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European elections: Mgr. Hollerich, “with no Papal appeals for reception, outcome would have been worse”. “Populisms have lost where they had responsibility”

“We should carry out a detailed analysis of the election results. But I think that without the Holy Father’s appeals for reception, and those made by many other bishops, parishes and communities in Europe, the outcome would have been worse”. Mgr. Jean-Claude Hollerich, archbishop of Luxembourg and president of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the EU (COMECE), answered the questions put to him by journalists on the European elections results, during the press conference for the presentation of the Pope’s Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, which will be held on 29 September on the theme: “It is not just about migrants”. “We do not do politics and we do not have an opportunistic message”, the prelate stated. “As Bishops, however, we must proclaim the Gospel of Christ, and the reception of others – the poor, the migrant, the outcast – is a central part of the Gospel. I cannot but preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ”. “If we look at the results – Mgr. Hollerich continued, commenting on the electoral outcome – while it is true that the populists have won in some countries, it is also true that they have lost in others, especially where they had governmental responsibilities. People have realised that words and reality are two different things”. As regards the presence of the Church in our continent, the president of COMECE noted that “the situation is not rosy for the Church in Europe, because the majority of young people are not with us. We have a certain renewal in the Church, with new profoundly spiritual movements. Even in my diocese, I do everything I can to promote these new movements, but I think that for them to give fruit, they should combine the spirituality of the heart with the spirituality of the world’s reality. And with these two things together, I think there is a great opportunity for the Church in Europe”. “As Christians, Catholics, we are no longer the majority in Europe, but we have a centuries-old message, a great message, and we must proclaim it”, Mgr. Hollerich concluded: “I am realistic, but always optimistic”.

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