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Thursday, March 23, 2017
Bishops launch pilgrimage for a united Europe
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¬†Today ≠ Europe Day ≠ the Bishops of COMECE and the Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela will launch "Santiago 2004", a pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela to mark the unification of Europe. The pilgrimage will begin on 17 April 2004 at the Benedictine monastery of Santo Domingo de Silos and will be joined by over 300 pilgrims nominated by the Catholic Bishops' Conferences of the present and future European Union, as well as politicians, journalists, writers and artists. It will conclude in Santiago on 21 April 2004. The initiative is being supported by the heads of the three main EU institutions: Pat Cox, President of the European Parliament; Romano Prodi, President of the European Commission; and Bertie Ahern, the Irish Taoiseach who will hold the rotating presidency of the European Council in the first half of 2004. The pilgrimage will mark an historic moment for the unification of Europe with the accession to the EU of ten new member states from Central, Eastern and Southern Europe on 1 May next year. 2004 is also a Holy Year for the shrine of Santiago de Compostela, which itself has been a symbol of European unity in the form of the pilgrim routes for hundreds of years. The pilgrimage will be followed on 21-24 April 2004 by a theological congress on the significance of European integration for Christian faith, and a Plenary Meeting of COMECE at which the Bishops' Conferences of the new EU member states will become full members. The Bishops of COMECE and the Archbishop of Santiago de Compostela, JuliŠn Barrio Barrio, issued the attached statement, dated 9 May 2003, announcing "Santiago 2004" and inviting Europeans to join them in pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela and other shrines in Europe. COMECE is a commission of the Catholic Bishops' Conferences of the member states of the European Union. The Bishops' Conferences of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia and Switzerland are associate members. Source: COMECE
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