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
On Monday 13 January 2014 the Foundation Communicantes moved to its new address at Gasthuisring 54a in Tilburg. Visit our contact page for the exact information. We are at home at the convent of the Brothers CMM, a Dutch missionary congregation. There, we share a wing of the convent with the Missionary Service Centre Tilburg (MST) and the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
Dear Friend of Communicantes,
Thinking about moving from one place to another and about how to send our friends and partners a meaningful change of address, I remembered a recent news article. It mentioned the Italian Roman Catholic priest, angelologist and demonologist Renzo Lavatori, who claims that angels are ‘shards of light’ rather than winged entities with human features. Continue reading
‘Ukraine is Europe!’ demonstrators sing by tens of thousands on Independence Square in Kyiv. Since 21 November, they have been protesting their government’s failure to sign the Association Agreement with the European Union. All the main Churches of Ukraine joined in the protest with the exception of the Ukrainian Orthodox Church of the Moscow Patriarchate. Dr. Heleen Zorgdrager, assistant professor of the Free University of Amsterdam, recently wrote an article about the way in which the Churches give spiritual support to the demonstrators. Unfortunately, this article is only available in Dutch.
Last Friday, Ukraine decided to suspend the European Union association agreement signing. Large scale protests are now being held all over the country. The smart looking picture on the left was taken in Lviv, Western Ukraine, on Sunday evening. It defies the political reality. In spite of what happened, EU-Ukrainian love is flourishing. Indeed, we know from Catholic Social Teaching: big things start small! The Head of the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church Major-Archbishop Sviatoslav Shevchuk expressed his solidarity with the crowd at “Europe square” (Maidan Nezalezhnosti) in Kiev last Sunday.
Communicantes is going to move from Nijmegen to Tilburg. Yesterday, we have been packing up books at our Nijmegen office. On the shelves, we found several articles by the Dominican Father Professor Magister G.P. Kreling (1888-1973). Communicantes’ founder, Father Jan Bakker s.s.s. (1914-1982), was a student and great admirer of the famous Kreling, who in turn was a great admirer and advocate of Saint Thomas Aquinas. Continue reading
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