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
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.
A Word from Our President 1
Crisis in Ukraine (and in Europe) 2
Communicantes’ Mission 5+7
Projects 2013 6
About Communicantes 8
The board of Communicantes is wishing you all a Happy Easter.
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.
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
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
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.
“De rol van de kerken / Antisemieten op oorlogspad of echte grieven?” Gisteravond heeft Frans Hoppenbrouwers in Vlaardingen een lezing gegeven over de rol van de kerken in het huidige politieke conflict in Oekraïne. De samenvatting hiervan vindt u hier.
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.)
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