The bishops open their assembly in Lourdes, with a mass for Ukraine

The Catholic bishops opened their spring plenary assembly in Lourdes on Tuesday, during which they must in particular "take stock" of the measures on pedocrime in the Church taken in 2021 and proceed to the election of their presidency.

“We find ourselves in a very different atmosphere from that of last November. We lived intense hours there, we took a historic spiritual step there”, declared the president of the Conference of Bishops of France (CEF), Eric de Moulins-Beaufort, during his opening speech broadcast on KTO-TV.

On that date, the CEF had recognized the "institutional responsibility" of the Church in the pedocriminal acts and their "systemic nature", one month after the conclusions of the Independent Commission on Sexual Abuse in the Church (Ciase) chaired by Jean-Marc Sauvé, who documented the extent of the phenomenon over 70 years.

A series of measures had been taken. “We will take stock of the implementation” of these decisions, added the Archbishop of Reims.

The bishops begin this session "by sharing in the painful trials of the war waged in Ukraine", he underlined, with a mass, in the middle of the day, presided over by Mgr. Hlib Lonchyna, the representative of the Greek Catholic Church. (Byzantine rite) for France.

A way of joining "thus to the supplication of the Ukrainian people, for themselves and for the Russian people", said Bishop de Moulins-Beaufort, specifying that a videoconference with the Major Archbishop of the Greek Church Ukrainian Catholic, Sviatoslav Shevshuk, was also planned.

The assembly is held until Friday. The first three half-days are devoted to the theme of "integral ecology", with Catholic, Protestant and Orthodox guests.

On Wednesday, the heads of the Independent National Authority for Recognition and Reparation (Inirr) and the Fund for the Relief and Fight against Abuse of Minors (Selam), two structures voted by the CEF in 2021 for victims of pedocrime, will come explain the functioning of their bodies.

Likewise, the person in charge of the nine working groups in charge of deepening certain recommendations of the Sauvé report, under the responsibility of lay people, is invited.

The CEF will finally proceed to the election of its president. Except surprise, Éric de Moulins-Beaufort, 60, should be reappointed for a second term of three years.

The Editorial Board (with AFP)

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