Regular meeting of Eastern rite European bishops to be held in Prague
The regular annual meeting of European Catholic bishops of the Eastern rite, held under the auspices of the Council of Bishops' Conferences of Europewill be held from 4 to 7 June 2015. At the invitation of Bishop Ladislav Hučko, Exarch for Catholics of the Byzantine rite in the Czech Republic this year's meeting will take place in Prague.
In light of the church-wide debate on family issues, within the preparations for the October Synod of Bishops at the Vatican, the bishops will discuss the theme of the Christian family and its mission, and not only on the European continent. The meeting will be attended by the Apostolic Nuncio to the Czech Republic and Secretary General of the Council of Bishops' Conferences of Europe.
"We decided to tackle the theme of the family, of the Greek-Catholic families, in the current European society, in the awareness that the Catholic Churches of the Eastern rite in Europe also have their specific contribution to make to the next Synod of Bishops on the Family (October 2015) "- says SE Mgr. Ladislav Hučko, CSc., Apostolic Exarch of the Greek Catholic church in the Czech Republic. "The meeting in Prague, therefore, wants first to be a time of deepening ties of friendship and unity between the Eastern Catholic bishops, but also a time of preparation to the rendezvous of next October. We want to confront some of the challenges that affect our Greek Catholic families. After the fall of totalitarian regimes, the family institution in Europe’s Central-Eastern countries has been confronted with a rapidly changing society in which secularization, individualism and migration have modified paradigms and methods not only of belonging to the Church and of the religious practice, but also of living and relating to all forms of institutions, including even the family institution. As a Church, we are therefore called to a community discernment aimed at finding solutions adapted to today’s socio-cultural context marked in particular by the fact that many of our members live in communities that are located outside the national context where we operate, with families separated "because of their work" and with children who, living away from their parents, are not making even more a family experience. "
The program of the meeting includes not only plenary sessions, but also various meetings to get acquainted with the reality of the life of the Church in this country and, obviously, the prayer.
In particular, on Friday, June 5, at night, in the church of the Virgin in Emmaus, the Divine Liturgy will be led by Metropolitan of Prešov Ján Babjak, head of the Greek Catholic Church in Slovakia. The next two major Eucharistic liturgies will be held in Cathedral of St. Clement –on Saturday morning the Divine Liturgy will be presided over by Patriarch Sviatoslav Shevchuk, head of the UGCC, and on Sunday morning –by Archbishop Cyril Vasil, SJ, Secretary of the Congregation for the Oriental Churches.
Note that today the Eastern Catholic Churches in Europe are represented by hierarchs of Byzantine, Maronite, Chaldean and Armenian traditions. Last year a similar meeting took place in Lviv, and in 2009- in Uzhgorod.