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The Apostolic Nuncio to the European Union Visits Order's General Curia

The Apostolic Nuncio, H.E. Alain Lebeaupin, is the representative of the Holy See to the European Union in Brussels. Considering the importance of this post, the Director of our “Hospitality Europe” Office in Brussels. Dr. Carlo Maria Galasso, has been in regular contact with Mgr Lebeaupin, exchanging information with him, since one of the principal tasks of the Office is to present and to promote the work of the Order at the European level, working in conjunction and cooperation with the network of Church institutions present in the European Union. At one of the meetings with Dr Galasso, the Nuncio expressed his wish to visit the Order’s General Curia in Rome to talk with the General Councillor responsible for Europe. The meeting took place on 28 April, last.


The General Councillor, Bro. Rudolf Knopp, welcomed our distinguished guest to La Nocetta in his capacity as the president of the Order’s Europe Commission. In his introductory remarks, Brother Rudolf immediately emphasised the good relations which the “Hospitality Europe” Office enjoys with the Apostolic Nunciature to the European Union, and with the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union http://www.comece.org and the director of the Jesuits’ European Office in Brussels. One interesting item of information gleaned in the course of the meeting was that the Nuncio had been ordained Bishop together with our own Brother José Redrado. In his reply to Brother Rudolf, Mgr Lebeaupin expressed his deep appreciation of the work being done by the Order’s European Office in Brussels. They then moved on to discuss a number of general issues such as the great value of the social work being performed by Religious Institutes and the Church throughout Europe, as well as the great importance of ensuring the Church’s presence within the European institutions. The Church and the Religious Institutes cannot therefore merely be content with criticising lobbying by big business and by particular movements, but must also engage in “lobbying” for Christian values. In this connection, the Nuncio recalled the importance of such initiatives as the establishment by our Order of the “Hospitality Europe” Office. He also expressed regret that there was a degree of Euroscepticism in certain parts of the Church and Religious Institutes. The European Union was not in itself antireligious, as some imagined it to be, but it reflected the countries forming part of it. There are certainly some issues which are not negotiable, such as abortion and euthanasia, and so on, but there are also many other issues of common concern such as solidarity, providing educational opportunities for all, protecting immigrants etc. in which the Church of Religious Institutes can and must make their positions heard.


At the end of the meeting, Mgr Alain Lebeaupin said he was ready to attend a meeting with the reference persons of the Hospitaller Order of St John of God and the Sisters Hospitallers who have also joined the “Hospitality Europe” Office in the meantime. At that meeting the Nuncio would report on the Holy See’s commitment to the European Union. Let it not be forgotten that Europe is as strong (or as weak) as our confidence in the idea of Europe.


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