Tuesday, November 25, 2014

(Talk 3, unscripted version of the October 3 talk) “EUROPE, RETURN TO JESUS!” by Pope Francis


(Talk 3, unscripted version of the October 3 talk)
by Pope Francis

Dear brother bishops,

I greet all of you with affection on the occasion of the plenary assembly of the Council of the Bishops' Conferences of Europe. And I thank Cardinal Peter Erdõ for the words with which he introduced this meeting. I will have this address distributed to you and permit myself to say a few things that are in my heart and that the words of His Eminence have brought to the surface.

What is happening today in Europe? What is going on in the heart of our mother Europe? Is she still our mother Europe, or grandma Europe? Is she still fertile? Has she fallen into sterility? Is she unable to give new life? For one thing, this Europe has committed a few sins. We must say this with love: it has not wanted to recognize one of its roots. And because of this it feels and does not feel Christian. Or it feels Christian somewhat in secret, but doesn't want to recognize it, this European root.

The Europe of today has been invaded. It may be the second invasion of the barbarians, I don't know. First it opened its doors in order to profit from labor. But now it feels this “invasion” of people who are coming to look for work, who are fleeing from their homeland in search of freedom and a better life.

Europe is wounded. I'll go back to that image that says so much to me, and I say that the Church today seems to me like a field hospital because there are so many wounded in the Church. But Europe is wounded too. Wounded by all the trials it has undergone. It has gone from the time of prosperity, of great well-being, to a worrying crisis in which young people too are discarded. In the newspapers the other day it said that here in Italy youth unemployment is up to 43 percent, I think. In Spain it’s 50 percent. And the Spanish bishops have told me that in Andalusia it is almost at 60 percent.

Cardinal Erdõ talked about the discarding of children and the elderly. And it's true. But now there is also the discarding of a whole generation of young people. I don't know if it is only in Europe, or in Europe and in the developed countries, that there is talk of 75 million from the age of twenty-five and down. But it's a whole generation. As European bishops, what are we doing for the young people? Giving them something to eat? Yes, that's the first thing. But that doesn't give dignity to a young person, to anyone. Dignity comes from work. And there is the danger that the children of mother, today practically grandma Europe, are losing their dignity because they do not have jobs and cannot bring bread home. Europe has discarded its children. A bit triumphantly. I remember that when I was studying in one country the clinics that did abortions then prepared everything to send it to cosmetic factories. Makeup made with the blood of innocents. And this was something to brag about, because it was progressive: the rights of the woman, the woman has the right over her body.

I don't know about here in Italy, I don't want to say because I'm not sure, but what will happen when the state is unable to pay the pensions, because there aren't enough young people working according to the law, because there is that black market for labor that they do, not always but… And the elderly - I've said this about Latin America, about my country, but I believe it's a universal problem or of many countries or some other continents - the elderly are discarded with stealth euthanasia. The social services cover medical treatment up to a certain point, and then you're on your own!

A Europe weary with disorientation. And I don't want to be a pessimist, but let's tell the truth: after food, clothing, and medicine, what are the most important expenditures? Cosmetics, and I don't know how to say this in Italian, but the “mascotas,” the little animals. They don't have children, but their affection goes to the little cat, to the little dog. And this is the second expenditure after the three main ones. The third is the whole industry to promote sexual pleasure. So it’s food, medicine, clothing, cosmetics, little animals, and the life of pleasure. Our young people feel this, they see this, they live this.

I liked very much what His Eminence said, because this is truly the drama of Europe today. But it's not the end. I believe that Europe has many resources for going forward. It's like a sickness that Europe has today. A wound. And the greatest resource is the person of Jesus. Europe, return to Jesus! Return to that Jesus whom you have said was not in your roots! And this is the work of the pastors: to preach Jesus in the midst of these wounds. I have spoken of only a few, but there are tremendous wounds. To preach Jesus. And I ask you this: don't be ashamed to proclaim Jesus Christ risen who has redeemed us all. And for us too that the Lord may not rebuke us, as today in the Gospel of Luke he rebuked these two cities.

