Europe´s Destiny Linked to Christianity, Says Cardinal Re

ROME, FEB. 24, 2002 ( Of what use will bell towers and cathedrals be, in the future Europe?

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Cardinal Giovanni Battista Re asked this question Friday when he inaugurated the 3rd International Forum of the Alcide de Gasperi Foundation on «Europe in the Thought and Work of John Paul II.»

«European unity must be able to go beyond the logic of monetary and economic union and reach the educational, cultural, political and institutional levels of a genuine Europe of citizens and persons,» the prefect of the Vatican Congregation for Bishops said. «European union will have no future if it lacks a profound cultural, spiritual and moral dimension.»

Christianity is «profoundly connected» with Europe in «its being and destiny,» Cardinal Re added. Therefore, when it comes to outlining the European Union´s institutional order, it is unthinkable that the Christian roots should be neglected, he said.

The European Convention, which will define the future of European integration, will open March 1. The representatives of communities of religious believers have yet to be officially invited.

«Such recognition is not opposed to the needs of a proper laicism of European institutions,» Cardinal Re said.

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