Europe Day 2023 in Milan, Siena and Bari
IN MILAN DEEP REFLECTIONS AND COURAGEOUS RESOLUTIONS
It was a welcoming house in Via Rovigo in Milan that saw around sixty people from Together for Europe gather for a moment of reflection, discussion and dialogue on the theme of Europe and peace. As Dolores Librale and Alfonso Fornasari affirmed, it was a true celebration of “song, relationships and prayer” to make deep reflections and courageous resolutions. There were four ‘books to leaf through’: the legacy of the Founding Fathers of the European Union, the historical experience of Eastern Europe, the universal vision of Christianity and the testimony of a European politician.
Prof. Edoardo Zin (former vice-president of the Institut Saint Benoit, patron of Europe; postulator of the cause for the beatification of Robert Schuman) did not hesitate to emphasise that “… peace will never come from the pursuit of one’s own strategic interests, but from policies capable of looking at the Whole, at the development of all, attentive to people, to the poor and to tomorrow, not only to the power, gains and opportunities of the present. For all this, Christians are called to be the sentinels keeping watch over Europe”.
Fr Traian Valdman, Archpriest, Eparchial Vicar Emeritus of the Romanian Orthodox Diocese of Italy, offered a perspective on Eastern Europe: “… I come from a world that was not free, but where Christians continued to greet each other, from Easter to Ascension, with the acclamation “Christ is risen”, in defiance of all the ideology of the regime in power”.
Prof. Emilio Florio, President of the Protestant Cultural Centre of Milan and professor of philosophy and history, took us to the “earthly garden created to host the human race”: “We are Christians precisely because we lean out beyond the boundaries to welcome, to speak to everyone…(…) The first Christians were ‘Catholics’, that is, they were universalists, they saw in the other the brother. Not just ‘those from here’. Instead, by interpreting the concept of a garden narrowly, we have built walls everywhere in Europe. (…) We are trees towering on one side towards Heaven and on the other side towards our brothers and sisters in the Universe World to which we have been called”.
David Sassoli (President of the European Parliament until his untimely death) – almost as an illustration of these phrases – through a short video prepared in 2020 was able to testify that together it is possible to achieve whatever one dreams about Europe.
IN BARI FROM SIX DIFFERENT CHURCHES
And here is the email Rita and Giulio Seller wrote to us from Bari:
“We have just concluded our Together for Europe meeting, and we are overjoyed at the success of the event. We were from six different Churches and about ten Catholic movements; in all 130 people seated and some standing. The meeting took place in a hall attached to a Christian bookstore. The bishop came and gave a greeting together with the two keynote speakers: the Lutheran Pastor of Naples-Bari, Kirsten Thie, and Giuseppe Gabrielli of the St Egidio community. The evening was enlivened by songs from the ‘Anna Sinigaglia’ ecumenical choir. It was a great opportunity to create unity between us all, and in the end we were all grateful for the success of the event”.
ECUMENICAL PRAYER FOR EUROPE IN SIENA
The attached photos say it all about the event in Siena.
Edited by Ilona Tóth