Czech bishops call for support for persecuted Christians
Špindlerův Mlýn: Bishops call for support to be offered to Christians that are persecuted throughout the world. This is one of the outcomes of the plenary meeting of the Czech Bishops’ Conference that ended on 15th October 2014. Its participants agreed that Friday 31st October would be declared a day of fasting for the sake of the Christians persecuted in various countries and that a charity money collection will take place in individual dioceses to help those oppressed. All necessary details will be published in a pastoral letter to be read on Sunday 26th October.
Within the session dedicated to the life of the Church, Cardinal Dominik Duka informed about the meeting called “Thanks to St. Agnes for 25 Years of Freedom”. The commemoration of the canonization of the Czech saint that occurred just five days before the fall of the communist regime will take place on 15th November and culminate with a pontifical mass presided by Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Vatican Secretary of State, at the St. Vitus cathedral in Prague.
Among the guests of this plenary meeting was the secretary general of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE), Father Patrick Daly. In his speech delivered on Wednesday, 15th October, he presented the commission’s work and encouraged Czech bishops to further cooperation. “Our primary task is to lead a dialogue with the EU and help with creating good relationships on the Church-state level. Our concerns are especially in the fields such as human trafficking, Europe’s demographic situation, youth unemployment, right for free Sunday, and free trade with the USA,” said Father Daly about the priorities of the COMECE. His stay in the Czech Republic being his third visit to some national bishops’ conference, he also learnt about fields that should be discussed on the EU level according to the Czech bishops: family and the situation of the faithful in Europe.
Bishops then got acquainted with the preparations of the National Eucharistic Congress to be held on 15th–17th October 2015 in Brno. They were also informed about the activities of the Youth Center of the Czech Bishops’ Conference, encouraging young people to participate in the Taizé meeting (New Year 2015 in Prague) as well as the World Youth Day in Cracow in 2016.
During their plenary, bishops also celebrated a mass for the public on Tuesday at the St. Peter’s church in Špindlerův Mlýn. The liturgy was presided by Bishop Jiří Paďour, emeritus of České Budějovice, and the homily on human freedom was delivered by the auxiliary bishop of the same diocese, Pavel Posád.
The jubilee 100th plenary will take place in the beginning of 2015 in Prague.
(Photo of Father Patrick Daly and Msgr Jan Vokál: Jan Štěpančík, Czech Bishops Conference).