The IX. NAPS International Ecumenical Concert 2013
„March for Life, being the most crowded event of this year, has showed that culture does not mean the material, but on the contrary the spirituality lifting us from earthy concerns somewhere high up, stated The Right Reverend Milan Chautur, Greek Catholic Eparch of Košice in his speech at the beginning of the International Ecumenical Concert – the official event of The Meeting of Bishops of the Eastern Catholic Churches of Europe. Almost 40 hierarchs from many European countries have participated in the event.
His Eminence Cardinal Jozef Tomko, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation of the Holy See for the Evangelization of Peoples, added that he feels very intensely about the Košice message spreading into the world, although living far.
The ninth year of the event, aimed to connect people through art, deepen the dialog and tolerance among nations and followers of different religious traditions, was organized by NAPS alongside the Greek Catholic Eparchy in Košice. The concert was held under the auspices of the Prime Minister of the Slovak Government, His Excellency Mr. Robert Fico.
The event was honored by the moral patronage of:
His Excellency Monsignor Bernard Bober,
Metropolitan Archbishop of Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Košice,
His Excellency The Reverend Mr. Miloš Klátik,
General Bishop of the Evangelical Church of Augsburg Confession
and President of the Ecumenical Council in the Slovak Republic,
His Eminence The Most Reverend Ján Babjak, SJ,
Archbishop of Prešov and Metropolitan of Greek Catholic Church in Slovakia,
Member of the Congregation of the Holy See for Oriental Churches in Vatican,
The Very Reverend Mr. László Fazekas,
Bishop of the Reformed Christian Church in Slovakia,
and Vice-President of the Ecumenical Council in the Slovak Republic,
His Eminence The Most Reverend Rastislav,
Orthodox Archbishop of Prešov and Slovakia,
The Esteemed prof. Pavel Traubner,
Honorary Chairman of the Central Union of the Jewish Communities in Slovakia.
The cultural part of the concert was dedicated to the performances of various artists and ensembles both from home and abroad. A 55-member Košice orchestra Musica Iuvenalis has crated a unique atmosphere. The orchestra was accompanying the Košice Choir of Saint Cecile under the baton of Mr. Igor Dohovič, as well as the Chief Cantor of the Jewish Religious Community in Wien, Mr. Shmuel Barzilai, born in Jerusalem. The beauty of performances was highlighted once again by the choir Chorus Comenianus at the Evangelic Gymnasium of Ján Amos Komenský in Košice. The chants of Reformed Church were represented by the choir Cantus Firmus from Hungarian Miskolc. The professional Choir of Saint Ephraim from Budapest performed various songs in Old Slavonic, Greek, Hebrew and Hungarian language, and thus representing the eaastern liturgic songs typical for Greek Catholic and Orthodox Church.
The founder of NAPS Peter Solej mentioned in his speech that not only God stood in the center of the concert but also Man coming from God, however not a man calling himself god with no humbleness just pretending and acting like God. At the end of his speech he handed over His Eminence Cardinal Jozef Tomko a Letter of Appreciation for his personal support of this year International Ecumenical Concert.
At the tail end of the concert the song of Ave Maria sung by the Košice Opera House soloist and Friend of NAPS, Mr. Jaroslav Dvorský filled the air of the auditorium. Joint blessings by the hierarchs of Christian Churches and prayer of Jewish Rabbi had preceded the final tunes of the concert.
This year NAPS ecumenical concert was attended by 40 archbishops and bishops also of Eastern Catholic Churches from many European countries alongside His Eminence Cardinal Jozef Tomko, Prefect Emeritus of the Congregation of the Holy See for the Evangelization of Peoples. Among others the Secretary of the Congregation of the Holy See for the Oriental Churches, Archbishop Cyril Vasiľ and His Beatitude The Most Blessed Sviatoslav Schevchuk, Major Archbigop of Halich and Kiev and President of the Synod of Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church. The event was endorsed by the presence of the Deputy Speaker of the National Council of the Slovak Republic Mr. Ján Figeľ, President of the Self-Governing Region of Košice Mr. Zdenko Trebuľa, the Consul General of Hungary Mrs. Éva Czimbalmosné Molnár, the Consul General of Ukraine Mrs. Oľga Benč and many other personalities from academic and social life. The Evangelic Church was represented by the Bishop emeritus Igor Mišina, the Chief of Ecumenical Board in Slovakia in 2005-2006. The Reformed Christian Church was represented by the Vice Chair of the Synod, Róbert Géreši, together with Bishop emeritus Géza Erdély. The concert was also attended by Rabbi of the Jewish Community in Piešťany, Head of CHABAD Center of Central Slovakia, Mr. Zev Stiefel. Gathered auditorium was greeted by a letter of the local Orthodox Archbishop George who had been tied up in the activities of the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church for Czech Lands and Slovakia.
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Press Agency of the Slovak Republic,