May 20

Difficult Reconciliation

Recently, Roman and Greek Catholic bishops have been discussing reconciliation between Poles and Ukrainians, but on 14 May 2013, less than a week after the reconciliation project was announced, it fell apart. Continue reading

Apr 17

“On Germany”

Reconciliation is a familiar theme to the various regions of Europe, where a past of extremely violent conflict still very much determines the outlook on other peoples and other nations. And reconciliation is a complicated theme for religious and less religious people alike, there is no need to explain things in great detail. This is not only true for the Balkan or Eastern Europe. Fifty years of German-French reconciliation ends in an “Aesthetic ruin park”, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung recently wrote. On 8 April 2013, F.A.Z. explained to its readers, how the exhibition “De l’Allemagne, 1800-1939. German Thought and Painting, from Friedrich to Beckmann” (Louvre, 28 March-24 June 2013) had caused outrage. Marking the 50th anniversary of the French-German reconciliation, the Paris exhibition is now subject of growing German-French controversy. Continue reading

Mar 29

Happy Easter

Beata Pascha — collegium moderatorum Fundationis “Communicantes” / Buona Pasqua — il consiglio amministrativo della Fondazione Communicantes / Frohe Ostern — der Vorstand der Stiftung Communicantes / Happy Easter — the board of the Foundation Communicantes / Joyeuses Pâques — le conseil d’administration de la Fondation Communicantes / Zalig Pasen — namens het bestuur van de Stichting Communicantes / Христос Воскрес! Воίстину Воскрес! — вίд ίменί адмίнίстрацίϊ “Комунίкантес” / Христос воскресе воистину воскресе — от имени администрации “Комуникантес” ——————————————————————————————————
Communicantes – constructief en wederzijds / konstruktive und wechselseitige Verständigung / constructive collaboration and mutual understanding – Rom. / Röm. 12,13
Mar 22

The New Pope and Eastern Europe

For a certain amount of time, a new Pope becomes a kind of white screen on which we project our hopes and anxieties with great abundance. This phenomenon seems more vivid now, not the least because our newly elected Pope Francis’ personal track record is fairly unknown and limited to a specific geographical area. Moreover, a new Pope will be confronted with all kinds of wish lists, e.g. of a more political nature. What is being said in the Eastern parts of Europe? Continue reading

Feb 12

Church of Eastern Europe Soft Voice at the Conclave

The Catholic Church of Eastern Europe will be somewhat underrepresented at the election of a successor to Pope Benedict XVI. If we take a look at the vast territory between the German border and Vladivostok (Caucasus and Central Asia included), no more than ten Cardinals will participate in the conclave. Four of them are Polish. Three others originate from former Yugoslav republics. Seven are ordinary bishop. The remaining three Cardinals are (former) members of the Roman Curia. Remarkably absent will be the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. With 5,5 to 6 million believers worldwide, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church is the largest Church of the Oriental Rite in union with Rome. Continue reading

Jan 10

‘Religionless culture’ in Poland

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Benno Jacob, Katharina Staritz and Edith Stein, what is the legacy of these four theologians for us? This was a central question during a discussion at the Edith Stein House in Wroclaw. About twenty participants discussed on 13 December 2012 about how the Lutheran Bonhoeffer, the Jew Jacob, the evangelical Staritz and Catholic Stein looked at culture. How did these thinkers, who were all born in Wroclaw (Breslau), view the relationship between culture, society, civilization and religion? Continue reading

Jan 10

‘Religieloze cultuur’ in Polen

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Benno Jacob, Katharina Staritz en Edith Stein, wat is de boodschap van deze vier theologen voor de 21ste eeuw? Deze vraag stond centraal tijdens een gespreksavond in het Edith Stein Huis in Wroclaw. Ongeveer twintig deelnemers bespraken op 13 december 2012 de cultuurvisie van de lutheraan Bonhoeffer, de jood Jacob, de evangelische Staritz en de katholiek Stein. Hoe zagen deze in Wroclaw geboren denkers de relatie tussen cultuur, maatschappij, beschaving en religie? Continue reading

Dec 21

Christmas Newsletter

The board of the foundation Communicantes wishes you a merry Christmas and a blessed New Year. Leave the bad news for what it is. Let the good message be heard, because, if heaven is out of view, our earthly wishes, regrets, art and work lose their meaning. Please, read the Communicantes Christmas Newsletter to know a bit more about our activities in 2012 and outlook on 2013:
Communicantes Newsletter 2012/2 Christmas (English)
Communicantes Nieuwsbrief 2012/2 Kerstmis (Dutch)

Dec 13

Travel to Lithuania and Latvia — from 24 November to 8 December

On Saturday 8 December, my travel to Lithuania and Latvia came to an end, when the WizzAir Airbus A320 safely touched down on the tarmac of Eindhoven Airport (EIN). It was an interesting and inspiring trip, which started two weeks earlier on the same airport. I had some thirty meetings, in Vilnius, Kaunas and Panevezys (Lithuania), in Ludza, Jekabpils and Riga (Latvia). Once again, I say a great “thank you” to everybody whom I have met, for sharing your time and thoughts. As an inspirational endnote, I have added a picture of the original coat of arms of bishop Jonas Kauneckas of Panevėžys. The bishop himself is holding it. Because it was considered to be too different from the usual coats of arms, it was not used officially. However, to my opinion it was well designed. The motto is a challenge to all people of good faith, “Žiūrėti Jo žvilgsniu”: To see with His eyes. For a short first impression of my trip, see Facebook.