Francis urged the delegates of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) to pursue this goal. The latter elected an Italian, Bishop Mariano Crociata, as its new president. It is possible to have “unity in diversity,” the pope said, “if there is strong inspiration: otherwise, apparatus prevails, the technocratic paradigm prevails, but it is not fruitful because it does not enthuse people”.
Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis this morning addressed delegates of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) who met yesterday in assembly to elect a new president: Italian Bishop Mariano Crociata of Latina (Italy) replaced Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg.
In his address, the pontiff urged the prelates to continue to work for peace; for him, “it takes prophecy, it takes foresight, it takes creativity to advance the cause of peace,” as well as focus on “the two great ‘dreams’ of Europe's founding fathers: the dream of unity and the dream of peace.”
On unity, Francis said that, “The wealth of Europe resides in the convergence of various sources of thought and historical experience.” Indeed, “Europe has a future if it is truly a union and not a reduction of the countries with their respective characteristics.”
It is thus possible to have “unity in diversity [. . .] if there is strong inspiration: otherwise, apparatus prevails, the technocratic paradigm prevails, but it is not fruitful because it does not enthuse people, it does not attract the new generations, it does not involve the living forces of society in the construction of a common project.”
As for the role Christian inspiration can play in this, Francis noted that Church's task is to train the “people who read the signs of the times, who know how to interpret the project of Europe in today’s history.”
One of the signs of today's times, he added, is the challenge of peace. In his view, “one can now speak of a third world war. The war in Ukraine is close by, and has shaken the European peace.”
Neighbouring countries have done their utmost to welcome refugees, but “This choral response on the level of charity should be matched – but it is clear that this is neither easy nor obvious – by a cohesive commitment to peace.”
Everyone should share the same principle towards this complex challenge in which interests and alliances come into play; which is war cannot and must no longer be considered a way to settle conflicts.
“If the countries of Europe today do not share this ethical-political principle, then it means they have drifted away from the original dream. If instead they share it, they must commit themselves to implementing it, with all the effort and complexity that the historical situation requires. Because ‘war is a failure of politics and humanity’. Politicians must respect this.”
COMECE in particular is called to perform such a task. “You are by mission builders of relations, of encounter, of dialogue. And this is already working for peace. But it is not enough. It also takes prophecy, it takes foresight, it takes creativity to advance the cause of peace.
“Both architects and craftsmen are needed in this building site; but I would say that the true builder of peace must be both architect and craftsman: the true builder of peace is thus. I also wish this for each of you, well aware that each one of you has his or her own personal charisms that contribute with those of the others to the common task.”