The Pope’s message is a wake-up call for the Church in Europe
Statement by Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich, President of Comece, at the press conference on Migration (27.5.2019)
The Holy Father’s message is a key document for the Church in Europe.
It is not just about migrants … This message stimulates discernment by the Church in Europe: it is also about materialism! Materialism is not just a force outside the Church. It is inside our own hearts, too … the hearts of bishops, priests, religious and many faithful. If we do not feel called to welcome, protect, promote and integrate people arriving in Europe by migration, it is a sign of the materialism in our hearts … forgetting those who are needy and marginalized.
The Pope’s message is a call to conversion to the Church of Europe, a call to read the signs of our times, to focus our attention not on the divisions in our Church but on living the Gospel. We are reminded that the Church is called to serve the human family. It is about our present and about our future as church in Europe. Our Church in Europe is often like a mother without children … barren and fruitless.
The Pope’s message is a call to discernment.
Discernment has to be done along the way … walking together with other people. Allow me to speak briefly about my trip to Lesbos accompanying Cardinal Krajewski. These refugees, in the grip of hopelessness, are forgotten by Europe. No discernment is possible without seeing their faces, hearing their voices. Could it not be possible for the different dioceses in Europe to forge an agreement with their government and open humanitarian corridors for welcoming the people who have been forgotten for too long?
This could be the start of a common discernment, a real synodal process for a true reform of our Church.
The Pope’s message is a wake-up call for the Church in Europe. It is not just about migrants …. it is about our humanity, about our being Christian, about us listening to the call of Christ.
And at the same time, it is precisely about migrants, about each of them, about every human person on the margins of Europe … in camps in Greece and Libya, in various migration centres within member countries of the European Union.
All of these people, marginalized in Europe: let us give them a place in the heart of the Church!
+ Jean-Claude Hollerich
Archbishop of Luxembourg
President of COMECE
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