Europe’s future in the hands of Ireland?
Fr Ireneusz Skubis
In the national referendum held on 12 June 2008 the Irish voted against the Treaty of Lisbon. I noticed that after the results of the referendum had been announced many Europeans had sad faces and at the same time a special kind of political activity occurred. Some politicians had a problem what to do with this country, how to ridicule it, what to do to ‘convert’ Ireland.’ The media are wondering about the consequences of the fact that over 53 % of the Irish said ‘no’ in the referendum. It is worth reminding us of the fate of the EU constitution, which did not succeed because Holland and France voted against it. The new proposal, called the Treaty of Lisbon, is just another attempt to make Europe a superpower.
Currently, there are debates on the ideological and spiritual shape of Europe, debates on values. One of the meaningful signs that testify to Europe’s destination is the fact that politicians and experts, preparing a highly important document, which is the European constitution, reject Christianity as a leading idea for this continent. Thus they reject God whose name was not allowed to be mentioned in the text of the constitution. Let us also notice that it was Greek culture and philosophy that were recognized as more important that the Christian roots in the first version of the constitution. Travelling around Europe we see churches, cathedrals with wonderful stained glass windows; we admire the styles that characterize particular epochs. Europe is a place for outstanding artists. It is a wonderful bookstore filled with works of marvellous philosophers, theologians, writers and poets. This whole cultural output of the past two thousand years has been filled with Christian spirit. Everywhere we deal with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, with God’s name, with traces of particular influence of the Catholic Church. And here comes the generation of the ‘68 revolution - atheizing people who having gained power say ‘no’ to God and Christianity, ‘no’ to religion, ‘no’ to Christian culture. They proclaim liberal mottos. And we know the people who began the activities aiming at Europe’s unity. These were Christians, Catholics: Gasperi, Adenauer, Schuman. When they saw the results of the civilisation of death - the ruins of World War II, tragedies of millions of people - they presented Christianity as remedy for evil of this world, as an idea of love and unity. We can ask whether today these fathers of united Europe would recognize their reflections on the idea of unity, seeing that Europe and its present leaders take a secular, godless direction. One can fight against Christianity without any weapons, using only clever legislation. We can read about it in the book by Eugenia Roccella and Lucetta Scaraffi entitled ‘Contro il cristianesimo. L'ONU e l'Unione Europea come nuova ideologia [Against Christianity: The UN and the European Union as a New Ideology]. The Polish translation has been published by the Library of ‘Niedziela.’ We can read how the biggest world institutions use various diplomatic ways to destroy the Christian identity of Europe and first of all to weaken the position of the Church. And it turns out that Christians, Christian parties are looking at it, finding no strength to oppose these obvious attacks against the Church. The proposed image of Europe is a continent without God, a continent that is dangerous for Christian culture and for itself. We should know about it and ask the question to all people, including the Catholic Church, ‘do we really put Lord God first and do we realise that the Church is missionary, that we should proclaim the Kingdom of God, that we should carry the Gospel and obey Christ’s commandment ‘Go and make disciples of all the nations’ (Matthew 28:19). This challenge posed almost two thousand years ago is still important and valid. Europe is not only those who obey the instructions from Brussels and Strasburg but it is masses of ordinary people who go to church, take the sacraments, read the Holy Scripture, pray; it is people who appreciate Christian culture and art, who believe in God, who want to do good deeds and be faithful to the Christian roots of their forefathers. We must defend such an image of Christian Europe. But many Europeans have allowed to be manipulated by various atheistic, laicised centres. Liberal ideologies have been created and they have become a specific creed for political life. We must add a serious demographic threat - our Europe is dying. Because of migration movements there are immense changes in population. We can be in a situation, which was unimaginable several years ago, when, e.g. France will speak Arabic and German will speak Turkish and the laws and language of Islam will be obligatory. If it happens the voice of Christ will be less and less audible. Then Christianity may be renewed in Africa, South America and the work of salvation will continue but there is a deep feeling of harm done to our continent.
Europe allowed to be controlled by modern forms of laicisation. People who believe in God choose an atheizing system. I wonder why they cannot or do not want to analyse obvious facts, indicating that the Treaty of Lisbon is another attempt to manipulate nations so that they agree to live as if God did not exist. Today a small country, Ireland, said ‘no’ to this whole wave. The Irish nation voted against the Treaty of Lisbon. One should sincerely congratulate people who oppose such power as once small David challenged strong Goliath. Europe was surprised by such an attitude. This situation may make us think and ask the question, ‘Where are you going, Europe?’ Once John Paul II asked the oldest daughter of the Church, ‘France, what have you done with the promises of your baptism?’ Today, we feel as if God asked us all, ‘Europe, what have you done with Christ’s cross, what have you done with God and his law, with the Gospel, with your wonderful Christian culture...?’ We are still deeply reflecting on the fact that has happened in Ireland, and we admire this nation. At the same time we are reflecting on our nation and we are involuntarily asking another question, ‘Do those who build monuments to their great Fellow Countryman know that this obliges them to faithfulness to his thought and teaching, which are Christian?’ We must remember that the famous phrase ‘all that Poland is’ is life according to the Gospel, Christian history and culture, which apart from numerous saints and heroes include our two great contemporary Poles: John Paul II and Cardinal Stefan Wyszynski.