The last Meeting of the Friends of Together for Europe (Ottmaring – Augsburg, November 7-9 ) was characterized by an impressive variation of participants. The varied impressions that we received mirror this variations, and here are some of them:
“We are grateful to God for this ‘phenomenon of Together’, which in all these years has developed into a training ground of mutual acquaintance, communion, unity and hope for our Continent”.
“I experienced a strong action that goes against the very many risks of fragmentation and new divisions”.
“Together for Europe enjoyed an added visibility by the fact that we were hosted in the Town Hall of Augsburg. After all, TfE is committed for a better social and civil environment in a city, as well as giving support to new politics for an enhanced peace among all Nations”.
“I have never met such persons who scan the signs of the times and, together and concretely, discern what they ought to do for the others, for their Country and the other European Countries”.
“I concluded that there cannot be a FOR without the TOGETHER”.
“The Evangelicals’ example helped me, a Catholic, to convert regarding prayer”.
“I was fascinated by the image of the ’vanishing mediator’ ( cf. Keynote speech by Herbert Lauenroth – Program + Material) regarding the frontiers of relationships. I consider this Meeting of Together for Europe to have been one of great unity among the 55 Movement of various Churches represented, and among the participants coming from 23 Countries. There I could see the political soul of a renewed Europe, in which Nations seek unity in distinction and freedom; a unity that go beyond all kinds of nationalism”.
“In Rome, where I live, I encounter few Christians belonging to other Churches; here, through the concrete experience of meeting other persons with the identical faith, although belonging to a different Tradition, I have experienced openness toward the ecumenical reality. (…) I am now more convinced of the cultural importance of the ‘7 Yeses’that we proclaim, in view of the improvement of the civil society, according to the original intuition of the Founders of a united Europe who aimed not only at achieving peace, but also at social solidarity and the brotherhood of Nations”.
“I have decided to live out “Together” in my daily life, starting with my neighbours who come from another Country”.
“Here I understood the beauty of being different. It is God who wants this difference. The more different we are, the more God is present. Discovering this is a true challenge”.
“For me, Together for Europe has become a place of hope, where the encounter and the reconciliation prepare the future in which the various Nations will be willing to come to know each other, with their history and traditions. Let’s build bridges and not walls”.
“When we, as Christians of various Churches, work together, I experience the beauty of the Church of Christ in her broadest outreach, and my Christian identity is enhanced. In the present political and religious context in Europe, I feel that I ought to give my witness even through the aid to the migrants”.
Aren’t these some of the seeds which the 20-year old experience have produced, and which may blossom again to mark new stages of brotherhood in Europe and beyond?
The International Secretariat of Together for Europe