02 September 2016, The Tablet

New General Secretary for EU bishops says Church should work for the Common Good in Europe

Brother Olivier Poquillon will head the Secretariat of Comece

The new General Secretary of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (Comece) has said the Church can make a valuable contribution to the common good in Europe at a time when the EU is facing unparalleled challenges.

Speaking during a recent interview, Brother Olivier Poquillon was asked about his hopes for his new role as head of the Secretariat. He said:  “Europe is above all a territorial area, a continent and a grouping of its native populations. It is now a question for the men and women who live there to reflect on and decide what they want to do together.

“The Church can definitely make a valuable contribution to the building of the common good in Europe, through recreating social links, through sharing her knowledge of the terrain, through suggesting new directions and through building bridges with people of good will.”

Brother Poquillon, a French Dominican, took up the post of General Secretary yesterday (1 September). He previously served as an expert of the Holy See to the Council of Europe and as a military chaplain in the Balkans, Africa and the Middle East. He also chaired the Dominican Order's Francophone Commission for Justice and Peace.

After teaching at the University of Mosul in Iraq, he was the Permanent Delegate of the Order to the United Nations from 2008 to 2013. Since then he has been the Prior of the Dominican convent in Strasbourg.

Comece is the organisation responsible for monitoring the political process of the European Union in all areas of interest to the Church. It is made up of bishops delegated by the Catholic Bishops’ Conferences of the 28 EU Member States.


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