CCEE 2011 Plenary Assembly
Tirana, Albania, 29 September - 2 October 2011
The election of the new CCEE Presidency and the New Evangelisation of Europe will be at the centre of the work of the Plenary Assembly of the Presidents of Europe’s Bishops’ Conferences, which will take place for the first time in Albania, in Tirana, from 29 September to 2 October 2011.
The next Plenary Assembly of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences (CCEE) will take place, from Thursday 29 September to Sunday 2 October in Tirana (Albania), at the invitation of the Metropolitan Archbishop of Tirana and President of the Albanian Bishops’ Conference, Mgr Rrok Mirdita. Following the historic visit of Blessed John Paul II in 1993, the CCEE meeting will be, according to the local Church, the most important church event in recent years for Albania, due to the number of Cardinals and Bishops who will be participating. Confirmation of the importance the meeting holds for the country is shown by the desire of the President of the Republic of Albania, Mr Bamir Myrteza Topi, to meet the European prelates on Friday 30 September and the announced presence of the Prime Minister, Mr Sali Ram Berisha, at the opening of the meeting on 29 September.
In the year of CCEE’s 40th anniversary (1971-2011), which will be marked by a gathering in Rome on 22 November, the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences of Europe members of CCEE will elect the new CCEE Presidency for the quinquennial period 2011-2016 (from Plenary to Plenary). All the current Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences are eligible for the posts of President and the two Vice-presidents.
With a view to defining the contribution of Europe’s Bishops’ Conferences to the next Synod of Bishops on the theme of the New Evangelisation summoned by Pope Benedict XVI and scheduled for October 2012 in the Vatican, CCEE has sent a questionnaire to the Bishops’ Conferences in order to collect and highlight ideas, situations and proposals on the theme of the New Evangelisation. In Tirana, reflection on the theme will be entrusted to Jean Luc Moens, former co-ordinator of the experience of city missions in European capitals, who will have the task of summarising the responses received by CCEE in these weeks, and to Mgr Salvatore Fisichella, President of the Vatican dicastery for Promoting New Evangelisation. In the course of their work, the bishops will be also be informed about the results of the meeting of the General Secretaries which took place in June in Vilnius (Lithuania) precisely on the same theme. The Tirana meeting will be the only opportunity for joint work on this issue for all the European Bishops’ Conferences prior to the Synod of Bishops.
The second part of the meeting will focus instead on CCEE’s service to the Church in Europe with presentations about the activities of the various CCEE Commissions: from CEEM (the European Episcopal Commission for Media); from the Caritas in veritate Commission (migration, safeguarding creation, justice and peace); the “Catechesis, school and university” Commission and from the European Vocations Service (EVS). There will also be presentations about the outcomes of the 11th meeting of the Presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences of South-east Europe and the 13th meeting of the Bishops of the Eastern Rite Catholic Churches. In the course of the meeting CCEE’s agenda and activities for 2012 will be proposed and discussed, highlighting: the next Symposium of African and European bishops (Rome, 13-17 February 2012) and the Catechetical Congress (Rome, 7-10 May 2012). As regards CCEE’s work in the sphere of ecumenical dialogue, as well as dialogue with the Conference of European Churches (CEC), there will be a presentation of the book containing the Acta of the 2nd European Catholic-Orthodox Forum (Rhodes, Greece, 18-22 October 2010) on the theme Church-State relations: historical and theological perspectives, and a decision will also be taken about the Catholic delegation which will participate in the 3rd European Catholic-Orthodox Forum scheduled for Lisbon, Portugal, 4-8 June 2012. The meeting will also appoint members of the Organising Committee for the 2nd European Social Days organised along with ComECE and scheduled for 2013.
In the context of CCEE’s service to the Church in Europe there will be a presentation on Eurocathinfo.eu, the Institutional Information Portal of the Bishops’ Conferences in Europe (on-line by the end of the year), and CCEE’s Intranet.
Part of the work will then be devoted to dialogue with the European institutions (the European Union and the Council of Europe) with contributions from Mgr André Dupuy, Apostolic Nuncio to the European Union; Mgr Aldo Giordano, Permanent Observer at the Council of Europe, and Mgr Piotr Mazurkiewicz, ComECE General Secretary. It will be an opportunity also to listen to a presentation about the Observatory on Intolerance and Discrimination Against Christians in Europe.
