Czech and Moravian Bishops Held Plenary in Prague
Prague: The 87th plenary of the Czech Bishops' Conference (CBC) commenced in a spiritual address of the bishop of Hradec Králové, Jan Vokál, who talked about the work and duty of a bishop in his service, highlighting the necessity of ascetism and spiritual combat on the road to holiness. The CBC economist Zdena Králová then reported to the bishops the economy of institutions in its gestion. The bishop of Litoměřice, Jan Baxant, president of the Council for Healthcare of the CBC, submitted a draft of an Amendment to the Agreement on Health Pastoral Care between the CBC and the Ecumenical Council of Churches which concerns sending hospital chaplains and volunteers in pastoral care to hospitals. The bishops approved of the document.
The Archbishop of Prague, Dominik Duka OP then briefed the assembly on the current situation of the Church in the society. Among other things, he mentioned his visit to the USA and outlined possible forms of cooperation with the Bishops' Conference of the USA. The archbishop went on to report on the stage of preparations for the 2013 anniversary of Ss. Cyril and Methodius' mission to the Czech lands which is at the centre of Czech social interests, and he also mentioned the activities to cap this year's 800th anniversary of the birth of St. Agnes of Bohemia. He invited all the bishops to participate in a divine service at the St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague on November 12, which is to mark the vigil of the anniversary of the saint's cannonization.
The afternoon session of the first day was also attended by the Czech ambassador to the Holy See, dr. Pavel Vošalík, who spoke about the work and activities of his office and the communication with Vatican. He told the assembly that the exhibition about life and work of the late Czech Cardinal Beran, which was opened in Rome this year, is to visit Milan and the Sicilian town of Messina as well. The ambassador also gave a report on the preparations for the Ss. Cyril and Methodius' anniversary on the part of the Holy See and about presentation of individual reagions of the Czech Republic in Vatican which should be attended by the bishops of their respective dioceses.
On the second day of the plenary, the bishops first discussed issues related to the work of individual departments of the CBC. The bishops appointed CSILic. Monika Vývodová as the press officer and spokeswoman of the CBC and they accepted the resignation of the director of Department for Catechesis, R.D. ThDr. Pawel Nowatkovski. They thanked Fr. Nowatkovski for his work and appointed R.D. Mariusz Kuzniara Th.D. as the new national director of the CBC Department for Catechesis.
A special part of the programme was a business lunch of the CBC members with the President of the Czech Republic, Václav Klaus. During the lunch, the bishops and the President discussed questions of the relationship between the Church and the state and the preparation of the head of the state for the 1150th anniversary of the arrival of Ss. Cyril and Methodius to the Czech soil, the then Great Moravian Empire.
In the last session, the bishops discussed activities of individual commissions and councils of the CBC, such as the National Mission Council, Council for Vocational Pastoral Care and the Department for Youth of the CBC. In conclusion, the bishops agreed on a press release concerning social upheavals in the north of the country and on the dates of the following plenary assemblies and sessions of the Permanent Council in 2012.