Pontiff Tells Europe: God Is Not the Enemy

Urges Continent to Meet Christ Without Fear

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SANTIAGO DE COMPOSTELA, Spain, NOV. 6, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is encouraging Europe to let go of the idea that God is an enemy to its freedom, and to open itself to him without fear.

The Pope said this today in the homily he delivered on the occasion of the Compostelian Jubilee Year. The Mass took place in the Plaza del Obradoiro in Santiago de Compostela.

«God exists and he has given us life,» the Holy Father affirmed to the thousands present. «He alone is absolute, faithful and unfailing love, that infinite goal that is glimpsed behind the good, the true and the beautiful things of this world, admirable indeed, but insufficient for the human heart. St. Teresa of Jesus understood this when she wrote: ‘God alone suffices.'»

The Pontiff lamented that Europe in the 19th century somehow grew convinced that «that God is somehow man’s antagonist and an enemy of his freedom,» and that there was an «attempt to obscure the true biblical faith.»

«God is the origin of our being and the foundation and apex of our freedom, not its opponent,» Benedict XVI asserted.

«We need to hear God once again under the skies of Europe,» the Pope affirmed. «May this holy word not be spoken in vain, and may it not be put at the service of purposes other than its own. It needs to be spoken in a holy way. And we must hear it in this way in ordinary life, in the silence of work, in brotherly love and in the difficulties that years bring on.»

«Europe must open itself to God, must come to meet him without fear,» the Pontiff continued, «and work with his grace for that human dignity which was discerned by her best traditions: not only the biblical, at the basis of this order, but also the classical, the medieval and the modern, the matrix from which the great philosophical, literary, cultural and social masterpieces of Europe were born.»

Benedict XVI said Europe can look to the cross for guidance. He called it the «supreme sign of love.»

«The cross and love, the cross and light,» he explained, «have been synonymous in our history because Christ allowed himself to hang there in order to give us the supreme witness of his love, to invite us to forgiveness and reconciliation, to teach us how to overcome evil with good.»

The Pontiff urged those present to «learn the lessons of that Christ whom we encounter at the crossroads of our journey and our whole life, in whom God comes forth to meet us as our friend, father and guide.»

He added, «Blessed Cross, shine always upon the lands of Europe!»


Benedict XVI also spoke of the need to promote the dignity of the person, and warned of «the threats to his dignity resulting from the privation of his essential values and richness, and the marginalization and death visited upon the weakest and the poorest.»

«One cannot worship God without taking care of his sons and daughters,» he said. «And man cannot be served without asking who his Father is and answering the question about him.»

The Pope stated: «The Europe of science and technology, the Europe of civilization and culture, must be at the same time a Europe open to transcendence and fraternity with other continents, and open to the living and true God, starting with the living and true man.

«This is what the Church wishes to contribute to Europe: to be watchful for God and for man, based on the understanding of both which is offered to us in Jesus Christ.»

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On ZENIT’s Web page:

Full text: www.zenit.org/article-30873?l=english

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