Catholic meeting in Gdansk in 2009
Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community
Press release – Thursday 4 December 2008

comece_kopf.gifAbout 500 Catholics from all over Europe are due to meet in October 2009 in Gdansk, the founding city of Solidarność, at the invitation of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE). The topic of the meeting will be Solidarity as a founding value of the European Union. The preparation Committee for this event held its first meeting on 3 December in Brussels under the chairmanship of Bishop Piotr Jarecki, COMECE Vice-President.

Twenty years after the fall of the Communist regime and 70 years since the start of World War II, the European Union and its Member States, just at a time when the economic crisis deepens, are today faced with a great duty: to practice solidarity within the Member States and towards the other regions of the world. This European meeting is aimed at promoting Catholic Social Teaching at the level of European unification.

The COMECE Plenary Assembly of the Bishops decided last November to organise this meeting, which is intended to be the first of a series of meetings to be held in future every few years. The members of this preparation Committee are Bishops from France, Italy, Poland, Slovenia and Spain, as well as representatives of several catholic lay organisations. The European network of the Justice and Peace Commissions as well as the CCEE Secretariat are also involved. The participants of the preparation Committee come from a total of 18 different Member States.

The agenda of the 3 December meeting was to determine the composition of the participating delegations, the title as well as the programme for the European meeting in Gdansk. The next meeting of the preparation Committee has been fixed for the middle of February 2009.

List of the members of the preparation Committee:

Piotr Jarecki (Poland); Anton Stress (Slovenia); Juan José Omella (Spain); Mgr Miglio

Priests, religious communities:
Jan de Volder (St. Egidio) Belgium; Sister Madeleine Fredell (Sweden); Fr. Gint Grusas (Lithuania).

Sigrid Schraml (Germany); Luca Jahier (Italy); Philippa Gitlin (UK); Nicola Rooney (Ireland); Severin Renoldner (Austria); Marie-Claire Bonavia (Malta); Violetta Barbu (Romania); Maria Kolkova (Slovakia); Marie Jourdain (Semaines Sociales de France) France; Bert Schumacher (Netherlands); Bernardino Silva (Portugal); Prof Lubomir Mloch (Czech Republic).

Justice&Peace Europe :
Gérard Defois (France)

CCEE (observer):
Thierry Bonaventura (Italy)

Stefan Lunte (Germany)

Local organisation team :
Maciej Zieba

Johanna TOUZEL
Press Relations Officer

Commission des Episcopats de la Communauté Européenne
Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community

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