Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Christians must remind Europe of her roots - Pope

Pope Benedict XVI has warned that attempts to marginalise the influence of Christianity upon public life in Europe are “detrimental to the well-being of society”.

Christian Today
by Gretta Curtis, Christian Post
Posted: Tuesday, September 29, 2009, 9:47 (BST)

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Pope Benedict XVI greets pilgrims as he arrives to celebrate a holy mass in Stara Boleslav, Czech Republic, Monday, Sept. 28, 2009.(AP)

The Pope said that the “timeless saving truths” of the Gospel had shaped Europe and would continue to shape the social and cultural development of the continent.

“Europe continues to undergo many changes. It is hard to believe that only two decades have passed since the collapse of former regimes gave way to a difficult but productive transition towards more participatory political structures," he said.
The Catholic leader was speaking on Sunday to 40 leaders of the Ecumenical Council of Churches in the Czech Republic. His three-day visit, which began on Saturday, came as the country prepares to mark the 20th anniversary of the 1989 Velvet Revolution, which ousted the communist regime that had ruthlessly persecuted believers and confiscated church property.

The Pope added that Christians must remind others of Europe's Christians roots in the face of the marginalisation of the faith.

“Attempts to marginalise the influence of Christianity upon public life – sometimes under the pretext that its teachings are detrimental to the well-being of society – are emerging in new forms," he said.

“As Europe listens to the story of Christianity, she hears her own. Her notions of justice, freedom and social responsibility, together with the cultural and legal institutions established to preserve these ideas and hand them on to future generations, are shaped by her Christian inheritance.

"Indeed, her memory of the past animates her aspirations for the future. Christians are obliged to join others in reminding Europe of her roots.”


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