Europe's airport chaplains seek clearer guidelines'

 Airport Chaplains requested "clearer rules of tasks, responsibility, and guidelines" for chaplaincy ministry, during the VI European Seminar for Catholic Civil Aviation Chaplains and Chaplaincy members, held at St Mary's College, Oscott, Birmingham, 31 March - 4 April. This was one of the recommendations in a final document produced by more than 30 delegates working at major airports in 10 European countries. Another recommendation from the seminar, on the theme: "Airport chaplains in a multi-religious and secular society", requested that: "Airport Chaplains should have sensitivity and understanding for the habits and needs and differences between various religions." The seminar was organized by Fr David Lacy, Secretary General of the Catholic Chaplains in Civil Aviation and Chaplaincy Members in Europe (EACCAC), Chaplain at Birmingham International Airport. As delegates departed, he said: "We came together to renew our mission and commitment. We leave Oscott College inspired for the challenges we face in our chaplaincy work throughout Europe." Archbishop Vincent Nichols presided at the opening Mass, held in the chapel at Oscott College, the Diocesan Seminary, and welcomed the delegates to the seminar. Archbishop Agostino Marchetto, Secretary of the Pontifical Council for the Pastoral Care of Migrants and Itinerant People was unable to be present and his Inaugural Address was read to delegates by Nilda Castro, Official in Charge of the sector on Civil Aviation Apostolate. Canon David Evans, Secretary of the Committee for Theology, Faith And Culture of the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales gave a lecture: "Secularisation in the United Kingdom". Mr William Ozanne, Secretary of the Birmingham Archdiocesan Commission for Inter-religious Dialogue, spoke about: "Inter-religious Relations". Fr Paschal Ryan, Heathrow Airport chaplain led a discussion about the experiences of working in a multi-religious chaplaincy with people who are not Christian. Mr Joe Kelly, Acting Managing Director, Birmingham International Airport gave a talk at Oscott College: "Working relationships with reference to inter-religious practice and customs". He was followed by Mrs Barbara Hayes, Anglican Chaplain at Birmingham Airport, who spoke about: "Multi-religious care Team & Response to Crisis". Delegates later visited Birmingham International Airport where they met airport staff and colleagues. Bishop Philip Pargeter, Auxiliary Bishop in Birmingham, was the principal celebrant at an evening Mass held in St Chad's Cathedral, Birmingham on Wednesday 2 April. During his homily Bishop Pargeter emphasised the importance of the work of airport chaplains "in sharing the Gospel" with people who travel by air throughout the world. He added: "I do appreciate very much the splendid work you do." The following day, Bishop William Kenney, CP, Auxiliary Bishop of Birmingham, and spokesman on European Affairs for the Bishops' Conference of England and Wales, was the principal celebrant as Mass held at the Birmingham Oratory. Afterwards delegates were given a tour of Cardinal Newman's Room and Library and a talk by Fr Gregory Winterton, Vice-Chairman of the Friends of the Venerable John Henry Cardinal Newman. For the record the delegates who attended the Birmingham seminar, work at following airports: London Heathrow, Gatwick, Birmingham International, East Midlands, Glasgow, and Manchester. Brussels, Geneva-Cointrin, Geneva Christoforo Columbo, Gudja Malta, Lodz, Nice-Cote D'Azur, Roissy Charles De Gaulle, Rome Leonardo da Vinci, Schiphol, Vienna International, and Warsaw, F Chopin.

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