Habemus Papam: the greetings of the European Bishops
CCEE Presidency has addressed today a letter to the new-elected Pope Francis in which it states “The European bishops see in your election a sign of hope and encouragement, a stimulus for us not to be concerned just about the specific problems of the Old Continent, but to measure the tasks of the Churches entrusted to our pastoral care in the perspective of the universal Church”.
The letter proceed stressing the roles of the Church in Europe in the light of the vocation of the whole Church, especially facing in the old continent secularisation, the demographic and migratory situation, the dialogue with Islam and Judaism, the need of promoting the Christian unity especially through the cooperation over moral issues, social doctrine, environment with the orthodox Churches.
The letter concludes with a point on new evangelisation.
The letter is signed by Card. Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapestand CCEE President, by the two Vice-President, Card. Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa and Archbishop Józef Michalik of Przemyśl and by Mgr Duarte da Cunha, CCEE General Secretary
Here is the full letter
We welcome the news of your election as successor of Saint Peter with immense joy.
The European bishops see in your election a sign of hope and encouragement, a stimulus for us not to be concerned just about the specific problems of the Old Continent, but to measure the tasks of the Churches entrusted to our pastoral care in the perspective of the universal Church.
In the light of the vocation of the whole Church, we are thus able to see more concretely our roles, too, dictated, for example, by a specific form of secularisation present in public structures, as well as in daily life; tasks which equally emerge from the demographic and migratory situation, which constitutes a challenge for families and invites us to practical dialogue with Islam and Judaism.
Besides the continual urgency to proclaim the Lord Jesus, in our continent we feel the pressing need to promote the unity of Christians, particularly collaboration over moral issues and social doctrine, in safeguarding creation and global responsibility for the environment with the continent’s Orthodox Churches.
The variety of languages and national cultures in Europe underlines our commitment to reconciliation among peoples, and the need for pastoral collaboration for the new evangelisation.
We implore the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary for the pontificate of Your Holiness and we support your apostolic ministry with our prayers.
With filial devotion,”