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    COMECE Assembly calls on EU to propose reviewed vision of justice and peace

    The bishops of the European Union, gathered in Brussels at the autumn Plenary Assembly of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE), on November 10, 2023, adopted a statement for peace in the context of a serious deterioration in international security. The chief guest of the Plenary Assembly was His Beatitude Sviatoslav, Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church.

    That’s’ according to an UGCC press service.

    The bishops expressed their deep concern about the current situation: “The world seems to be regressing into a dangerous dynamic, reminiscent of some of the darkest hours of humankind which were meant to remain in history books. The polarisation of the international community, fuelled by a renewed logic of competition between the great powers, along with eroding trust in multilateral cooperation frameworks, leaves open the scenario of an uncontrollable escalation with catastrophic consequences for the whole of humanity.”

    Noting their concern about Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine and the Armenia-Azerbaijan conflict in the Caucasus, the bishops said “such international polarisation and regional instabilities also have repercussions for European societies, stirring up fears, weakening dialogue and threatening social cohesion.”

    “Dangerous phenomena have been gaining ground in several European  countries, such as anti-Semitism, radicalisation and xenophobia, often fuelled by a  systematic spread of disinformation and resulting in violent extremism and terrorism,  which we strongly condemn in all their forms and expressions,” the declaration reads.

    The bishops call upon the leaders of the EU, as well as all European citizens, to rediscover and embrace the two great dreams of Europe’s founding fathers: unity and peace.

    They reiterate that peace is more than the absence of war and violence.  Constructing peace also requires coherent efforts aimed at promoting human dignity, justice, integral human development and the care of Creation, the declaration reads.

    “We strongly encourage political representatives of our Union to play an active role in shaping and offering to the continent and to the world a renewed vision for stability, justice and peace. While not giving in to a logic of war, the European Union should open up new processes of dialogue and develop a coherent diplomacy of peace. In view of becoming a true bridge and peacemaker in its neighbourhood and in the  world, the EU should also show leadership in rebuilding a global architecture of  peace, rooted in effective multilateralism and respect for international law, including  sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of other States,” the bishops stated.

    They also stressed that coherent implementation of global arms control, non-proliferation and disarmament agreements should be equally prioritised in view of fostering mutual trust as a pillar of international stability.

    “Building lasting peace requires both architects and artisans, and thus we are all called to contribute to this common task, promoting a culture of encounter, solidarity and peace,” the declaration concludes.

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