Different important events are taking place from 19 March to 5 May at various locations in the Austrian capital. The aim is to give citizens and parliamentarians the opportunity to discuss politics together in a constructive way in view of the forthcoming European elections.
What do our friends in Vienna have in their hearts?
“The current problems regarding the politics, economics and structure of the European Union concern all of us. As members of Together for Europe we feel compelled to add our voices to the debate on the continent’s future by putting in practice “our vocation for unity and our Culture of Togetherness”. We are convinced that the gift of “unity in diversity” we received in the moving process of reconciliation is God’s response to the needs of our time. With this confidence we wish to invite citizens, experts and Members of the European Parliament to dialogue together and bear positive witness to the politics of reconciliation and solidarity.”
The topics selected for discussion are very stimulating:
- Erasmus – shaping Europe
- Judaism in Europe today – old and new anti-Semitism
- Migrants and the homeland
- “Word and bread” – the social dimension
The conclusive evening will be celebrated on 11 April in the “House of the European Union” where amongst other things we will collect and present messages from the various political and ecclesiastical representatives who were present at the different meetings.
An ecumenical service of prayers for Europe will be held on 5 May in a church in the city centre.
Each meeting will have a different format and be held at a different location. There will be different movements and experts, different topics for discussion and different ways to get involved but beneath it all is a shared desire not to miss the opportunity to say: TOGETHER we can!
Let us pray that many others will be inspired by Vienna’s example.
Taken from the invitation: A Prayer for Europe (Carlo Maria Martini)
Father of mankind, Lord of History,
Look upon this continent to which you sent
philosophers, lawgivers and people endowed with wisdom,
precursors of that faith in your Son, fallen and risen.
Look at these people evangelized by Peter and Paul,
by prophets, monks and saints.
Look at these regions drenched in the blood of martyrs,
moved by the voice of reformers.
Look at these people linked by so many bonds and ties,
yet divided by hatred and war.
Assist us in committing ourselves to a Europe of the Spirit
founded not just on economic treaties,
but also on values which are human and eternal;
a Europe capable of ethnic and ecumenical reconciliations,
quick to welcome the stranger, respectful of human dignity.
Give us confidence to see it as our duty
to encourage and promote understanding between peoples,
which provides for all continents justice and bread,
liberty and peace.