Further comment on Ecclesia in Europe...
Further commentary is emerging on the significance of the Pope's exhortation.
Catholic World News has a gloomy headline "A grim picture of Europe in Pope's new exhortation" and goes on to say the Pope "has sketched a very sobering picture of Europe as a society that is losing its faith and squandering its cultural patrimony". Zenit, carries the full text of a commentary by Archbishop Vincent Nichols of Birmingham delivered at the launch of the document.
Archbishop Nichols says: "From a Western European perspective, I welcome the way in which this document opens up the crucial discussion on how the public institutions of life in Europe should relate to the realities of faith."
"The exhortation calls for a working relationship between the Church and other faith communities, on the one hand, and the political life of the Union, on the other. This relationship is, at present, expressed and explored in quite different ways in the different countries of Western Europe, and the exhortation calls for a recognition of this diversity, rather than an imposition of an ideological uniformity."
In contrast to its pessimism on the Pope's view, CWN carries another report saying: "The Vatican's top foreign-policy official has reported that overall, the first steps toward the adoption of a constitution for the European Union have been positive".
SOURCES FULL REPORTS:
CWN: A grim picture of Europe in Pope's new exhortation
Zenit: Implications of "Ecclesia in Europa"
CWN: Overall, Vatican official sees European constitution as positive
01 Jul 2003