The prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and Discipline of the Sacraments, Cardinal Antonio Canizares, recently warned of the danger of turning from God.
“The main problem facing Europe is not economic, as serious as that is, but rather the abandonment of God which leads to self-destruction.”
During a summer course sponsored by the St. Vincent the Martyr University in Valencia, Spain on the present and future of Europe, Cardinal Canizares delivered a speech titled, “Christians in Democracy.”
He encouraged believers to strive to overcome “the moral breakdown we are experiencing” and to recover “a society based on unconditional ethical foundations.”
He underscored the responsibility Christians have to engage in “a new evangelization,” which in his judgment is “the best service we can offer for our society to change and overcome this crisis.”
The present-day situation, the cardinal said, is “not merely a structural or economic crisis, but rather a crisis of mankind, a breakdown of humanity, a moral breakdown, spending beyond our limits and pursuing enjoyment at all costs, pleasure for pleasure’s sake, even if that means destroying someone else.
“This situation needs to be overcome,” he said.
Cardinal Canizares defended the “identity” of Europe,” whose foundations “were Greek philosophy, Roman law and the Christian faith.” European identity is “inseparable from the dignity of the human person as the basis of all order and of everything about the culture that characterized us,” he said.
“Without the human person no society has a future, without the dignity of the human person, no order has a future,” the cardinal added.
Cardinal Canizares said that nonetheless he is “hopeful” of the future, and he called for “renewed conversion to Jesus Christ,” beginning with the members of the Church, “which will usher in a great future for Europe.”
World Youth Day
Cardinal Canizares also mentioned Pope Benedict XVI’s upcoming visit to Spain for World Youth Day. “The Holy Father bringing together more than a million young people from all over the world is an event of great hope,” he said.
“The Holy Father comes to give Jesus Christ to young people and to tell them to rise up and walk, to begin to overcome the profound crisis that that is knocking them down,” especially the young people in Spain, where youth unemployment is widespread.
“The Pope is coming to tell them that they can change things and that they can have better future if they open themselves to what Jesus Christ means, because he means truth, love, respect for others, the common good, not being afraid and being free,” the cardinal said.