Message from the CCEE Presidency to mark Europe Day – 9 May 2013
To all those who today live in the European continent and who find themselves in difficulties due to the current economic crisis, who feel alone, who have lost or are looking for work and who, due to the serious crisis in meaning and in faith, struggle to look to the future, and to young people in particular, we want to say that the Church in Europe is close and invites you not to lose hope. In this Year of Faith we recall with total conviction what Blessed John Paul II said ten years ago, in the Exhortation Ecclesia in Europa: “Jesus Christ is the source of hope for Europe”.
At the same time, we call on everyone not to allow fear and selfishness to cloud the charity, which has always characterised our continent, but instead to rediscover the importance of the family, the value of the gift and welcome, being a neighbour to those most in need.
We take this opportunity, too, to thank all those who, moved by faith, are promoters of works of charity and aid at the local, national and international levels. The help they give is a prompt and concrete answer to many material needs, but is also the sign of God’s love who through Jesus Christ became close to every body.
Furthermore, we invite the Christians of Europe to grasp the opportunity of Europe Day – of this “community of destiny” as Robert Schuman called it on 9 May 1950 – to reflect on their commitment in the construction of a European society open to the Absolute and characterised by truth, justice, solidarity and freedom: pillars of peace as they were defined by Pope John XXIII, fifty years ago, in Pacem in terris.
The Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe (CCEE) includes the current 33 Bishops’ Conferences of Europe, represented by their Presidents, the Archbishops of Luxembourg and the Principality of Monaco, the Maronite Archbishop of Cyprus, the Bishop of Chiºinãu (Moldova) and the Eparchial Bishop of Mukachevo. The current President is Cardinal Péter Erdõ, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, Primate of Hungary; the Vice-presidents are Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, Archbishop of Genoa, and Mgr Józef Michalik, Archbishop of Przemyœl, Poland. The CCEE Secretary General is Mgr Duarte da Cunha. The Secretariat is located in St Gallen (Switzerland). www.ccee.eu