At the heart of Europe
Benedict XVI is underlining the Christian values at the heart of Europe, and is encouraging its people to live these lest their civilization be eroded by individualism and utilitarianism.
The Pope stated this today in an audience with Yves Gazzo, new head of the delegation of the Commission of European Communities to the Holy See.
The Pontiff recalled his recent visit to the Czech Republic, in which he commemorated the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. He expressed his gratitude for “the gift of recovered liberty which has allowed the European Continent to find its integrity and unity again.”
He noted that the countries of the European Union are united around the same values. These values, he said, “are the fruit of a long and torturous history in which, no one can deny, Christianity has played a major role.”
The Holy Father continued:
“The same equality of all human beings, the liberty of the act of faith as root of the other civil liberties, peace as the decisive element of the common good, of human development — intellectual, social and economic — in so far as divine vocation and the meaning of history derived from it, are so many other central elements of Christian Revelation that continue to mold European civilization.”
He noted that “when the Church recalls the Christian roots of Europe, she is not seeking a privileged status for herself.”
Rather, Benedict XVI affirmed, the Church wishes remind people “of a truth — increasingly relegated to silence — namely, the decidedly Christian inspiration of the founding fathers of the European Union.”
As well, he said, it attempts to demonstrate “that the basis of the values comes above all from the Christian heritage which continues to nourish it even today.”
The Pope asked, “Do these values not run the risk of being made into instruments by individuals and pressure groups desirous of furthering particular interests in detriment of an ambitious collective project — which Europeans expect — that is concerned with the common good of the inhabitants of the continent and of the whole world?”
He affirmed: “It is important that Europe not allow its model of civilization to be eroded, bit by bit. Its original impulse must not be suffocated by individualism and utilitarianism.”
The Pontiff stated,
“The immense intellectual, cultural and economic resources of the continent will continue to bear fruit if they continue to be fertilized by the transcendent vision of the human person, which is the most precious treasure of European heritage.”
He continued, “Europe will be really itself only if it is able to preserve the originality that has constituted its greatness and this is capable of making of it, in the future, one of the principal actors in the promotion of the integral development of persons, which the Catholic Church regards as the genuine way able to remedy the present imbalances of our world.”
VATICAN CITY, OCT. 19, 2009 (Zenit.org)