Catholic bishops across Europe are encouraging their faithful to go to the polls this week to elect members of the European Parliament who would promote unity and good in the world. Source: Crux.
Citizens of the 28 countries of the European Union were set to go to the polls from today until Sunday to elect more than 700 members to serve five-year terms in the European Parliament.
In the lead up to the voting, Catholic bishops warned of the spread of forms of nationalism and populism that could weaken the EU and the ability of the 28 nations to work together to promote development and to find a shared humanitarian response to the ongoing migration phenomenon.
Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union said US strategist Steve Bannon, who has been consulting with European politicians, Russian strategist Aleksandr Dugin and others like them are “priests of a populism” that essentially “negates the essence of Western theology: Love of God and love for one’s neighbour.”
Nationalistic populism, the archbishop said, “does not create free communities, but groups who repeat the same slogans and generate new forms of uniformity, which is the precursor of totalitarianism.”
Archbishop Hollerich said the Catholic bishops of the EU countries are worried about strategists and politicians “who want a divided, fragmented, litigious Europe. Instead, we need a Europe that is strong on the international scene” and ready and able to work to promote and protect human rights around the globe.
Cardinal Gualtiero Bassetti, president of the Italian bishops’ conference, spoke about the elections on Friday during the spring meeting of the conference at the Vatican.
“We ask everyone to overcome their reservations and distrust and participate in the vote. We know that this is only the first step, but it is a step that we cannot skip,” the cardinal said.