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NewsChurches affirm place of Christian values in European politics and society

Churches affirm place of Christian values in European politics and society

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As Europe prepares for the 2024 EU elections in June, representatives of various Churches gathered in Thessaloniki, Greece, on 15-17 May 2024 to highlight the role of Christian values in European politics and society amid growing secularisation. Mgr. Crociata stated: “Churches have the opportunity and responsibility of giving our societies the hope of not losing memory of the roots that bring life to the values which hold our communities together”. Speeches [1 – 2] | Photo Gallery | Declaration: EN – FR – DE

Ecumenical-conference-thessaloniki-christian-values

The international conference featured reflections and political dialogue in anticipation of the upcoming European elections. Participants explored and examined creative ways to promote Christian values in European societies and political arenas, contributing effectively to resolving ongoing crises affecting peace, climate, society, and the economy.

H.E. Mgr. Mariano Crociata, President of COMECE, stressed the vital unifying role of Churches. “[We] have the opportunity and responsibility of giving our societies the hope of not losing memory of the roots that bring life to the values which hold our communities together”.

Along similar lines, Archbishop Nikitas of Thyateira and Great Britain, President of CEC, also emphasized: “We are united in spirit, and we support the efforts of all who aspire to see Christian values in European society. The idea of erasing Christian values, traditions and language inevitably means erasing our own identity”.

The conference also addressed the increasing religious illiteracy among political decision-makers. Participants discussed ways for Churches to claim and safeguard space for faith as a legitimate element in European political discourse.

“Our societies dwell in a paradoxical cultural and moral situation – said Mgr. Crociata. On the one hand, they seem not entitled to recognise the transcendent roots of the values that are at the basis of our living together; on the other hand, they need a common ethos to maintain some kind of unity and coherence.”

“Churches have the opportunity and responsibility of giving our societies the hope of not losing memory of the roots that bring life to the values which hold our communities together”, Mgr. Mariano Crociata continued.

The President of COMECE also addressed the topic of populism and its various impacts on current European political and social life.

“Populism is based on a relation – or supposed relation – between governments and people without any kind of social mediation. In this way, governments occupy all the political space, while people are left at the mercy of all, in a perfect insulation, which today has a precise name: individualism”, he stated.

The event was also an opportunity to officially sign the declaration ‘Europe, Be Yourself! – An Address to European Institutions, MEP Candidates, and Political Parties’ issued in March 2024. The declaration can be accessed here.

The conference was held from 15 to 17 May 2024. It is organised by the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE) in cooperation with the Conference of European Churches (CEC), the Interparliamentary Assembly on Orthodoxy, the Holy Metropolis of Thessaloniki and the School of Theology of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki

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