Thursday, January 24, 2008

Sharp words for the EU from the Pope

Cathcon translation of Papst: Scharfe Worte Richtung Brüssel

"Maybe" four years ago the people of Central and Eastern Europe were "a little too optimistic", as their countries joined the European Union? This suspicion Pope Benedict expressed this Thursday to the Bishops from Slovenia. He referred to their pastoral letter in April 2004, when they ecstatically welcomed the EU accession of their country into the EU. When you look today at this pastoral letter Pope said that what had been called for by the bishops, actually still had not come about:

"If Europe really is and wants to stay a place of peace and focus on the respect of human dignity, then it cannot deny the most important component of this foundation - namely the Christian. Not all humanisms are the same, they are not necessarily equivalent in moral terms. I am speaking here not of the religious aspect, but will confine myself to the ethical and social. "

Depending on which image of humanity is taken as the basis, there are derived actually quite different rules for civil coexistence, Benedict said, not without a certain sharpness.

"If one sees people, for example, as individualistic - as many do today - how can one justify the trouble that the building of a just and caring society needs? Christianity is the religion of hope and brotherhood of all people - this applies to every continent, including to Europe. "

Many intellectuals in Europe still had difficulties with understanding that "reason and faith need each other," the Pope said exactly one week after his cancelled appearance at the Roman Sapienza University. Significantly Benedict condemned "Western-style secularism": This was "perhaps even more insidious than communist secularism" and displays "signs for concern " such as "greed for materials, declining birth rate and the waning of religious practice." Slovenia currently has the EU Presidency – for which reason the sharp words of the Pope this Thursday are also sent directly to Brussels.

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