Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community
|Commissio Episcopatuum Communitatis Europaeae|
|Predecessor||European Catholic Pastoral Information Service|
|Established||March 3, 1980|
|Type||Association without lucrative purpose|
|Purpose||Represent episcopal conferences of EU member states at EU institutions|
|Bishops delegated by episcopal conferences of EU member states|
|Cardinal Reinhard Marx|
The Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community (Latin: Commissio Episcopatuum Communitatis Europaeae; COMECE) is the association of Catholic Church episcopal conferences in member states of the European Union (EU) which officially represents those episcopal conferences at EU institutions.
COMECE bishops are delegated by Catholic episcopal conferences in EU member states and has a permanent Secretariat in Brussels, Belgium. It was established in 1980 and replaced the European Catholic Pastoral Information Service (SIPECA, 1976–1980). Discussions during the 1970s about creating an episcopal conferences' liaison organization to the European Community led to the decision, on the eve of the European Parliament election, 1979, to establish COMECE.
The objectives of COMECE are to:
- monitor EU "political processes" and "legal developments"
- communicate "opinions and views" about "European integration in the light of" Catholic social teaching
- communicate "concerns and opinions" of bishops about "the construction of a peaceful and prosperous Europe for all" to EU institutions
- offer "the co-operation and the service of the Church" to EU institutions
- respond to "questions and problems" of EU institutions
- maintain "transparent and regular dialogue with the EU Institutions"
- "inform and raise awareness among" episcopal conferences in EU member states and Catholics about topics of "common interest dealt with by the different institutions of the EU"
- assist episcopal conferences in EU member states with understanding "the challenges posed by" European integration
- "foster collegiality" between episcopal conferences in EU member states "in developing specific actions" with respect to European "social and ethical problems"
COMECE's president is currently Cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising. It has first Vice-President Bishop Jean Kockerols and three other vice-presidents, currently Bishop Gianni Ambrosio, Bishop Czesław Kozon and Bishop Rimantas Norvila. The official who runs the office on a day-to-day basis is the General Secretary, currently the Rev. Dr. Patrick Daly. The General Secretary is appointed for a three-year term renewable term.
Presidents of COMECE
- 1980Franz Hengsbach, Bishop of Essen–1984 :
- 1984Jean Hengen, Archbishop of Luxembourg–1990 :
- 1990Charles Amarin Brand, Archbishop of Strasbourg–1993 :
- 1993Josef Homeyer, Bishop of Hildesheim–2006 :
- 2006Adrianus Herman van Luyn, Bishop of Rotterdam–2012 :
- 2012Reinhard Marx, Cardinal Archbishop of Munich and Freising:
General Secretaries of COMECE
- March 1980Fr. Paul Huot-Pleuroux–March 1993 :
- March 1993Fr. Noel Treanor–February 2008 :
- March 2008Fr. Piotr Mazurkiewicz–November 2012 :
- February 2013Fr. Patrick Daly–May 2016 :
- September 2016Fr. Olivier Poquillon:
COMECE and the Jesuit European Social Centre publish a monthly digital newsletter, europeinfos, to make the meaning and purpose of the European project better known to citizens, and especially to the local churches.
- "Secretariat of COMECE (Commission of the Episcopates of the European Community)". ec.europa.eu. European Commission. Joint Transparency Register Secretariat. 2016-04-12. Transparency Register id: 47350036909-69. Archived from the original on 2016-05-02. Retrieved 2016-05-02.
- "Our history". comece.eu. Brussels, BE: Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community. Archived from the original on 2016-05-03. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
- Turner, Frank (2013). "The Roman Catholic Church and the European institutions: dialogue and advocacy at the European Union". In Leuştean, Lucian N. Representing religion in the European Union: does God matter?. Routledge studies in religion and politics. London [u.a.]: Routledge. pp. 77, 82–83. ISBN 9780415685047.
- "Who we are". comece.eu. Brussels, BE: Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community. Archived from the original on 2016-04-01. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
- "Our mission". comece.eu. Brussels, BE: Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Community. Archived from the original on 2016-05-04. Retrieved 2016-05-03.
- "Revue Europe-Infos". jesuites.com (in French). Jésuites de la Province de France. Archived from the original on 2013-06-17. Retrieved 2015-06-04.