Warsaw2018

  • I hear people saying and repeating phrases like “we must rethink Europe, we must reinvent Europe, new Europe…Do we really need that?

    You asked me to talk about a new vision of Europe. Maybe I am a wrong address for such a request, since I belong to the ardent admirers of Robert Schuman and his vision of Europe. This vision is now almost 70

    years old but it is neither too old nor dated. This does not at all mean that there are no challenges for us today.

    The questions to us, next generations, is: do we fulfil this vision which was laid for us by the Founding Fathers with an ever better content? Do we adapt it to the quickly changing reality? Don’t we loose the essential? And may be most important: are we, each of us, really convinced Europeans and are we really involved in this magnificent project?

  • Europa, ein Kontinent in der Krise, braucht die Christen mehr denn je, um neue zukunftsfähige Ideen und Mentalitäten zu entwickeln und deren Verwirklichung voranzutreiben. "Europa - wohin? Herausforderungen für Kirche und Gesellschaft". Prof. Tomas Halik, wollte dabei in seinem Vortrag die Christen als "schöpferischen Minderheit" verstanden wissen. Halik rief die Kirchen auf, neue Wege zu beschreiten. "Das Christentum von gestern kann schwerlich eine Hoffnung für das Europa von heute oder morgen sein." Ces nouveaux chemins sont à trouver dans toutes les institutions, elles ne peuvent le faire qu’ensemble

                    Aus den gegenwärtigen Entwicklungen gehe jedenfalls hervor, "dass die Säkularisierung nicht das letzte Wort der geschichtlichen Entwicklung sein wird". Freilich: Nach den Worten des Prager Wissenschaftlers und katholischen Priesters ist zugleich das Zeitalter der Volkskirchen vorüber. "Ich bin nicht der Ansicht, dass diese Entwicklung durch irgendeine Neuevangelisation rückgängig gemacht werden kann", so Halik.

  • Article de Robert Schuman paru dans la revue de Pax Romana en Juin 1953

    On commettrait une erreur et on serait victime d'une illusion dangereuse si on croyait que pour faire l'Europe il suffirait de créer des Institutions européennes. Ce serait un corps sans âme. Ces institutions devront être animées d'un esprit européen, tel que Sa Sainteté Pie XII vient de le définir devant les membres du Collège de l'Europe à Bruges le 15 mars dernier. Les peuples participant à une Communauté européenne devront avoir conscience de leur solidarité et placer leur confiance dans leur mutuelle coopération.

    Toutefois, entre nations qui hier encore s'affrontaient comme ennemies, l'éclosion de tels sentiments sera lente et difficile ; elle sera contrariée non seulement par les souvenirs d'un passé récent, mais aussi par des erreurs, des maladresses et parfois des provocations voulues, enfin par les appréhensions visant l'avenir. Autant de raisons que nous avons d'aboutir rapidement.

  •      As many of you know, the themes addressed by your SIIAEC  meeting in Warsaw are topics that our movement has been working on over the past year. The concerns raised by members of our movement around world have led us to launch a campaign on Christian Citizenship and the Crisis of Democracy.

         This crisis of governance is not unique to Europe. We see the rise of xenophobia and populism in many places around the world, including here in the United States. We see corruption in nearly all levels of government from the local to the international. I see my students asking questions about the future: Is there any hope in democracy? Is there a future for international structures such as the European Union or United Nations? Should we just give up?

  •   To me, building and preserving peace is the most important value in public life. This task was formulated by our Lord in the Sermon on the Mount and today his message is aimed at every Christian who is committed to the community.

       The European Union is an organization that has demonstrated how to implement this value in real circumstances.  This was possible to do because, at its very beginning, the Founding Fathers proposed how to combine great Christian ideals with very concrete pragmatic solutions. Peace on the Continent was to be guaranteed by the mechanism of common policy within steel and coal-mining industries. This project was fully successful. At its beginning, two big enemies – France and Germany reconciled and then the biggest and the most aggressive army of the contemporary world withdrew from the half of territory of Europe. Today, we have peace in Europe and we as Christians are obliged to maintain it.

  • Alter Wein in alten Schläuchen

    „Wir leben nicht in einer Ära des Wandels, sondern erleben den Wandel einer Ära.“ Das sagte Papst Franziskus den italienischen Bischöfen. Ein tiefgreifender Wandel finde statt. Diesen gelte es zu meistern.

