Dec 18

Felix dies Nativitatis … Merry Christmas … З Різдвом Христовим

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Felix dies Nativitatis — collegium moderatorum Fundationis “Communicantes”
Buon Natale — il consiglio amministrativo della Fondazione Communicantes
Frohe Weihnachten — der Vorstand der Stiftung Communicantes
Merry Christmas — the board of the Foundation Communicantes
Joyeux Noël — le conseil d’administration de la FondationC ommunicantes
Zalig Kerstfeest — namens het bestuur van de Stichting Communicantes
З Різдвом Христовим — вίд ίменί адмίнίстрацίϊ “Комунίкантес”
С Рождеством Христовым — от имени администрации “Комуникантес”

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Communicantes – constructief en wederzijds / konstruktive und wechselseitige Verständigung / constructive collaboration and mutual understanding – Rom. / Röm. 12,13

Dec 18

Documents of the Vatican II Council in Ukrainian

Recently, the Documents of the Vatican II Council have been published in Ukrainian translation. All the documents have been translated from Latin into Ukrainian, while competent Ukrainian authors wrote in-depth commentaries. It was in fact our former collaborator Paul Wennekes, who pushed Myroslav Marynovych, vice-rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University and director of the Institute for Church and Society, to place this heavy burden on his shoulder. Finally, all the work that went into it payed off. Myroslav did an excellent job. Many congratulations! Communicantes provided funding to start the project.

Oct 14

Peace in Ukraine?

Frans Hoppenbrouwers of Communicantes visited Western Ukraine, where he didn’t see any fascists in black shirts practicing their goose step. In fact, everything was peaceful and quiet. Even the monument of the Soviet victory over fascism, which is located along an important traffic artery of the metropolis Lviv and which is just a few steps away from the Military Academy was in great shape. (See boots with wreath.) It was great to see that all this (pro-)Russian propaganda about Ukrainian fascist is by and large nonsense. Of course, people are not exactly happy with the Russian leadership and its evil doings.I am now preparing an article about my talks with victims of violence, peacemakers and a military chaplain about making peace. At Facebook you will find some pictures from Lviv and people.
Jun 28

Remembering the First World War

A hundred years ago, the First World War broke out. The assassination of the Austrian successor to the throne Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914 was the starting signal of the “war to end war”. The bitter experiences and outcome of World War One and yet another World War on top of that, just 20 years later, led to the “European Peace Project”, which became embodied most significantly in the European Union. Continue reading

Jun 11

EuroMaidan: a Pilgrimage from Fear to Dignity

Frans Hoppenbrouwers of Communicantes met with Bishop Boris Gudziak, Eparch of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Eparchy of Paris and together we discussed the ongoing crisis in Ukraine. We talked about what caused the protests that lead to this crisis, the involvement of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, the disappointment about the attitude of the European Union and the stance of the Russian Orthodox Church. Read: EuroMaidan: a Pilgrimage from Fear to Dignity.

Apr 10

Christian Identity: from Word to Action

On 15 March 2014 in the European Capital of Culture, Frans Hoppenbrouwers of Communicantes (picture on the left) spoke at the ecumenical conference “Word, Prayer, Life: Christian Ideals for Today’s World”. In his presentation “Christian Identity: from Word to Action”, Hoppenbrouwers discussed contemplation and action as necessary complements to the Christian experience. Consequently, he argued, for example, in favour of a Christian commitment to the ideal of a united Europe. Read his lecture here.

Apr 10

Who’s afraid of Vladimir Putin’s Conservative Ideology?

Enjoying Hans-Joachim Spanger’s must-read “Unholy Alliance. Putin and the Values”*, I was reminded of a nice “parable” of Meister Eckhart about words and action. The medieval mystic compares people who talk but don’t act with toads croaking in a pond. They croak and that is what they do, most of the time. In fact, the toad – an old symbol of sexual lust – only becomes active to perform immoral acts. Unfortunately for Russia, for Ukraine and for us, warmonger President Vladimir Putin seems to qualify as toad. Continue reading

Feb 27

Keep up to date with the events in Ukraine

And more at BBC News Europe
28/2: Crimean airports occupied
27/2: West warns Russia amid rising tensions in Crimea
22/2: Live text from BBC reporters and informants on the spot
- President Viktor Yanukovych ousted by Parliament, but refuses to quit
- allegedly, former President Yanukovych tried to flee to Russia but was prevented from doing so by border guards
- numerous statutes of Lenin have been toppled
21/2: Live text from BBC reporters and informants on the spot
- President Yanukovych and opposition leaders signed an agreement for early elections; maybe more than 100 people have died
20/2: Live text from BBC reporters and informants on the spot
- at last 17 maybe 35 people have died today
18/2: Live text from BBC reporters and informants on the spot:
- at last 25 people have died
- hundreds and hundreds lay wounded in hospitals all over Kyiv
- horrendous scenes seen on the internet
- take over of secret service, police and administration buildings in regional capitals
- President Viktor Yanukovych, who didn’t make a single concession over the last three months, is blaming the victims. Continue reading

Feb 19

Protests in Ukraine. How did it all come about and where will it end?

Until today, President Viktor Yanukovych hasn’t made one single concession to the opposition or to the protesters at the EuroMaidan. Their demands were very simple. They want Ukraine to move in another direction: away from random police violence, lawlessness, bribing, corruption and state theft. In fact, Ukraine is a banana republic, a country where mobsters are in command. It is not much different from your average third world country and rather similar to the Russian Federation. Read the full text in pdf.

Jan 31

The Church and the Anti-Government Protests in Ukraine II

Today, the bishops of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church issued a long letter (in Ukrainian) explaining their attitude towards continuing protests in Kiev and various provincial capitals. The bishops deplore “manifestations of violence, oppression and harassment of peaceful demonstrators by the security agencies” and “condemn any bloodshed and any form of violence”, while adhering to “the right to peaceful protest”. A few days ago, professor Heleen Zorgdrager (Free University in Amsterdam) returned from EuroMaidan in Kiev. She wrote an article for Het Fries Dagblad and gave some interesting details about the role of religion in the protest: article in Dutch. (The picture above shows Lutheran minister Ralf Haska, who several times prevented clashes between protesters and police officers. See: Revolution and Religion: 12 best images from Euromaidan.)

Jan 29

Quo vadis, Europa? – Quo imus? – Where are we going in Europe?

As a strong supporters and defender of the European Union I am feeling more and more embarrassed with this monster with 28 dragon heads.
Christians have remained loyal supporters and so have I, not so much because of what Europe actually is, but rather because of what Europe could (have) become: a conglomerate of states loosely sharing more or less the same ideals, an example to the world of how century old conflict was put to rest and a union ready to stand up for its rights and for those of others. Continue reading