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Europe: Mgr. Robu (Romania), “relaunch the EU with respect for diversities”. Bergoglio, “right man at the right time”

“Europe’s unity cannot be achieved in a lasting manner with no consideration for its spiritual, Christian dimension. I therefore think that the Church should preach the Word of Jesus with courage, without ever being discouraged in the face of the anti-Christian secular attacks that have unbalanced the European soul”. We need to promote “those values which have permeated the identity of many European nations – faith, the family, respect for life, love for God and neighbour”. In an interview with SIR news agency, Mgr. Ioan Robu, Archbishop of Bucharest and president of the Bishops’ Conference of Romania, offered some thoughts arising from the dialogue “(Re)Thinking Europe”, promoted by COMECE and the Holy See at the Vatican. “I strongly believe that the European project can and should be relaunched. The moments of crisis – he added – should not discourage us; rather, we should look at them as an opportunity to look back, to see how much we have already advanced, to identify what has perhaps distanced us from our path, and start again with more determination towards the goal: which is not a point of arrival, but a journey we should make together”. In Europe, barriers are rebuilt and nationalisms gain ground: how would you judge these facts? “We Romanians in our recent history have been closed, isolated from the rest of Europe and from the world for nearly 50 years. And the first thing that Romanians have appreciated after the fall of the Ceausescu regime was freedom, in particular freedom of movement… The barriers that we do build around us, as persons, ethnic communities or countries, are a sign of mistrust, and make us regard the other not as our brother, but as a potential enemy. It seems paradoxical that at a time when European countries try to (re)build together a common home, there are signs of fragmentation within them”. Instead, “we should open ourselves and seek ways of dialogue leading to constructive harmony, free from destructive hegemonies, to peaceful coexistence, and to the search for the common good”. Mgr. Robu added: “The Church accompanies, in an active way, the path of a united Europe. The Church today should be a clear, simple and direct voice in promoting the transcendent dignity of the human person in European society. Pope Francis is the right man who came at the right time”.

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