European Bishops denounce coronavirus 'fake news'

European Bishops denounce coronavirus ‘fake news’, offer ecumenical Easter message of “hope and light”

(Source: CD/COMECE)

On the occasion of International Fact-checking Day last April 2, and in the context of its commitment to counter fake news and disinformation, the Secretariat of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) prepared a list of the main measures put forward in March 2020 by the EU institutions to fight the spread of the coronavirus and to support the people and economies of all EU Member States.

– Denounce disinformation designed “to create political shifts and undermine the European project”

COMECE elaborated this list to give its contribution to dispelling false claims that – as recently reported by the EEAS anti-disinformation taskforce EUvsDisinfo – “aim to create political shifts and undermine the European project”.

The list is divided into three categories – “Health, Research & Innovation”, “Economy” and “Travel and Transportation” – and can be consulted below:

– Easter message: Let us become “bearers of hope and light in our world ravaged by much suffering”

In the meantime, and as people, families and communities continue to be affected by the COVID-19 crisis in Europe and in the rest of the world, Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ and Reverend Christian Krieger, Presidents of COMECE and of the Conference of European Churches (CEC) respectively, have shared the following Easter message:

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Christians are preparing to commemorate the passion and death of Christ, to celebrate his resurrection in glory in a completely new way.

This Easter believers will be unable to come together to pray and sing together, gather to be silent before God, listen to his word, meet together to share the bread and the cup.

This year we celebrate the victory in Christ over death, at a time when the world is struggling with the COVID 19 pandemic, that is ravaging the world causing mourning and suffering among all peoples.

Confined to our homes or in voluntary self-isolation, this year believers will celebrate the victory of life hoping to fight death.

More than ever, current events remind us how much hope is a dimension of faith.

“For in hope we were saved”, affirms Apostle Paul in the epistle to the Romans, before continuing: “Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what is seen? But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience” (Romans 8. 24-25).

May the Easter Gospel stir this breath of hope in the hearts and thoughts of Christians, may the breath of God animate our steadfast expectation so that the Church and each and every one of us become bearers of hope and light in our world ravaged by much suffering.

May God, thrice holy, He who is, who was and who is to come, bless His humanity and keep it.

Christ is risen, He is truly risen!

– Cardinal Hollerich: Easter “a great time to deepen our faith”

COMECE President Cardinal Hollerich, meanwhile, reflected further on the meaning of Easter in an interview April 8 with Vatican News.

“I think Easter is really for us a great time to deepen our faith”, Hollerich, who is also the Archbishop of Luxembourg, said.

“We need to go into the depths of our heart, where we find fears, we find loneliness, and we find a lot of things in our own heart which are capable [of bringing] us down. But at the same time if we look at our heart with a look of faith, we shall find hope”.

We are all “a little bit like Simon, who helped the Lord carry His Cross”, Cardinal Hollerich continued, noting that doctors and nurses, sick people and the dying are all helping “to carry that Cross, which is the cross of humanity”.

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For the rest of us, we are called to carry different crosses, which we do “through small gestures… gestures of love and charity, as our Pope tells us”, the COMECE Preisdent explained.

“And if we succeed in carrying thus the cross of Christ… we shall see that Christ in fact is carrying our cross, and He gives us consolation, and the grace of hope, because Christ is truly risen from the dead”, Hollerich concluded.

Novena’s full coverage of the coronavirus pandemic:

Francis, on COVID-19: “This is the opportunity for conversion, the time to move from misusing nature, the moment to see the poor”

Vatican presses cardinals to stump up for COVID-19 relief, urges more help for elderly in emergency

Coronavirus: Vatican cardinal urges “fundamentalists” to give up on “theory” pandemic God’s “revenge”

In special Easter video, Pope counsels “creativity of love” to overcome coronavirus isolation

Churches push Brussels for “concrete expressions of our shared European responsibility” on COVID-19

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Cameron Doody

Director and editor at Novena
PhD in ancient Jewish/Christian history and philosophy. Lecturer in ethics at Loyola University Maryland, Alcalá de Henares (Spain) campus. Religion journalist with 4 years experience.
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