The following is a joint press release from the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE).
Press Release No: 15/38
18 September 2015
Munich / Brussels
The presidents of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) and the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community (COMECE) met in Munich on 18 September to discuss issues of deep concern to the churches of Europe as ongoing crises continue to dominate the news and preoccupy politicians and citizens.
The Rt. Rev Christopher Hill KCVO, DD (CEC) and Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising (COMECE) reflected on the good track record of both organisations in being the voice of Christian concern in dialogue with the EU institutions. They noted CEC and COMECE’s efforts in profiling the churches as constructive partners in the ongoing realisation of the European project.
The presidents discussed the current refugee and asylum crisis, and its widespread humanitarian impact. They restated the churches solidarity with those attempting to reach safety in Europe. “The plight of all those suffering in the Middle East, including the region’s embattled Christians remains at the forefront of both our prayers and our ongoing advocacy with the European Institutions,” remarked Bishop Hill following the meeting. “Those who enter Europe, must not be afraid to drown or suffocate. And they must get a fair asylum process. These are minimum standards which must apply throughout Europe,” added Cardinal Marx.
Also on the agenda was a discussion of joint CEC-COMECE understanding of the economic crisis in Europe, and how to respond to collateral social damage including youth unemployment and the ecological crisis in Europe and beyond.
CEC and COMECE work closely together in the area of dialogue with the EU institutions. Bishop Hill and Cardinal Marx discussed their hopes for desirable parameters for future institutional dialogue, and welcomed the ongoing, practical cooperation between the CEC and COMECE Secretariats in Brussels.
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Conference of European Churches
The Conference of European Churches (CEC) is a fellowship of some 114 Orthodox, Protestant, Anglican and Old Catholic Churches from all countries of Europe, plus 40 national council of churches and organisations in partnership. CEC was founded in 1959. It has offices in Brussels and Strasbourg.