Wednesday, September 15, 2010

"We want to confront politicians with our message and the Church, so that they find support and guidance in their political work"

Religious institutions must be included in political dialogue, says EPP  [European People's Party] Group


Brussels, 14 September 2010

Caritas in Veritate: EPP Group holds structural dialogue with Churches

In conjunction with COMECE, the Commission of the Bishops' Conference of the European Community, the EPP Group in the European Parliament organised a dialogue on the [pope Bennedict's]  encyclical 'Caritas in Veritate' (Charity in Truth) on the occasion of the first anniversary of its publication.

'Caritas in Veritate' is the first social encyclical of Pope Benedict XVI and concerns the problems of global development and progress. Participants debated subjects such as 'Is a culture without values possible?', 'Family as the key for the future', 'Economy and civil society' and 'Development and environment'.

Joseph Daul MEP, Chairman of the EPP Group, László Tőkes MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament, Othmar Karas MEP, Vice-Chairman of the EPP Group responsible for inter-religious dialogues, Archbishop André Dupuy, Apostolic Nuncio to the EU, and Father Piotr Mazurkwiewicz, General Secretary of COMECE and many other clergy, scholars and politicians participated in this dialogue.

Joseph Daul MEP strongly supports the dialogue between the EPP Group and Churches and other religious organisations and will continue to deepen this special relationship. The Group is seeking to find common ground through open discussions between politicians and the representatives of Churches on current and future challenges facing European citizens and their governments. "It is important to seek common values and defend those values and fight against extremism, whether it be from the left or the right", he said.

Archbishop André Dupuy, Apostolic Nuncio to the EU, stressed that the Papal encyclical 'Caritas in Veritate' was not intended to be a blueprint for economical needs, but to give direction to build a more fraternal world.

HE Metropolitan Emmanuel of France, President of the Conference of European Churches (CEC), said cultural and ethical aspects of the encyclical are not just ideas, but form the essence of Christianity. In his view, the current economical crisis was not just an inevitable disaster, but the result of a degeneration of values.

László Tőkes MEP, Vice-President of the European Parliament responsible for dialogue with Churches and religions and inter-cultural dialogue, concluded that European unity cannot be fulfilled without the participation of Churches and it cannot be fulfilled without their good cooperation.