European Bishops Conference (CCEE) Meeting in Nicosia

(from Rome Zenith News, by Junno Arocho)

NICOSIA, Cyprus, SEPT. 4, 2012 (Zenit.org).- Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin addressed the European Bishops Conference (CCEE) Commission, “Caritas in Veritate” in Cyprus. The commission is comprised of bishops and delegates from the conference who are responsible for social issues.

The focus of their three-day meeting was on the current economic crisis in Europe and its strain on the social cohesion of the continent.

The Irish prelate began his address, titled “From Crisis to Hope”, explaining the current economic situation in his native Ireland. […] [He then] stressed that the CCEE’s “Caritas in Veritate” commission should take on a more decisive role in providing programs of formation for the Christian community that can assist in illustrating applications of the Church teaching in complex situations, which would “enable Christians in our local Churches to be critically active in society.”

Another challenge to social cohesion, according to Archbishop Martin, was a crisis of education. [He said] that current financial situation would “lead to further undermining of the value of a broad sense of education in favor of narrow utilitarianism.” He emphasized the need to “defend and illustrate” the significance of faith in society.

“When faith and Catholic culture are under attack it is important to defend the values that derive from faith and their relevance to society. Today we are often in a situation in which we have to defend Catholic teaching within a cultural framework which is not of our creation and indeed may be hostile to our thought. This is especially the case when a culture becomes dominated by individualism,” he said.

Archbishop Martin concluded his address saying that the Gospel must be preached courageously in confronting the current crisis. “Resignation and keeping things ticking over will never renew the Church. But we must also come out of crises looking in the right direction, not entrapped in the negatives of today, or indeed in the empty promises of the ideologies of the day, but more capable of giving an account of the hope that is in us,” he said.

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