WE DO NOT MEAN THIS KIND OF EUROPE
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
This confession of faith which is pronounced by the holy Roman-Catholic Church today, millions of believers express it with the mouth of the Holy Father Benedict XVI and with him. We believe in God. This faith joins us. It is also an expression of our prayer and a reference to God. God is and this is the most important for the man, so that he would not be without his resources, lonely in a crowd, without his justification. This confession is also aiming at the idea of realizing one’s vocation – just in God. He, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, is also our Holy providence, he is Father full of merciful love, he is Love.
Christian roots of Europe
We know from the books of the Old Testament that God sometimes allows for the action of the satan in life of righteous people. We see, among the others, the experiences of Hiob. It seems that times in which we live, are also a kind of God’s permission because we see that the satan is acting in a clear and determined way. We also notice it in the principles of functioning of some institutions, respected somehow. These actions are aiming at attacking the world of values, so much important from the point of faith view. Even the symbols of these values, like the cross, the aureole – the signs of holiness and life with the Gospel, are a nuisance for non-believers, who have a great influence – among the others via finances – on the life of citizens in Europe. For, what else does a kind of obstruction mean aimed against the images of Europe patrons, St. Cyril and St. Method mean, whose aim is preventing a possibility of showing on the 2 Euro coin that they are Christian saints? These actions are justified by alleged teasing of citizens of the Old Continent with the signs of Christian faith, but every educated European man knows that Europe is the land of the cross and the saints. It were Saint martyrs and believers in Christ who were building the fundaments of Europe and once they defined the form of its culture. Can we imagine Europe without wonderful cathedrals – in Paris, Reims, Koln, Santiago de Compostela – or every big and old European country without the cross? Would Europe, which is full of Christian signs both in the area of art and music or literature, be this great Europe if not for its roots in Christ and His Church whose symbol is the Vatican Basilica of St. Peter?
Destructive influence of atheism
Christians know about it, admiring and respecting these signs, but at the same time life with faith is dying in them. It is caused by an extreme speed of life in these times, comfort and search for pleasure, supported by the philosophy of disastrous pluralism. It leads especially the young generation to an attitude of the so-called freedom from the Decalogue, from binding ethical norms, from the very God. Atheism leads the man into the world of ethical destruction, saying that freedom is more important than the truth, than morality, ethical principles, that freedom is above all. This is the way in which people come to an absurd and the very human life is endangered. It was destroyed during the Bolshevik and Nazis regime. It showed Europe what atheism leads to. Millions of people were deprived of life, and also there were those who had to live in fear and anxiety about every day.
And now, there are again attempts of building a ‘new’ world without values on the basis of the ‘modern’ philosophy, justifying it with modernity and liberation. Christian morality was attacked by some European groups, wanting to eliminate the teaching which Jesus Christ had brought, and our God and Redeemer. Forces grouped around atheists and liberals force particular countries of Europe to spread atheism. European institutions took up tasks of fight against Christian ideas, the Decalogue. Today there are attempts of duplicating decisions of human opponents – Lenin and Hitler, who in the 20th century were leading a fight against life through abortion and euthanasia. It is not accepted that human being has a right for life from the conception to the natural death. EU tendencies contain an element of fight against God and Christian ethics, but they are often veiled and in a discreet way they pass this ideology to others and in this way they are becoming more dangerous.
We are also often surprised by the attitude of the Catholics and Christians who carelessly subject themselves to liberalism, as if they did not notice that they are participating in the fight against God. We are shocked by statements of known people who seem not to understand that they are involved in a cruel and absolute fight against Christianity. If they were asked about their religious awareness, they would be surprised that we accuse them of atheism. But their attitudes are an expression of atheistic way of thinking and secularization of their life, that is, they are deprived of awareness that God is, who has His expectations towards the human being. Also surprise and astonishment are raised by the attitude of many European so-called Christian parties, which in fact, betrayed the Church. People who have been respected so far, today serve to unbelief, atheism and impious behavior. It happens so in European parliaments, in which the Christians used to be majority, there were votes for abortion and euthanasia, for destroying Christian values. These are the people who led to the destruction of Christian morality. It seems that a significant role was played by much money here, which get into the hands of politicians serving to atheism and secularization, philosophy of consumption and liberalism.
Whereas the creators of united Europe were pious people and two of them – Robert Schuman and Alcide De Gasperi are even candidates for canonization. Also the flag of Europe with 12 stars refers to the Apocalypse of St. John and is patterned on the Miraculous Medal from the Revelations of Our Lady to St. Catherine Laboure and the place in which it was hung for the first time, was the cathedral of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Strasburg. There, Konrad Adenauer and Robert Schuman were praying in the intention of Europe. It is the best sign of what roots the European Union has got. Today there are attempts to blur this all, not to allow for having a voice. Why?