    Und dazu genügen nicht kleine Reformen. Mut ist dazu erforderlich. Er, der Papst, besitzt diesen. In fünf Jahren hat er die katholische Kirche verändert: Neu sind Strukturen. Eine Dezentralisierung ist im Gang. Der Papst ist überzeugt, dass der Heilige Geist nicht nur in Rom wirkt. In seiner Regierungserklärung „Evangelii gaudium“ zitiert er 40mal regionale Bischofskonferenzen. Als die vier „dubia-Kardinäle“ eine Antwort auf ihren Brief zu Amoris laetitia warten, übernimmt er ein Hirtenwort der argentinischen Bischöfe und erhebt sie in den Rang einer authentischen Lehre. 2019 wird voraussichtlich die Amazonassynode die Ordination verheirateter Katechisten beschließen. Der Papst wird anwesend sein. Viel vermuten, dass er den Bischöfen Amazoniens sagt: Wenn ihr genug gebetet und gefastet hat und ihr diese Entscheidung für richtig und notwendig erachtet, dann macht es. Das wird dann auch andere Bischofskonferenzen ermutigen. Der alte Satz „Roma locuta, causa finita“ zählt nicht mehr. Jetzt wird nicht mehr alles von der Zentrale in Rom ausgehen. Vielmehr wird Rom von regionalen Kirchen lernen. Die katholische Weltkirche lernt also Synodalität und Subsidiarität. Dabei wird die Verantwortung des Papstes nicht aufgegeben. Aber sie wird anders kultiviert. So entwickeln sich in epochaler Weise kirchliche Strukturen. Das ist eine Dimension der neuen Ära.

  • Old wine in old wineskins

    1- "We are not living in an era of change but experiencing the change of an era", thus Pope Francis to the Italian bishops. A deep reaching change is taking place. This we have to master. For this, small reforms are not enough. Courage is required. He, the Pope, has this. Within five years he has changed the Roman Catholic Church. Structures are being renewed. A decentralisation is under way. The Pope is convinced that the Holy Spirit is not at work onlv in Rome. In his inaugural speech "Evangelii Gaudium" he quoted regional bishop-conferences 40 times. When the four "dubia cardinals" waited for an answer to their letter about "Amoris Laetitia", he adapted a pastoral letter of the Argentine bishops and raised this to the rank of a genuine teaching. He gave this local letter the authority of a "magisterium authenticum".

  • Open letter addressed to international public opinion, at the initiative of the civic NGOs in Poland.

    We are writing to you from Poland. And from many other places in the world, where we live, study and work. We, the Poles, who do not agree with how current policy casts a pall over the Polish-Jewish relations developed over the years. We write to all of you who look at Poland today with disbelief, sadness or anger.

    We write because we want you to know that regardless of how radical and inappropriate the positions of Polish authorities or certain groups are, these are not the positions and views of us all. We ask that you keep current politics in perspective, although we know how difficult this may be.

  • My remarks about the present condition and role of the Catholic Church in Poland are not based on the formal sociological research, for I am not a sociologist. I would like just to share some observations and concerns which I live through as Christian and priest. My report is mostly based on the personal experience, but in spite of the subjective prospective I seek to objectivize my views as much as possible by taking into account a broader context.

    1. Looking Through the Prism of Statistics

    First let us ask what the statistics say about the Catholic Church in Poland. In the context of the Western countries of Europe the Catholic Church in my country manifests to be quite strong institution and living community of believers. Over 30 % of the entire population of Poland are “dominicantes” and this means that they participate in Mass every Sunday. One needs to add that in the South of Poland the percentage of “dominicantes” is higher and in some places it reaches 40%. Though the number of dominicantes and comunicantes keeps being exceptionally high, there is a remarkable tendency of downfall. In the recent year 2017 the fall reached 3, 2 % and it should be already alarming.

  • Vielfältige Krisen in Europa nur zu lösen, wenn Frage nach dem Sinn der europäischen Integration neu gestellt und beantwortet wird - Papst Franziskus von Europa überzeugt. Die Europäische Union befindet sich in einer fundamentalen Krise und muss neu gedacht werden, um auch in Zukunft bestehen zu können. Die Zukunft der EU stehe und falle mit der Frage, ob es gelingen werde, das europäische Projekt mit neuem Sinn zu füllen. Christen hätten in diesen Prozess sehr viel einzubringen und seien auch dazu verpflichtet.

