John Paul II's Decalogue for Europe

Spanish Episcopal Conference Presents Proposals of “Ecclesia in Europa”

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MADRID, JULY 24, 2003 (ZENIT.orgFides).- The press office of the Spanish Episcopal Conference has published an article presenting John Paul II’s proposed Decalogue for the construction of the new Europe.

In his last two Angelus messages, the Holy Father expressed his hope that Europeans not be satisfied by a “Europe of merchants” but rather by a “Europe of values.” The article proposes the theme of the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation “Ecclesia in Europa” http://www.zenit.org/english/visualizza.phtml?sid=37964

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1. Europe, in its history and in its present, is extensively and profoundly penetrated by Christianity. The Christian faith has shaped European culture, making “one whole” with its history and, despite the painful divisions between East and West, Christianity is the religion of all Europeans.

2. The values advocated by the Gospel will contribute to construct the Europe of the spirit, the Europe of hope. Hence, the European Union will have no solidity if it is reduced only to the geographic and economic dimension, as it must consist above all of agreement on values.

3. Christian inspiration can transform the political, cultural, and economic integration in a coexistence in which all Europeans will feel at home and form a family of nations, model for other areas of the world.

4. The Christian roots are, for Europe, the principal guarantee of its future. To ignore, forget, or conceal the Christian heritage in Europe is an injustice, an offense, a profound impoverishment that sooner or later will have to be accounted for.

5. This is why in the future European Constitution reference must be made to the religious heritage, particularly the Christian, and that its rights must be respected and recognized.

6. In the present context, impregnated with laicism, materialism, and consumerism, the Church must be a consistent witness of the transcendent dimension of human existence.

7. Europe must continue in its defense and promotion of the inviolable dignity of every human person, in his/her entire vital cycle and in the totality of his/her inalienable rights.

8. The Europe of the future will be a Europe of love and preferential and permanent service to the poor and needy, a Europe that promotes the culture of solidarity.

9. The foundations on which a Europe united in diversity will be built are acceptance, respect, sympathy, dialogue, and fraternity.

10. Therefore, “do not be afraid! The Gospel is not against you, but for you.” “In the Gospel, which is Jesus, you will find the sure and lasting hope to which you aspire.”

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