During the meeting, the Presidents will also receive some brief reports on recent visits undertaken by Pope Benedict XVI, in particular: Cardinal Josip Bozanić, Archbishop of Zagreb and CCEE Vice-president, will speak about Benedict XVI’s visit to Croatia (4-5 June); Cardinal Antonio Maria Rouco Varela will speak about World Youth Day (Madrid, 16-21 August) and the Bishop of Aachen, Mgr Heinrich Mussinghoff, about the Pope’s visit to Germany scheduled for 22-25 September. It will be an opportunity to assess the effects at a local level and reflect on the teaching imparted by the Pope during these meetings. Subsequently, along with His Beatitude Fouad Twal, Latin Rite Patriarch of Jerusalem, the bishops will reflect on how to help Christians in the Holy Land. In Tirana, participants will also be informed about two future meetings taking place in Europe which underline key aspects of the mission of the Catholic Church: Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa and President of the Italian Bishops’ Conference, will give a presentation on the World Meeting of Families (Milan, Italy, 30 May-2 June 2012) and Cardinal Seán Brady, Archbishop of Armagh and President of the Irish Bishops’ Conference will talk about the 50th International Eucharistic Congress (Dublin, 10-17 June 2012).
The days will be marked with moments of prayer and the celebration of Mass. In particular, the European prelates will celebrate daily Mass in the Cathedral along with the local community: Thursday 29 September at 1830; Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October at 0730; and Sunday 2 October at 1100.
Also taking part in the meeting of the Presidents of the European Bishops’ Conferences will be: for the Holy See, Cardinal Marc Ouellet, Prefect of the Congregation for Bishops; Mgr Ramiro Moliner Inglés, Apostolic Nuncio to Albania; and delegates from continental bodies such as SECAM (Symposium of Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar) and CELAM (Latin-American Bishops’ Conferences).
Unless specified otherwise in the programme, the meeting is behind closed doors. A news release will be published at the end of the meeting.
LOGISTICAL INFORMATION FOR THE MEDIA
1. Meeting venue and Media Office
Hotel Rogner Europapark
Buleverdi Deshmoret e Kombit
Tirana / Albania
Tel. +355 / 4 / 22 35 035
Fax +355 (4) 2235050
From 29 September – 2 October a Media Office will be set up in the meeting venue with free Wireless connection.
2. Material available to journalists. Journalists who have been accredited by completing the form below will in due course be sent available documentation under embargo.
=> Thursday 29 September at 1230 in Tirana at the Hotel Rogner Europark, the CCEE Presidency and the Archbishop of Tirana will meet the media.
Information about other meetings with the media, on Friday 30 September and Saturday 1 October, will be communicated subsequently.
3. Board and lodging
Journalists intending to go to Tirana must make their own arrangements for board, lodging and transport. Some indication will be given about hotels near the meeting venue.
SHERATON TIRANA HOTEL
tel. 04 2274 707 / 693
web : www.sheraton.com/tirana
City Hotel Tirana
Nr 8/1 Rruga Ismail Qemali,
Tirana 1001, Albanien
+355 4 224 7799 hotelcitytirana.com
4. Access to the meeting
The meeting will take place behind closed doors, with the exception of the opening session on Thursday 29 September (1630) and the public celebrations.
Interviews (during breaks) and filming can be arranged by contacting the Media Officers of CCEE and of the Albanian Bishops’ Conference.
For further information:
CCEE Media Officer
Tel: +41-71-227 60 40 - Fax: +41-71-227 60 41
Mobile: +41-78-851 60 40- thierry.bonaventuraccee.ch
Spokesperson of the Bishops’ Conference of Albania
To the Council of the Bishops´ Conferences of Europe (CCEE) belong, as members, the current 33 European Bishops’ Conferences of this Continent, represented by right by their Presidents, and the Archbishops of Luxembourg, of the Principality of Monaco as well as the Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus and the Bishop of Chişinău (Moldova Rep.). The President is Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Primate of Hungary; the Vice-Presidents are Cardinal Josip Bosanić, Archbishop of Zagreb, and Cardinal Jean-Pierre Ricard, Archbishop of Bordeaux. The General Secretary is mgr. Duarte da Cunha. The Secretariat is based at St Gallen (Switzerland).