                    Eine der Ursachen für das wachsende Misstrauen der Menschen gegenüber der EU sei das diffuse Gefühl, "an einer Epochenschwelle zu leben, einer Veränderung unterworfen zu sein, die man nicht mehr in der Hand hat und steuern kann". Obwohl es vielen Menschen besser gehe als je zuvor, befürchteten sie, den mühsam aufgebauten wirtschaftlichen Wohlstand und den damit erworbenen sozialen Status wieder zu verlieren und die gesellschaftliche Leiter hinunter zu fallen. Diese Angst wirke zurück auf die Wahrnehmung der Europäischen Union. Denn, so der kirchliche Europa-Experte: "War sie nicht angetreten mit dem Versprechen von Wachstum und Wohlstand?" In der Wahrnehmung vieler Menschen sei die EU aber nicht mehr imstande, dieses Versprechen einzulösen.

  • Autrichiens, catalans-espagnols, français, polonais, ukrainiens: le SIIAEC s’est retrouvé à Varsovie, du 20 au 22 avril, pour sa réunion statutaire et autour du thème « Solidarités en Europe ».  Les conférences de parlementaires européens, de professeurs universitaires et du représentant de Pax Romana au Conseil de l’Europe ont permis échanges et réflexions sur « fraternité » et « populisme ».  Des points de repères ont ainsi émergés pour aider chacun d’entre nous à mieux discerner et cheminer, personnellement et ensemble.

    - Les populismes font insidieusement dériver les jugements, sous « l’apparence du bien » et en manipulant les « peurs » si sensibles au cœur humain. Dans un monde dont la complexité augmente et l’imprévisibilité s’accélère, il est rassurant, en effet, d’apporter des réponses « simplistes ». Leur bien fondé semble basé sur une clarté indiscutable et universelle… alors que des études récentes montrent que les mensonges politiques cheminent d’autant plus vite que le niveau d’éducation et d’esprit critique diminuent.

  • Austrians, Spanish - Catalan, French, Poles, Ukrainians : SIIAEC met in Warsaw from 20 to 22 April for its statutory meeting on the theme "Solidarity in Europe".

    Lectures from Members of European Parliament, University Professors and from the Representative of Pax Romana at the Council of Europe, allowed participants exchanging and reflecting on "fraternity" and "populism".  A series of points have thus emerged to help each of us to better understand and progress, personally and together on such important subjects.

    Populisms insidiously influence judgments under the "appearance of good" and by manipulating the "fears", which are so sensitive to the human heart. In a world whose complexity is increasing and unpredictability is accelerating, it becomes reassuring to provide "simplistic" answers. Their validity seems based on an indisputable and universal clarity... while recent studies show that political lies progress all the faster as the level of education and critical thinking diminish.

  • Article written by Robert Schuman for the Pax Romana review in June 1953

    One would make a mistake and be the victim of a dangerous illusion if one believed that, in order to make Europe, it would be sufficient to create European Institutions. It would be like a body without a soul. These institutions will have to be led by a European spirit, as His Holiness Pius XII defined it, in front of the members of the College of Europe in Bruges last March 15. The peoples belonging to a European Community will have to be aware of their solidarity, and place their trust in their mutual cooperation.

    However, between nations that, a short while ago, were still fighting each other as enemies, the budding of such feelings will be slow and difficult; it will not only be antagonized by the memories of a recent past, but also by mistakes, blunders and sometimes deliberate provocations, finally by the apprehensions regarding the future. All these are reasons for us to succeed quickly.

  •      Actually the title named “The present EU and a new vision of Europe with Christian Perspectives” clearly marks one of the most important topics of our times for us as European citizens, and in fact for the whole world, since it means a lot to the world, weather Europe is in good shape or not, whether Europe is inspired or not, whether Europe is in peace and prosperity or not. What I want to share with you today are some insights in European history, some very personal opinions on our present time in Europe and an outlook on future perspectives. When I mention “personal opinions” I really mean it, and I identify myself as the thing you can call a catholic in my personal spirituality and faith, and as a Christian Liberal in my approach as a citizen and as a public servant.

  •      As a president of the Club of Catholic Intelligentsia in Warsaw I am honoured and happy to welcome you at this conference dedicated to the challenges that Christianity has to face in the contemporary Europe. Rapid progress in the technical civilization makes life of the people easier but - on the other side - confronts us with completely new problems and urges us to look for the appropriated understanding of new challenges and for finding correct responses to them. In particular this includes to find the good and comprehensive way of speech about main Christian values, because in the time of new medial communication and globalization, quite a lot of what some decades earlier had a clear and understandable meaning for all people of Europe, in the modern time became less clear or has changed the meaning.