The political and cultural crisis of Europe has further intensified in the early years of the new millennium. The most recent debates have revealed the extent of the crisis to a wider public: one million signatures for a reference to God in the preamble to the proposed EU constitution were ignored, the rejection of Rocco Buttiglione as a member of the EU Commission on the basis of his Christian convictions, the so-called anti-discrimination laws in several countries have a tendency to discriminate against Christians, the promotion of research involving the use of human embryos and the attempts to legalise euthanasia which undermine a clear understanding of the inherent dignity of the human being; etc. Our society is in uncharted waters; what is "normal" can no longer be spoken; the "abnormal" has become the new norm. Europe has no future unless it can "find its way home". "Europe, become what you are!" - this was the appeal of Pope John Paul II to our continent at the beginning of the third millennium. And yet it seems that Christians across wide swathes of Europe would rather persist in passive acquiescence. The project presented here aspires, in a step-by-step manner, to help Christians emerge from this part-voluntary, part-involuntary ghetto existence.
It aims at encouraging Christians, more than hitherto, to unite in a storm of prayer, to raise their awareness of the cultural and political problems and to increase their sense of responsibility for overcoming these.
The project takes as its starting point two truths that are often forgotten, even among good and well-intentioned Christians:
First, that our Faith must embrace all the aspects of our existence. Nobody should feel himself dispensed from this social duty for reasons of a presumed lack of talents or opportunities. A first step towards this is the readiness to pray for specific concerns in public life.
Second, that religion is not something we simply inherit. In the Europe of the 21st century the Christian must provide, by integrating it into his own life, what in the past the cultural tradition, the social environment, the family, etc., provided. What he usually lacks most for this is the spiritual/intellectual tools. For which reason this project, in addition to its "spiritual" aspect, also includes a sphere of "education, politics and action".
In the light of these considerations, the proposed project, under the working title of "Europe for Christ" aims to strengthen the hope that things can change for the better in European public life, if Christians will sufficiently commit themselves to this goal.