Ukraine: Anniversary Colloquium of European Parishes Launched in Lviv
The 30th Colloquium of European Parishes (CEP) started in Lviv on July 27. 110 European citizens, priests and laymen came to Ukraine to find the answer to the question "How to be active Christians in modern Europe" in discussions. The organizer of the forum in Ukraine is the Foundation of St Volodymyr supported by the charity Foundation "Renovabis."The most numerous groups came from Germany, France, Spain (Catalonia), Italy, Romania, Malta, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium. The Ukrainian delegation is represented by 50 participants.
The Colloquium of European Parishes started with the Liturgy, which was led by Metropolitan of Lviv of the UGCC His Eminence Igor (Voznyak). When blessing the Colloquium participants, the Metropolitan expressed hope for the successful work of the forum: "We communicate in different languages, but we can get along spiritually and cordially. The bishops of our Church recently had a meeting with the Pope, where they reported on the activities of the UGCC. We can share this with you because our Church, after its coming out from the underground 30 years ago, has a dynamic development, we have made a big step forward, we have the only Ukrainian Catholic University in the post-Soviet space. Our Church has written its Catechism, which has been translated into several languages. Not only the Eastern Churches, but also the Catholic Church takes interest in it. In turn, the Church abroad has a lot of accumulated theoretical materials and it is also important for us to adopt its experience. Today the Church of the West faces the challenge of secularism. It can also threaten our Church. Today it is up to the priests to decide at what level they should communicate with the faithful to decrease number of such threats. Therefore, there are many topics for discussion and exchange of pastoral and parish experience. I wish the forum participants fruitful work"
President of the Colloquium of European Parishes Antonio Caesar is confident that the forum, which brought together priests and laity of different countries, will give the opportunity to pray together, visiting parishes, to see what and how they live, to get acquainted with Ukrainian culture: "The Church in Ukraine has a long history, although it has come out from underground not so long ago. We see that it is young because it has many young people. This forum gives us the opportunity to share experiences and learn from each other, to grow together in faith, to become one in faith, despite our differences. It's important." The forum will last until August 1.
This event will include interesting discussions, group work, excursions to significant spiritual places of Lviv (Holy Univ Lavra, monasteries of Zhovkva, Krekhiv), visiting the successful parishes of the UGCC, "Holidays of Nation" in the evenings, where groups of different countries can present their national traditions and cuisine will be held a master class on icon-painting on glass. An interesting youth program of CEP is well-thought.
Colloquium discussions will be held on the following issues:
1. Pope Francis and His vision of the modern Church (the Roman hierarch is elected, for he is the Church leader who most valiantly proposes concrete steps for practical Christian life in the current secular environment);
2. The parable of the prodigal son (one of the most famous parables found in Luke 15:11-32). The plot of this parable symbolically illustrates the relationship between man and God. The emphasis should be made on the person of elder brother, who plays the role of a "righteous Christian, which prevents the uncircumcised from feeling free in the Church»);
3. The dignity of every human being. Who will help us to be Christians in modern Europe? (One of the main challenges for modern Christians is to come out of their temples to meet all people without condemning anyone, offering Christ's love to everyone.)
The movement of Christian parishes under the name of the Colloquium of European Parishes (CEP) was initiated in 1961. Every two years, Catholic representatives from different countries of Europe gather at the Congress in which bishops, priests, theologians and active laity take part to discuss the question: how to be good Christians in the modern world, how to transfer faith to the next generations, how to search for new forms of evangelization, how to revive parishes? This movement began in the RCC in 1963, in recent decades it was joined by Greek Catholics of Ukraine, Romania and Hungary. It now includes 35 countries. (Quelle: www.risu.org.ua, 28. Juli 2019)