Pope Francis calls on European Christians to use their faith to overcome divisions of culture and race

Christians in Europe must ask themselves if their faith is vibrant enough to influence society and forge a unity that respects differences of culture and race, Pope Francis said.

In a video message on July 2 to participants at the "Together for Europe" gathering in Munich, the pope insisted that "invisible walls" are being strengthened and dividing people from one another.

Advertisement

"These walls are being built in people's hearts," the pope said. "They are walls made of fear and aggression, a failure to understand people of different backgrounds or faith. They are walls of political and economic selfishness, without respect for the life and dignity of every person."

Pope Francis told representatives of some 300 European Christian organizations, movements and communities from different churches that they and their fellow Christians need to find new, more vibrant ways to offer Christian values to European society and to the world.

"Europe is called to reflect and to ask itself whether its immense heritage, so permeated with Christianity, belongs in a museum or is still able to inspire culture and to offer its treasures to the whole of humankind," he said.

The Christian organizations meeting in Munich, he said, are called to be models of networking "so as to welcome and show solidarity toward those who are weak and disadvantaged, to build bridges and overcome conflicts whether they are open or latent."

"Every authentic unity draws on the wealth of diversity which forms it—like a family which grows in unity in so far as its members can fully and fearlessly be themselves," the pope said. For Europe to be a family, he added, the good of the human person must be the central concern and groups and nations must find ways of working together that "are not only economic but also social and cultural."

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.

Advertisement

Don't miss the best from America

Sign up for our Newsletter to get the Jesuit perspective on news, faith and culture.

The latest from america

Chilean clerical sex abuse survivors Juan Carlos Cruz, James Hamilton and Jose Andres Murillo in Rome, May 2. The three met Pope Francis individually at the Vatican April 27-29. The Vatican announced on May 22 that a second group of abuse victims will visit the pope in June (CNS photo/Paul Haring).
The encounters will take place from June 1-3 at Santa Marta, the Vatican guesthouse where Francis lives.
Gerard O’ConnellMay 22, 2018
Pope Francis talks with Cardinal Sean P. O'Malley of Boston, president of the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, as they arrive for a meeting in the synod hall at the Vatican in this Feb. 13, 2015, file photo. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 
Righteous call-outs should be patterned after Cardinal O’Malley’s rebuke of Pope Francis on sex abuse.
Simcha FisherMay 22, 2018
In May, my cousin Christina and her husband Tyler were murdered in their home.
John J. ConleyMay 22, 2018
Follow Father Arturo Sosa's first visit to the Jesuits in Canada!
America StaffMay 22, 2018