Christian solidarity as a great social strength
Today we must remind ideas anew, which gave the beginning to such a powerful social movement which was ‘Solidarity’. It gave strength to the nation which not only freed itself from tethers of communism, but it also gave an example to Europe that without a war, without one shot, the walls of inhuman system can be destroyed, whose symbolic example was the Berlin wall. The Polish ‘Solidarity’ proved how important power is action in the spirit of love towards God and our neighbor.
Strength which can be given to us by our faith was also seen on the example of blessed John Paul II who practically changed the world. The funeral of this Pope also showed that people in the world can unite in the name of the most important ideas of love towards God and our neighbor. This our great Compatriot should become a patron of Europe and even the whole world, because his teaching is universal and we must return to it all the time, and we also believe that he often asks God for graces for us in all our matters for which we are asking.
Millions of Catholics and Christians of Europe feel the pressure of atheism today, especially that it is connected with financial and economic pressures. Therefore, the idea of Christian solidarity must return to Europe, which has been a great social strength for two thousand years and which contributed to many wonderful achievements in Europe and all over the world. Thanks to Christian thinkers there was development of sciences, especially humanistic ones, thanks to universities and Christian academies Europe became great. So, when we are experiencing the drama of fight against the Church, we are wondering according to what criteria contemporary European decision-makers think, why they do not think about the welfare of this continent and its nations.
Faith – help for the world and the human being
In our Christian Credo we say not only: ‘I believe in one God…’, but also ‘I believe in one, holy, universal and apostolic Church’. We see how it is being brutally attacked by the contemporary weapon which are media: press, radio, television and film and so strongly present internet’. The contemporary man with a consumptive attitude, easily subjects himself to the philosophy proclaiming liberation from morality, from Decalogue. But having taken on this attitude we must quickly realize that in a long run it leads to human destruction, that it is aimed against life. And it is not all about only abortion or euthanasia but about the loss of trustfulness towards another man and about destructive feeling of emptiness and the most basic fear about the lack of love.
Considering the situation in which the man is today, we must appeal about a great prayer. The Year of Faith announced by the Holy Father Benedict XVI can be a chance of return to wonderful Gospel roots of this continent for the Christians of Europe. It is not atheism which is liberation of the man – on the contrary, it is a danger for him because in consequence it leads to destruction, whose example we had in the cruel 20th century and have today, when in so many situations in the world the ‘liberated’ man becomes a danger for his brother. Only God and faith in Him can save humankind.
Therefore return to faith is the biggest postulate today. The Year of Faith is time of deeper reflection on these important issues, it is also time of awakening for the Christian solidarity, which is necessary to all of us, which is a kind of need of time. It must reveal, among the others, in life of particular Christian associations which should start cooperating with one another, enriching one another with their charismas. We can base on something – our common strength is the Gospel, Peter of our times and symbol of our faith – Credo.
We must also be able to find strength in Catholic media in order to speak with one voice. We often have journalists claiming to be Catholic, who, generally speaking, are philosophizing and subject themselves to pride. Whereas Catholic journalism needs humility, love of the truth and adherence to the Magisterium of the Church. Liberal ideas present in some Catholic editorial offices are a big danger for the very Christianity and the Church. The Catholic journalist should, first of all, be a good Christian, a man of deep faith and prayer, and then his work will truly serve to God and his neighbor.
So, when today we are appealing about Christian solidarity, we must know that it must be built on the basis of the Church, on teaching of the pope. We had an example, among the others, during the World’s Youth’s Days which were presided over by blessed John Paul II. It happened that bishops in a particular country were not courageous enough or were not convinced to participate in big meetings with young people, but the Pope had faith and knew what he was doing. And there was always a victory. Hierarchs were surprised by what is done by great faith and love to God. benedict XVI is presiding over the Church in a similar way today, who is an unusual leader of the contemporary Church and Christianity.
So, there are great possibilities in our hands. We only need the unity of the Christians of Europe in order to achieve a great effect - a victory over the contemporary atheism. Helping people become aware of it by priests, bishops of Europe, Catholic journalists can also cause a situation when the authority in Europe will get into the hands of those who do not manipulate the truth, do not fight against God. it can be achieved not only in Poland, but also on the whole Old Continent.
I ask for a good reflection on these important issues connected with Christian solidarity in Europe. In Poland it was effective and victorious, blessed with life of John Paul II who was also a spokesman of freedom for many nations of the world. This heritage of ours is a message for the whole Christian Europe which should fruit with solidarity in the faith of this continent.