challenges in light of the 2024 elections.

His Eminence Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa (OFM), Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, and His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Head of the UGCC, spoke about the internal situation, causes, and consequences of the current wave of violence in the Holy Land and the result of Russia's aggressive war against Ukraine.

Cardinal Pizzaballa emphasized the decisive role of the Christian community in the region as a peacemaker in this dire situation.

Sharing the pain of his suffering Ukrainian people, His Beatitude Sviatoslav reminded that "Ukraine is a young state, but it is an ancient European nation with European identity."

Vice Presidents of the European Parliament Othmar Karas and Pedro Silva Pereira also participated in the COMECE 2023 Autumn Plenary Assembly. They outlined some of the main challenges facing EU communities in connection with the elections next year: issues of peace and war, combating poverty and inequality, migration, and the environment.

A comprehensive overview of the polarization of the international community and the delegitimization of multilateral institutions was proposed by Federica Mogherini, rector of the European College and former High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy.

The Assembly also confirmed Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto as the Secretary General of COMECE for a second 4-year term.

It is worth noting that the Head of the UGCC made a working visit to Brussels from November 7-10 to participate in the COMECE Plenary Assembly and meet with representatives of the European Parliament and the European Commission. His Beatitude Sviatoslav was accompanied by Bishop Stepan Sus, Head of the Pastoral-Migration Department of the UGCC, and Fr. Andriy Soletsky, Head of the Secretariat of the Head of the UGCC in Rome.