COMECE: EU Bishops with Pope Francis today
SIR - The Pope will take part in a big meeting in Rome, promoted by Comece (Commission of EU Bishops Conferences) and by the Holy See to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. The event will be held from 27th to 29th October and will be about: “Re-thinking Europe”.
The presidency of Comece spoke of this important meeting with Pope Francis, this afternoon. “We have come today to tell the Holy Father – Fr. Olivier Poquillon, general secretary of Comece, explains to SIR – about the talks that will be organised by the Holy See and Comece in late October between the Churches and the political leaders, to understand together what we want to do in Europe today.
The European Union is an extraordinary machinery, a machinery that may be a bit cumbersome but can provide peace and some prosperity. But, the question is: are such peace and prosperity for everyone?”. The European bishops spoke with the Pope for one hour about the outstanding issues that are running through the continent: migration, poverty, the market, social economy.
“We are all aware – Poquillon says – that Europe is at a crossroads, nowadays. If we do not do anything, we risk a lot, not only for the EU but for the whole European continent and for the world. Europe plays a specific role in the world. Our history has shown that enemies can be reconciled. It is a reconciliation that aimed not only at ending hostilities but at building something good too”.
Now, the challenge is putting “the common good” back at the centre of the European Union. “This meeting with the Holy Father and the Holy See in October is bound to propose a platform of dialogue between the political leaders and the Churches to rethink Europe together. The Church has no ready-made answers, it does not want to replace politics.
This is about giving back a taste for investing in the common good”. Led by the president, cardinal Reinhard Marx, archbishop of Munich and Freising, the presidency of Comece included mgr. Jean Kockerols, auxiliary bishop of Malines-Brussels; monsignor Gianni Ambrosio, bishop of iacenza-Bobbio; mgr. Czeslaw Kozon, bishop of Copenhagen, and monsignor Rimantas Norvila, bishop of Vilkaviskis (Lithuania).