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CYRIL AND METHODIUS AD LIMINA VISIT During the above-mentioned period, the most significant event for our local Churches was the bishops’ “ad Limina” visit, which took place from 30 January – 3 February 2017. The Bishops’ Conference prepared for this visit with an Extraordinary Plenary Session, held from 25-27 October 2016 in Belgrade. Due to the bonds which the different dioceses have with Saint John Paul II, it was decided to begin the visit with Mass at the tomb of the Pope Saint. Then, for the first meeting, the Bishops met the Holy Father. Everyone was struck by the spontaneity and attention with which the Pope chaired the meeting. The Bishops noted his preparation, his up-dated knowledge about the geographical situation of the various countries which make up the Bishops’ Conference and references to different details in each individual country. Since it had not been possible in advance to arrange the celebration of Mass with the Holy Father, he was asked about it during the meeting, and he immediately welcomed the request and altered his usual time. So, on the morning of Wednesday 1 March, Pope Francis celebrated Mass with members of the Bishops’ Conference. Both for the Bishops and for our local Churches it was a tangible sign of communion and a moment of blessing and a stimulus for a renewed pastoral enthusiasm. The visits to the various Roman Dicasteries, too, were opportunities for fruitful exchange, encouraged by an atmosphere of listening and understanding with regard to the different issues tackled. Overall, the visit was a great moment for the whole of the Bishops’ Conference and everyone returned home truly confirmed in the faith. CANONISATION OF MOTHER TERESA A moment of great importance for the local Churches of the Bishops’ Conference was the canonisation of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, native of these lands since the saint was born in Skopje of Albanian origin from Kosovo. So, along with the Apostolic Administration of Prizren in the Basilica of St Paul’s Outside the Walls, on 3 September 2016 there was a classical music concert entitled “Hymn to Mother Teresa”, and on 12 September in Skopje a Mass of Thanksgiving for her canonisation was celebrated.


S S . C Y R I L L U S E T M E T H O D I U S


YEAR OF MERCY In all the dioceses of the Bishops’ Conference the programmes prepared for the Jubilee Year of Mercy were followed up to its conclusion. PLENARY ASSEMBLY During the Extraordinary Plenary Session of the Bishops’ Conference, held with a view to the ad Limina visit, there was discusssion about themes relevant to the life of the local Churches to be presented to the Holy Father, as well as to the different Dicasteries of the Holy See. First of all, the question was raised about the composition of the Bishops’ Conference itself, which makes its functioning very difficult. On this issue, the Holy Father himself, taking note of what the Bishops said to him, ordered that at the next Plenary Assembly of the Bishops’ Conference all four Apostolic Nuncios responsible for the countries which the Conference includes should take part. In addition, given that the plan to locate the headquarters of the Bishops’ Conference in the city of Pančevo – in a palace which the Diocese of Zrenjanin received back from the State – was not successful, the Bishops decided that the presbytery in a now abandoned parish in the city of Novi Sad – made available for this purpose by the Diocese of Subotica – should be modified to host the offices of the Bishops’ Conference. Finally, the Bishops discussed the “Little flock” project, through which they wish to find lasting solutions to guarantee the functioning of the diocesan structures in the different countries. In the wake of what has happened in Serbia, the Bishops have begun the drafting of new manuals for catechesis in state schools and have decided to establish a Metropolitan Ecclesiastical Tribunal, thus responding to the new norms on the subject.

Litterae Communions 2017 (English version)  
Litterae Communions 2017 (English version)  

CCEE Litterae communionis contains the annual report (June 2016 - June 2017) of Bishops' Conferences in Europe.