Vatican City, 5 March 2015 (VIS) – Archbishop Paul Richard Gallagher, secretary for Relations with States, gave an address in Bratislava, Slovakia today, during the meeting of the legal advisers of the Episcopal Conferences of Europe, (C.E.C.E.). The prelate focused on the challenges the Church faces today, and on Pope Francis' two addresses to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe on 25 November 2014.
Archbishop Gallagher emphasised that “at the centre of the Pope's considerations in Strasbourg was his affirmation of the dignity of the human person” and respect for human rights not for political reasons, but because “they are engraved in the heart of every human person”. He continued, “the Pope reminds us of the Christian roots of our continent … and exhorts the members of the European Parliament as the time has come to work together in building a Europe that revolves not around the economy, but around the sacredness of the human person, around inalienable values”, and added, “the time has come for us to abandon the idea of a Europe that is fearful and self-absorbed, in order to revive and encourage a Europe of leadership, a repository of science, art, music, human values and faith as well”.
He went on to highlight the worrying conditions of migrants who seek protection for their lives and families on our continent, a major challenge for Europe which greatly concerns the Pope. “The absence of mutual support within the European Union runs the risk of encouraging particularistic solutions to the problem, solutions which fail to take into account the human dignity of immigrants, and thus contribute to slave labour and continuing social tensions. … Christianity has to perform her mission in Europe, and the Cathlic Church especially, in which the unity of cultural differences is found, can offer tangible help to unite and strengthen the national family of Europe”.