Swedish Archbishop calls for revitalization of Catholicism in Europe

Archbishop Anders Arborelius of Stockholm, Sweden, said this week Swedish and other European Catholics need to recover their pride in belonging to the Church, and he lamented that sometimes Catholics can be too “timid.”

During a visit to the Department of Theology at the University of Navarre, Spain, Archbishop Arborelius said Europeans “lack the courage to bear witness” to the faith, but he expressed his confidence that Catholicism will be strengthened in Europe through the spiritual life.

“It is important to help all the baptized to discover that they live in continual communion with Jesus Christ and that their daily lives are an act of service and adoration,” he said.

The Archbishop said, “The laity should be encouraged to bear witness in their daily environment.  Because the dignity and value of each human being as the image of God is a necessary contribution in a world of consumerism.”

Referring to the role of young people, Archbishop Arborelius said that, “in general, their hearts are open to God and to religion, but each one needs personal help to live according to the Gospel.”

Although today’s world is dominated by individualism, the Archbishop argued that each human being seeks communion and therefore there will be a return to family values.  In this sense, he called on parents to “rediscover their responsibility as witnesses and transmitters of the faith.”

Archbishop Arborelius pointed out that “in order to understand the Europe of today we must know and recognize its Christian history,” and the witness of the Christian life is “more important than ever.”

In addition, he emphasized the persistent interest of Pope John Paul II to defend “the value of each human being, from the moment of conception until natural death, and the unity of all men and women of good will, in support of peace and justice.”

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