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What hope for Europe? Rethinking the Christian contribution

The rethinking of Christian contribution to the present and future of Europe was the main interest at the event co-organized at the Chapel for Europe by the “Passion for Europe” group and the Jesuit European Social Center (JESC), Monday 17th April 2023. The meeting gathered important representatives of Christian Churches and European institutions, such as Archbishop Noel Treanor, Apostolic Nuncio to the European Union, Sarah-Jane King, from the Anglican Church, Clemens Ladenburger, Deputy Director of the Legal Service in the European Commission, Victoria Vdovychenko, Associate Professor at Borys Grinchenko Kyiv University.

Archbishop Treanor, the first speaker of the evening, said that Christians must serve as catalysts of renewing processes in Europe, able to bring to life new energies. The energy of achievement, about which Alexis de Tocqueville wrote that it should be revived in Europe for Christianity, remains hidden or not put into action with conviction andforce.

The next speaker, Clemens Ladenburger, showed that Europeans are confronted with new realities. Secularism has advanced a lot and there are many new factors that Christians must factor in. The Christian contribution can be brought forward, said Mr. Ladenburger, by following a few possible guidelines: the formation of future public personalities, future factors of influence; the great value of Christian social teaching, which can offer many answers to present and future economic crises; more grassroots movements, interfaith dialogue and integration of third-world immigrants; more scrutiny of the way the policies and decisions are taken at the level of European institutions - Christians have to raise their voice when necessary; Churches will have to be real builders of bridges (essentially between East and West); all these actions will have to be taken more and more ecumenically - Christians cannot afford to make their voice known separately.

Sarah-Jane King organized her speech on four themes (justice, time, hope, faith) that can guide the activity of Christians in their activity and mission. All four themes demand the abandon of neutrality and the encounter of new voices and faces who can be invited to discover or rediscover the Christian faith. Finally, Ms. Vdovychenko talked about the specific contribution of Ukrainian people to the European consciousness, their love for freedom and dignity.

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