Europe’s Catholic bishops have urged their citizens to “wake up” and find new hope by rediscovering the continent’s Christian roots. Source: Catholic Herald.
In a three-day plenary meeting that finished on Monday in Santiago de Compostela, Spain, Church leaders from 45 European countries met in the run-up to Britain’s projected departure from the European Union and the inauguration of the new European Union governing commission.
“Europe, rejoice in the goodness of your people, of the many hidden saints who every day contribute in silence to the construction of a more just and humane civil society,” the Council of European Bishops Conferences (CCEE) said.
“As morning watchmen, vigilant and ready to point to the new day, we want to give a message of hope to Europe in distress and say forcefully: Wake up, Europe!”
The CCEE said Europe faced contradictions from “the desire for God, but at the same time the fragility of Christian life,” and “the desire for universal human rights, but at the same time the loss of respect for human dignity.”
“But existential questions lie deep in the human heart and never disappear, even if sometimes they are obscured by material desires,” the bishops added.
“Every person has a secret desire to meet someone who helps their conscience to awaken; to rekindle the decisive questions of existence, of our future after death, of the evil that wounds us, and of the evils that destroy life and the cosmos.”
In a message to the meeting, Pope Francis said Santiago, burial place of the apostle St James, had long been a place where European pilgrims placed “their afflictions, supplications and hopes,” but also rediscovered “the great richness of Europe.”
He added that current signs of hope included concern for prisoners, migrants and refugees, as well as commitments in culture and education, and said Christian faith provided “the greatest antidote to the tendencies of our time, full of lacerations and contrasts.”
“We encourage the people of God to work for a new European humanism, capable of dialogue, integration and generation. At the same time, we encourage everyone to value what is dearest to the continent’s tradition: defence of human life and dignity, promotion of the family and respect for the fundamental rights of the person.”
Bishops urge Europeans to ‘wake up’ and rediscover Christian roots (Catholic Herald)