Christianity's role in Europe is service, not colonialism, Pope says [CWN]


Christianity should have an influence in Europe, but it “must not become a colonial enterprise,” Pope Francis said in an interview with the French daily La Croix.



From the article:

"However, the Holy Father said that Christianity does have an important role in Europe. “Europe has Christian roots and it is Christianity’s responsibility to water those roots,” he said. He remarked that St. John Paul II had discussed the Christian role in Europe “in a tranquil manner.”


Yeah, pretty hard to be a colonial enterprise when you are a shrinking minority with little evangelization tools.

This is the message, keep your head down and work hard. In true Franciscan fashion. I am doubtful at the approach, but I remain faithful to the playbook.


I agree. Perhaps what the Pope is referring to in the American context is the heavy-handedness that we’ve seen from non-Catholic Christian and Abraham faith leaders.

People keep asking, for instance, why we lose on the marriage and some other issues. Really it’s not because humanity is destined to be secular and progressive, but rather as Catholics we have allowed others to speak for us while we sit in the audience, nodding our head and clapping as appropriate, but lately a lot of that nodding has gone to shrugging in the First World because people who are not properly catechized don’t understand the fundamentals, and this has been a problem for decades.

What I see the Pope saying is the orthodox and culturally conservative approach focus more on the fundamentals and go from there.


It is definitely an…interesting choice of words to use seeing that the Catholic Church in Europe is declining, and that portions of the Church in Europe are pretty much in de facto schism with their liberal views on many current day issues (e.g., Germany). I think I get what Pope Francis is saying, but it seems almost on the verge of absurd to worry about such an occurrence in Europe, given how the Church is struggling to stay relevant and even survive in many western European nations. I actually think this advice would be better geared towards areas such as Africa, where the Church is growing and thriving.


I tend to agree. Cathedrals are being converted into skating rinks. A Christian ‘colonialist’ wandering through Europe these days is going to be one lonely, neglected, misunderstood dude. I defy you to point one out to me. Now, colonialists with big trucks and a mission to serve Allah, different story. At least they are making a little more impact, if you’ll pardon the pun.


This interview was done in May,as I understand it and he is referring to integration …

From the interview:

La Croix asks:

" ***In your speeches in Europe, you refer to the “roots” of the continent without ever describing them as Christian. Rather, you define “European identity” as "dynamic and multicultural."In your view, is the expression “Christian roots” inappropriate for Europe?

Pope Francis: We need to speak of roots in the plural because there are so many. In this sense, when I hear talk of the Christian roots of Europe, I sometimes dread the tone, which can seem triumphalist or even vengeful. It then takes on colonialist overtones. John Paul II, however, spoke about it in a tranquil manner.Yes, Europe has Christian roots and it is Christianity’s responsibility to water those roots. But this must be done in a spirit of service as in the washing of the feet. Christianity’s duty to Europe is one of service. As Erich Przywara, the great master of Romano Guardini and Hans Urs von Balthasar, teaches us, Christianity’s contribution to a culture is that of Christ in the washing of the feet. In other words, service and the gift of life. It must not become a colonial enterprise."

And further on:

" Coming back to the migrant issue, the worst form of welcome is to ‘ghettoize’ them. On the contrary, it’s necessary to integrate them. In Brussels, the terrorists were Belgians, children of migrants, but they grew up in a ghetto. In London, the new mayor (Editor: Sadiq Khan, the son of Muslim Pakistanis) took his oath of office in a cathedral and will undoubtedly meet the queen. This illustrates the need for Europe to rediscover its capacity to integrate."


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