Do you have any closing reflections?
I would like to close with the idea that an authentic dialogue involves a mutual exchange of ideas. Both sides listen to one another. Given the current realities, a more humble EU might like to consider asking the Pope what it might learn from the Catholic Church about how to develop staying power, and how to nurture a genuine affection in people’s hearts. The Catholic Church pre-existed the European Union by some nineteen and a half centuries, and my money is therefore on the likelihood that it will survive its passing too; as it has seen all the other kingdoms of the world come and go.
Furthermore, in politics, the real tragedy is always that of the lost opportunity. When I see leading actors within the European Institutions using the Church when it is convenient, and then scorning the faith of Catholics, I always think straight away of the good friends I made when I was in Brussels, Catholics and Protestants alike; people who have dedicated their lives to promoting peace among the peoples, and promoting the common good in society through their public service. Tireless and passionate politicians, and public officials, many of whom have been denied or overlooked promotion because of their commitment to live coherently according to the Gospel. I think of Paul VI’s statement that politics is the highest form of charity. I think of these friends, and say to myself: these people don’t deserve to be treated like this. I hope the Holy Father will hold these people in his heart when he visits Strasbourg tomorrow.
Diane Montagna is the Rome correspondent for Aleteia.