Msgr. Dominique Mamberti to EU ambassadors
“Although the path of European unification has made remarkable progress since that distant 1954, the ongoing economic crisis, that seizes our continent in its grips, seems to give tragic topical relevance to the theme of which architecture we wish to give to Europe, to assure ‘a perspective marked by peaceful and developmental coexistence”. The passage is taken from the speech delivered by archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for the Relations with the States, to the Ambassadors of the member countries of the European Union that are accredited to the Holy See at the end of Denmark’s presidencty. The meeting took place in Rome on Monday June 11.
Much needed ethical foundations. “Over the past fifty years Europe has sought gradual unification and internal cohesion”. The “main means to achieve this objective have been the common market, free circulation of people and the creation of a common currency”. Economic integration has been the “privileged path”, chosen to avoid that “nationalisms and particularisms would take over to the detriment of development and peace”. Along with economic unification, a not as speedy political unification has been sought”. In other terms, the “pivot point of this architecture has been to ‘trigger’ a political process, starting with economic tools”. However, the archbishop pointed out, “the ongoing historical situation shows that in the unification process an ethical foundation is strongly needed”.
Centrality of the human person. The way out of the crisis, remarked Msgr. Mamberti, “cannot merely be founded on the quest for technical solutions, however innovative they may be. Instead, it is necessary to draw inspiration from the common European background, whereby the figure and the responsibility of the human person is an irreplaceable resource”. For these reasons, “Europe’s development cannot depart from the centrality of the human person. It is not a matter of adopting a religious principle, but rather of acknowledging, as De Gasperi did, that Christianity is ‘at the origin of this European civilization’ and that the values that European civilization deems fundamental, commonly referred to as ‘human rights’, find their origin in natural law and in Christian tradition their concrete historical expression”. For this reason, In order to “recover its pace with decision, Europe must start afresh from the human person, rather than from markets or institutions. Starting afresh from the human person means to promote life and the family. Family policies are indispensable to ensure a future to the continent. Unfortunately, attitudes that oppose the traditional family seem to prevail, under the form of the endorsement of new kinds of unions, and through the absence of adequate forms of support to family units, to large families in particular”.
Confidence, solidarity and responsibility. “One of the most important challenges of our time - Mgr. Mamberti pointed out - is to promote a recovery of jobs and production”. Its positive outcome “will largely depend on the willingness of each one to make their own contribution”. “A European Union with markets as its only unifying element is doomed to failure; a Union that puts man first together with the principles flowing from his rich and healthy tradition is likely to succeed”. “Confidence, solidarity and responsibility are the key concepts to which Europe should draw its attention, today more than ever. These concepts should guide the internal relations of Europe, the relations it has with other actors on the global scene as well as its relations with the neighbouring countries which are seeking accession to the Union itself”. In this way, “it will also face with serenity the other numerous challenges that lie ahead, first and foremost the phenomenon of migrations, that is more and more changing the shape of our continent”.
Christian and human values. Msgr. Mamberti recalled the words of John Paul II in his pilgrimage to Compostela: “Europe: Rediscover yourself. Be yourself”. The archbishop said: “I hope our continent will be able to rediscover itself. The success of this undertaking will depend on the extent to which Europe can look with gratitude and recognition at its origins and, above all, at the ability to present anew, constructively and creatively, Christian and human values that include the dignity of the human person, the profound sentiment of justice and freedom, hard work, the spirit of initiative, love for the family, respect for life and the desire for cooperation and peace, which are its characteristic features”.