Nursultan (Agenzia Fides) - The newly formed Bishops' Conference of Central Asia will meet for the first time from April 26 to 30 in Nursultan, Kazakhstan. The new body was officially created in September, following a decree issued by the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples. As Fides has learned, at first it was going to include only Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, but, over the months, it was expanded to include Mongolia and Afghanistan and, probably, in the future it could also include Azerbaijan.
Fr. Jerzy Maculewicz, OFM Conv., Apostolic Administrator of Uzbekistan, explains to Fides: "on the agenda of this first meeting will be the election of the President of the Bishops' Conference, the definition of the objectives to be pursued and the assignment of functions and tasks. During the conference, there will also be a brief meeting between the national director and the head of communication of Caritas Kazakhstan, Father Guido Trezzani and Anastasya Krivonos, who will discuss issues related to the charitable organization of the bishops.
The meeting, Mgr. José Luis Mumbiela Sierra, Bishop of the Holy Trinity in Almaty and President of the Episcopal Conference of Kazakhstan, continues to explain to Agenzia Fides, will be "the first step on a path of unity and brotherhood": "We cherish much hope for the path we are about to undertake with the bishops and apostolic administrators of all these countries. The Lord asks us to broaden the ties of brotherhood, to be more Church with neighboring countries, to bear witness. I think that the most beautiful thing about this new path is that we can be united even though we live in different countries, with different governments and cultures. And this is possible because we have the same faith, we belong to the same Church: on the other hand, Catholicism is distinguished precisely by its universality. I think that It is a very beautiful testimony". (LF/PA) (Agenzia Fides, 22/4/2022)