From April 26 to May 1, 2022, Nur-Sultan hosted the first Plenary Session of Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Central Asia. The meeting was attended by all the Bishops and Ordinaries of Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Mongolia, Afghanistan, and also the Apostolic Nuncio in Kazakhstan, His Eminence Archbishop Francis Assisi Chullikatt and the Apostolic Nuncio in Mongolia and Korea, and His Eminence Archbishop Alfred Xuereb, Bishop Vladimir Fekete, Apostolic Prefect of Azerbaijan, who was present as an observer during the entire meeting.
The session began with a pilgrimage to the roots of the 20th century Catholic Church in Kazakhstan. Ordinaries of Central Asia honored the remains of Blessed Władysław Bukowiński, and the servants of God, Bishop Alexander Khira and Gertrude Detzel, who rest in Karaganda.
Elections were held in Nur-Sultan for the leadership of the new Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Central Asia, as a result of which Bishop José Luís Mumbiela Sierra was elected President of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Kazakhstan, Bishop Jerzy Maculewicz as Vice-Chairman, and Bishop Evgeny Zinkovsky as the Secretary General.
On April 27, 2022, the solemn opening of the work of the CBCCA took place, at which the Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples, His Eminence Cardinal Luis Antonio Gokim Tagle, gave the opening address to the bishops and ordinaries. At this solemn event, the Chairman of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Ashimbaev Maulen Sagatkhanuly, read out the greeting address of the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, to the participants of the Conference.
During the general meeting, in particular, the following topics were discussed: the visit of Pope Francis to Kazakhstan, the Synodal Way in our dioceses, issues related to the work of the Interdiocesan Higher Theological Seminary in Karaganda, issues of the Catholic Information Service of Kazakhstan in Nur-Sultan, and other important instances of church service.
In this difficult time, when the whole world is suffering from war, the Bishops and Ordinaries of Central Asia solemnly dedicated the Church of Central Asia and the entire suffering world to the special intercession of the Most Holy Mother of God, the Queen of Peace, the Principal Patron of the Catholic Church in Kazakhstan. The pastors of the Church call on their faithful to be messengers of true peace for all people, the source of which is the Prince of Peace, our Lord Jesus Christ.
Nur-Sultan, May 1, 2022