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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Maintaining identity, Eastern Catholics help whole Church, bishops say

Eastern Catholic migrants living in Western Europe help the Catholic Church become more aware of its universality and diversity and, by remaining active in their faith, can help with the new evangelisation of the continent, Eastern Catholic bishops said.

Meeting in Fatima, Portugal, from 20th to 23rd October, the Eastern Catholic bishops of Europe examined ‘the challenges of the pastoral care of the Eastern Catholic faithful who migrate to Western countries and, often, to places where they find themselves without their own pastors,’ according to a statement.

The Ukrainian Catholic, Maronite, Chaldean and Armenian Catholic Churches have bishops in Europe. The Fatima meeting brought together 57 bishops, including Latin-rite bishops representing the bishops’ conferences of France, Germany, Italy and Portugal. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, prefect of the Congregation for Eastern Churches, and Melkite Patriarch Gregoire III Laham also attended.

Thanking Latin-rite bishops and priests who have made provisions for the pastoral care of Eastern-rite immigrants, the bishops called for greater efforts to educate Latin clergy about Eastern liturgy and traditions. They also promised better education and preparation for the Eastern priests they will send to Western Europe to minister to their own faithful.

Picture: A Ukrainian girl is seen during an Easter celebration outside St Sophia’s Cathedral in Kiev, Ukraine on 10th April 2015. Eastern Catholic migrants living in Western Europe help the Catholic Church become more aware of its universality and diversity and, by remaining active in their faith, can help with the new evangelisation of the continent, Eastern Catholic bishops said. (CNS photo/Sergey Dolzhenko, EPA).