The Central Secretariat (CS)
The Central Secretariat is the principal service agency of FABC, and an instrument of co-ordination both within FABC and with outside offices and agencies.
The functions of the Cedntral Secretariat shall include the following:
- To serve as an organ
of continuing contact and collaboration among the member conferences;
- To be an organ of exchange
of information and experience;
- To promote studies and
research on problems common to member conferences, especially
in the fields of evangelization, cultural adaptation, justice
and peace, and cultural adaptation, justice and peace, and other
aspects of total human development;
- To establish liason
with related pontifical organizations and international studies;
- To sponsor conferences,
consultations and seminars on relevant issues;
- To sponsor dialogue
with other Christians, followers of the great religions of Asia,
and of all men and women of good will, in pursuance of mutual
understanding and truth vis-a-vis the common problems of Asia.
FABC & the Central Asian Bishops
Ten Bishops and Ordinaries from Central Asia gathered for a
meeting along with a representative of the Federation of Asian Bishops' Conferences
(FABC) from March 5-6. "It is an historical moment when you see so many Bishops in
your church," Archbishop Jan Pawel Lenga of the Diocese of Karaganda in Kazakhstan
said in his homily on March 4.
From February 27 to March 3, the Ordinaries from Central Asia had
their spiritual retreat given by Fr Christopher Nitkevich from the Sacred Congregation
for Oriental Churches in Rome.
The principal celebrant of the Sunday Mass on March 4 was Archbishop
Tomash Peta, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Kazakhstan. Other concelebrants, beside some
priests, were Archbishop Lenga and his Auxiliary Bishop, Athanasius Schneider ORC, Bishop Henry
Theophilus Howaniec OFM of Holy Trinity Diocese, Almaty, Bishop Janusz Kaleta of the
Apostolic Administration of Atyrau, Bishop Jerzy Maculewicz OFM Conv. of the Apostolic
Administration of Uzbekistan, Bishop Nikolaus Messmer SJ of the Apostolic Administration
of Kyrgyzstan and Archbishop Josef Wesolowski, Apostolic Nuncio to Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan,
Tadjikistan and Kyrgystan. Fr. Carlos Avila VE superior of the Sui Iuris Mission of Tadjikistan,
Fr. Anrdrzej Madej OMI superior of the Sui Iuris Mission of Turkmenistan and Fr. Vasyl Hovera,
Vatican Delegate for Greek Catholics in Kazakhstan and Central Asia, were also concelebrants.
Fr. Raymond O'Toole SFM, Assistant Secretary General, represented the
FABC at the March 5-6 meeting of Bishops/Ordinaries after the retreat. He gave a brief
power-point presentation on FABC.
"The greatest achievement of this meeting is that we had a chance
to come to know each other better. They are now more familiar with FABC, its nature, function, structure, membership and its basic pastoral and theological thrust," Fr O'Toole said.
The FABC will also benefit from Central Asian Churches participation
since they will serve as a bridge between Asia and Europe. The Central Asian Churches are permanent observers in the Council of Conferences of Bishops in Europe.
Archbishop Peta is president of the Bishops' Conference of Kazakhstan
which was established in 2003 and is elegible to become a full member of FABC.
The Conference of Bishops of Kazakhstan will meet in April and will then decide whether
to assume full membership in FABC. The other Central Asian Churches are associate members.