Pope Francis offer European bishops tips to address secularization in the Western world

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23/09/2021
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Pope Francis celebrated Mass with the presidents of the European Bishops' Conferences.

They are in Rome for the 50th anniversary of the Council that unites them.

In response to secularization in Europe, the Pope suggested dedicating less energy to fruitless criticism and more to following the Gospel.

POPE FRANCIS
'Lack of charity causes unhappiness, because love alone satisfies the human heart. This can also be our own problem: concentrating on various positions in the Church, on discussions, agendas and strategies, and losing sight of the real program, that of the Gospel: the impulse of charity, the fervor of gratuity.'

Pope Francis said that Europe has many examples of this way of Christian life. He listed a number of European saints, including St. Francis, St. Dominic, St. Catherine of Siena, Sts. Cyril and Methodius and Padre Pio.

POPE FRANCIS
'They did not waste time criticizing or laying blame. They lived the Gospel, without worrying about relevance or politics. They did not have a social program, but the Gospel alone.'

The Pope insisted upon the European Union's need to return to its original spirit. A spirit of solidarity and openness like the one evident after the horrors of the Second World War.

At the end of the ceremony, Card. Vincent Nichols, Archbishop of Westminster, thanked the Pope on behalf of the bishops. As president of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences, Card. Angelo Bagnasco should have been the one to speak, but he has been in quarantine since testing positive for Covid-19, despite being vaccinated.

JRB

TR: CT

VM

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