“It is my impression that faith got stronger during the pandemic and that prayer life became more intense,” said CEC general secretary, Dr Jørgen Skov Sørensen. “Churches must become carriers of hope and light. We knew that already, but it became even clearer during the lock down of societies throughout Europe.”
He shared about how CEC Member Churches have felt the effects of the pandemic, as well as the diversity of their responses, each according to their theological traditions.
Dr Sørensen was speaking at a webinar organised by the EPP Working Group on Intercultural and Religious Dialogue. The webinar held on 24 June 2020, focused on the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on churches and churches’ social teachings in response to COVID.
The event was opened by Mr. György Hölvényi MEP and Jan Olbrycht MEP. In their messages, they highlighted the impact of the pandemic on the life of religious communities in Europe, and their response and contributions in dealing with the crisis.
General secretary of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the EU (COMECE) Fr. Manuel Barrios Prieto emphasised the potential positive outcomes of the crisis. “We should not miss the opportunity to use the COVID-19 crisis to improve ourselves and the EU”. He commended how general solidarity as societies was rediscovered, as well as inherent vulnerability, in spite of the various advances humanity has achieved over time.
Speaking on behalf of the Orthodox Churches to the European Union (CROCEU), its general secretary Fr. George Valcu highlighted the strong impact of the pandemic on the Orthodox communities, given their strongly liturgical and sacramental character, as well as the significant social contribution of the Orthodox Church to alleviate the suffering caused by the crisis.