“The presence in Europe of so many people who, although baptized, are not aware of the gift of faith they have received, have not experienced the consolation, and do not fully participate in the life of the Christian community represents a challenge for all the Churches present in the continent,”
According to Vatican Radio, Pope Francis stated this in a message he sent yesterday to Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, on the occasion of the XIV Inter-Christian Symposium taking place in Thessalonika, Aug. 28-30, on the theme: “The Need for a Re-evangelization of the Christian Communities in Europe.”
The symposium is sponsored by the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality of the Pontifical University Antonianum and the Department of Theology of the Orthodox Theological Faculty of the Aristoteles University of Thessalonika, and seeks to foster theological and cultural dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox.
“In a reality like that of Europe, in which where there are ever fewer bonds with its Christian roots,” the Pope highlighted in his message, “there is clearly the need for a new work of evangelization.”
“This missionary duty,” the Holy Father continued, “is sustained by the profound conviction that ‘with this newness, Christ is always able to renew our lives and our communities, and even if the Christian message has known periods of darkness and ecclesial weakness, it will never grow old.”