Bishops met at plenary in Velehrad
Velehrad: At the beginning of the sessions, the gathering was informed about the current situation in the society and the Church by Cardinal Dominik Duka. He also invited the faithful to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the canonization of Agnes of Bohemia and the fall of the Communist regime. The mass celebrated by Cardinal Secretary of State Pietro Parolin will take place in the St. Vitus’ cathedral on 15th November 2014.
Bishops then discussed the property settlement procedure and evaluated the current state of the matter. Among other things, they stated that although the deadlines set by the Property Settlement Act haven’t been met (only some 5 percent of the property has been returned as of 30th June, the last day of a term determined for the restitution procedure), the Church will generally restrain from seeking judicial solutions.
Participants of the plenary authorized a change in the position of the national director of the Pontifical Missionary Works in the Czech Republic. Current director, Father Jiří Šlégr, is closing his term in the office and will be substituted by Leoš Halbrštát, permanent deacon from the diocese of Hradec Králové.
Bishops then discussed preparations of several upcoming events – current Year of the Family that would culminate with the National Family Pilgrimage in Žďár nad Sázavou in August, worldwide celebrations of the Year of the Consecrated Life in 2015, World Meeting of Families in Philadelphia (September 2015) and the Czech participation in the preparations of the 37th Young Adult European Meeting in Prague at the end of this year. Another upcoming event is the National Eucharistic Congress, planned for 15th–17th October 2015 in Brno.
Participants of the plenary authorized Bishop Jan Vokál of Hradec Králové as a delegate of the Czech Church for the meeting of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. Representatives of the USCCB – Bishop Patrick Zurek of Amarillo, Texas, and Mr. Declan Murphy from the bishops’ conferences office – were present at the meeting. “The Czech Church can inspire us in America in many ways. Your charity, pastoral care of the elderly and the premarital preparation as well as pastoral care of the newlyweds impressed me a lot,” said Bishop Zurek.
Next plenary meeting of the Czech Bishops’ Conference is planned for October and it will take place in the Krkonoše Mountains.