The voice of Together of Europe is heard loud and clear
The 25th March 2017 marked the 60th Anniversary of the Treaties of Rome, with the eve of this anniversary affording an opportunity for politicians, ecclesial leaders and lay people representing the network Together for Europe to meet in the Church of Twelve Holy Apostles (Basilica dei XII apostolic) in Rome for an Ecumenical and International Vigil. The challenges: How to give shape to an authentic European/Christian humanism? How to achieve the opening up of faith to the wider culture?
At the Vigil, presided by Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, 750 participants of 23 Movements and Communities were present. Present also, were Bishop Nunzio Galantino, the Secretary-General of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Mons. Siluan, Bishop of the Romanian Orthodox Church in Italy, Heiner Bludau, Dean of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Italy, Andrea Riccardi, historian and founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio and Gerhard Pross, moderator of Together for Europe.
The President of Italy, Sergio Mattarella sent a message to the Vigil participants, in which he expressed his “desire to have been present and his firm conviction that such moments of encounter, offer a strong sign of hope, necessary in building a Europe of unity and solidarity.”
A few voices heard during the evening: “Europe need to come more to the fore”; “God, throughout history, has entrusted this Continent with the mission to connect and bring closer heaven and earth, faith and its impact on the world!”; “Christian values are European values and vice-versa. A culture of dialogue, tolerance, openness and brotherhood that can be lived beyond denominations, religions or creeds. This Vigil will serve to re-awaken such great values.”
In 56 European cities, parallel events of solemn prayer were held, and were well attended.