Members of the Czech Bishops’ Conference met in Olomouc
Olomouc: Participants of the meeting were informed about the life of the Church as well as the situation concerning the property settlement between the State and the Churches. “We believe things are moving forward and getting better,” said Msgr. Tomáš Holub, secretary general of the Czech Bishops’ Conference.
Bishops and representatives of religious orders discussed pastoral care of the Romani people, ethnic minorities, migrants and tourists. They appointed Father Vojtěch Eliáš as a national director entrusted with this task. The plenary also approved a program for the pastoral care of the youth.
During the Tuesday sessions, the constitutive general assembly of the SICAV, an open-ended collective investment scheme, took place. “This instrument safeguards that the money isn’t used for projects we disagree with,” said Msgr. Holub. Dioceses can use the fund established by the ČSOB Asset Management to invest money received as a financial compensation within the property settlement process. “We were looking for a responsible and ethical way to finance our future, for a project in compliance with the Church teaching,” added Msgr. Holub.
The Czech Bishops’ Conference also approved a letter addressed to the faithful, encouraging them to take part in the upcoming elections to the European Parliament. “It’s not just the matter of the European elections, but that of a civic responsibility in general. It is sad to see that half of people gave up their participation in the elections. I think it is important to realize that democracy means responsibility as well. The democracy is also based on ethics and without ethics it is impossible to think that we will accomplish to do the good. Therefore, the Church must deal with ethical issues – for example in the support of families or in the field of education. We are not going to tell whom to choose, but we shall encourage people to elect according to their conscience,” explained Cardinal Dominik Duka, president of the Czech Bishops’ Conference.
He also mentioned a great challenge, the World Youth Day to be celebrated in Cracow, Poland in 2016. “We expect that some eight or ten thousand young people from the Czech Republic would take part in the event,” said Cardinal Duka and added: “We also discussed the preparations of the upcoming jubilee of John Hus.”
During the plenary meeting, the participants together with the faithful celebrated feast of St. John Sarkander, who was canonized almost 19 years ago in Olomouc by St. Pope John Paul II.