Bratislava, 21 March (TK KBS) The European Catholic Social Days were an experience of synodal path, recalled Ivan Ružička, Executive Secretary of the Slovak Bishops' Conference, who was one of the coordinators of the event. This was evident from the style of work and the composition of the programme, which during the four days was attended by over two hundred people in person in Bratislava and hundreds of people online from all over the world.
After each keynote lecture and open discussion, participants were able to engage in smaller discussion groups and workshops. The collected outputs for each topic were then processed and the outputs were offered at the end of the event for re-reflection together, outlined the experience by priest Ivan Ruzicka. "Almost all the outputs are available on the catholicsocialdays.eu website," he added.
Cardinal Hollerich: We walked together, we were in a real process of synodality
In a similar way, the Archbishop of Luxembourg, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ, applauded the event. "We have walked together, we have been in a real process of synodality and in this continuation of walking together we will see where the Holy Spirit is leading us. To be like the Church in Europe, and to serve," said Cardinal Hollerich, who is also the General Relator of the Synod of Bishops.
"Sometimes we could feel that there were some small differences between Eastern and Western Europe, but these differences never became a wall. On the contrary, they inspired us to be better listeners, to become people of dialogue," he said. "Europe needs the witness of all people who take the Gospel seriously," said the President of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the EU (COMECE)
"I think we are on the right path and we will continue on it. I think and hope that the Synod, which has already begun and which will end next October, will inspire us to walk with joy in our hearts in the service of God's humanity, in the service of the world that God has created," added the Archbishop of Luxembourg, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ
The experience of the synodal path was also confirmed by the Archbishop of Vilnius, the President of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences (CCEE), Gintaras Grušas, and the President of the Slovak Bishops Conference, Stanislav Zvolenský. "These days have been a form of synodal work for us, which we are happy to share with our own ecclesial communities," said Archbishop Grušas in his closing remarks.
"We have had intense days of listening to facts, suggestions and opinions from different countries and different areas of expertise. The great of amount of new information has broadened our perspective and opened up the opportunity for new ways of thinking.
I dare say that these days lived up to expectations and showed us once again the meaning of an international meeting that, against the backdrop of the challenges we all face, brings people together in one place to listen and talk to each other," added the host of the event, Metropolitan Archbishop of Bratislava, Mons. Stanislav Zvolenský.
At the end of the event, COMECE Secretary General Fr. Prieto concluded: "We are open to invitations from Bishops' Conferences that would like to host future edition of this event.”