The Lord wants to save us. I believe this. This is our mission: to proclaim Jesus Christ, without shame. And he is ready to open the doors of his heart, because he manifests his omnipotence above all in mercy and forgiveness.

Let's go forward with preaching. Let's not be ashamed. So many ways of preaching, but to mama Europe -- or grandma Europe, or wounded Europe -- only Jesus Christ can speak a word of salvation today. Only he can open a door of escape.


(Talk 4, prepared version of the October 3 talk)


Consistory Hall
Friday, 3 October 2014

Dear Brother Bishops,

I affectionately greet all of you on the occasion of the Plenary Assembly of the Council of European Bishops’ Conferences and I thank Cardinal Péter Erdő for the words with which he introduced this meeting.

As Pastors close to your community and attentive to the needs of the people, you know well the complexity of the situation and the pressing challenges to which the mission of the Church is subjected, also in Europe. As I wrote in the Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium, we are called to be a Church which “goes forth”, moving from the centre to the peripheries to go towards all, without fear and without diffidence, with apostolic courage (n. 20). How many brothers and sisters, how many situations, how many contexts, even the most difficult, are in need of the light of the Gospel!

I would like to thank you, dear brothers, for the commitment with which you have welcomed this text. I know that this Document is increasingly the object of deep pastoral reflection and the starting point for paths of faith and evangelization in many parishes, communities and groups. This too is a sign of communion and the unity of the Church.

The theme of your Plenary: “Family and the Future of Europe” presents an important occasion to reflect together on how to value the family as a precious resource for pastoral renewal. I feel it is important for Pastors and families to work together in a spirit of humility and sincere dialogue so that the respective parish communities may become a “family of families”. In this context interesting experiences have blossomed, which call for proper attention in view of furthering fruitful cooperation in your respective local Churches. Engaged couples who seriously live marriage preparation; married couples who welcome foster or adopted children; groups of families who in parishes or in movements help each other on the path of life and faith. There is no lack of experience of different types of pastoral care of the family and of political and social commitment in supporting families, both those who live traditional married lives and those marked by problems or by breakup. It is important to take these important experiences in the various contexts and in the life of the men and women of today, as a propitious time to exercise careful discernment in order to “network” them, thus involving other diocesan communities.

The cooperation between Pastors and families also extends to the field of education. Indeed, the family, which already fulfills its role with regard to its members, is a school of humanity, brotherhood, love, communion which forms mature and responsible citizens. Open cooperation between the clergy and families will favour the maturation of a spirit of justice, of solidarity, of peace and the courage of one’s convictions. This will come about by supporting parents in their responsibility to educate their children, thus protecting their inalienable right to provide their children with the education they deem most suitable. Parents, in fact, remain the first and foremost educators of their children, thus they have the right to educate them according to their moral and religious convictions. In this way, you will be able to outline common and coordinated pastoral directives necessary to promote and effectively support Catholic schools.

Dear brothers, I encourage you to maintain your commitment to promote the communion of the various Churches in Europe, facilitating appropriate cooperation for fruitful evangelization. I also invite you to be a “prophetic voice” within society, above all where the process of secularization, taking place on the continent of Europe, tends to render speaking of God increasingly marginal. May the heavenly intercession of the Virgin Mary and Saints and Patron Saints of Europe sustain you in this task. I ask you to please pray for me and I bless you from my heart.


Final note: This does not mean that this above text is not correct. It is the text that was prepared for the occasion; so it is correct. But, Pope Francis set it aside and spoke from the heart, extemporaneously, and that text is the prior one, published yesterday for the first time by Magister from the notes of an unknown source.


The Anthropological Question - at the bottom of all Robert Moynihan letters:

"You live in a deranged age, more deranged than usual, because, in spite of great scientific and technological advances, man has not the faintest idea of who he is or what he is doing." —Walker Percy (1916-1990), American Catholic convert and writer, author of The Message in the Bottle and Lost in the Cosmos

No comments: