By Joachim Teigen
A seminar, entitled “Dialogue on the European Common Good”, jointly organised by the French, German and Swiss episcopal conferences, took place in Paris from 25 to 26 March.
It was presided over by the three presidents of the Bishops’ Conferences: Archbishop of Marseille, Georges Pontier, Archbishop of Munich, Cardinal Reinhard Marx and Bishop of Bâle, Félix Gmür.
Among the participants were former government ministers of the three countries, as well as university professors and journalists.
“European Common Good”
In a press release presenting the event, the bishops said they were “convinced that a relaunching of the European project happens through a redefinition of the common good”, and that the former notion of the European common good as merely “peace between European nations”, is no longer sufficient.
They cited difficulties such as economic inequality, the rise of populism, uncertainty around Brexit and the environmental crisis as reasons for the need to look differently at the European project, so as to “breathe new life” into it.
Appeal to vote in European elections
On the day of the opening of the seminar, the French Bishops’ Conference released a letter encouraging all Christians and citizens in France to vote in the upcoming European elections.
“Certain solutions cannot be found on a single national level”, they said, and encouraged Catholics in France and Europe to ask the patron saints of the European continent for their intercession on behalf of its citizens and public servants.