At the conference “Ukrainian Reconciliation Projects and the Future of Europe”, 21/22 April in Kiev, Frans Hoppenbrouwers of Communicantes remembered how he visited the Stepan Bandera Historical Memorial Museum in Kalush in 2003 (see picture). The then recently opened museum had been financed by German millionaire and newspaper editor Gerhard Frey, who was the founder of the right-wing Deutsche Volksunion (DVU). The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Bishop Sofron Mudry of Ivano-Frankivsk added his Church’s approval by attending the 1997 ceremony of laying the foundation stone. Several years ago, the DVU was disbanded and is now – o tempora, o mores – part of the pro-Putin Nationaldemokratische Partei Deutschlands (NPD). Continue reading →
Eind 2013 begonnen in Kiev anti-regeringsdemonstraties, waar ook gelovigen en kerkleiders aan deelnamen. Het aanvankelijk vreedzaam protest groeide in korte tijd tot open oorlog uit. Tijdens deze publieksdag op Paaszaterdag 4 april 2015, een jaar na de Russische bezetting van de Krim, onderzoeken sprekers uit Oekraïne en Nederland wat de rol van de kerken kan zijn bij het streven naar vrede en verzoening. Enkele vragen. Hoe kunnen kerken in Oekraïne bijdragen tot een vrede die steeds meer uit zicht is geraakt? Welk verzoeningspotentieel hebben zij in huis om de gevolgen van dit conflict te verlichten, nu en in de toekomst? Waar liggen kansen? Waar de valkuilen? Zijn kerken deel van het probleem? Is hier, zoals sommigen beweren, sprake van een botsing van culturen en religies?
Deze dag is bedoeld voor iedereen die geïnteresseerd is in Oekraïne, het conflict Rusland-Europa, oecumene, de relatie religie-oorlog-vrede en de publieke rol van kerk en geloof. Inschrijven tot en met woensdag 2 april 2015!
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.
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.
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.
Saturday 26 October 2013, Frans Hoppenbrouwers and board member Joop Wortelboer of Communicantes visited the conference “Innovation and Tradition” celebrating the fifth anniversary of the Dutch Centre for the Social Teaching of the Church CSLK. It was worthwhile to travel all the way to Vogelenzang (Bird’s song). Continue reading →
“Is there a place for me in the Church?” is an international project of the Echoes-Network, which is now in the course of preparation. This morning, Echoes-Network coordinator Ph.D. student Mario Vukoja and Frans Hoppenbrouwers of Communicantes met at a very stormy Tilburg Central Station (Netherlands), where we discussed our respective dialogue projects. Continue reading →
Research by social scientists of the Dutch Erasmus University in the review Politics and Religion reveals that the so-called ‘rationalisation theory’ (higher education leads to unbelief) is not a good explanation for (militant) atheism. In secular countries like the Netherlands non-believers or atheists are rather to be found among the lower educated, while higher educated Dutch are more likely to look sympathetic or more tolerant at religion. However, in countries with a clear-cut religious culture, like Portugal or Italy, a higher education leads to more opposition to religion. Continue reading →
So, Frans Hoppenbrouwers of the foundation Communicantes recently visited the 17th Renovabis conference Free and Solidary. Christians in Responsibility for Europe in Freising, Germany (28/30 September 2013). It was an interesting gathering, meeting old acquaintances and making new friends… ‘Music to my ears’, as such he described the remarks of Renovabis’ general manager Father Stefan Dartmann SJ at the end of the conference. They underlined Communicantes’ plan to put dialogue between Christians in Europe at the heart of its activities. Continue reading →