To forget Christian roots of Europe is “avoid who we are” says Spanish Cardinal

Speaking at a conference at the University of Cordoba, Spain, the Archbishop of Seville, Cardinal Carlos Amigo Vallejo, said that to forget the Christian roots of Europe in the future EU Constitution “means to avoid who we are and what the Church has meant in this context.”

During his address—part of a series of talks on the EU Constitution organized by the university—Cardinal Amigo Vallejo said that education, universities, values and human dignity were some of the contributions which Christianity has made to European civilization, and he recalled how the Church “on a number of occasions has lead the way in bringing peace to countries at war and democracy to once totalitarian states.”

According to the Cardinal, references to Christian Europe have been received “with indifference and even scorn by certain people who elevate concepts such as the neutrality of states or laicity as if they were exclusive rather than inclusive.”

Cardinal Amigo Vallejo also pointed to the confusion caused in our times by the concept of globalization, “which everyone talks about but nobody can explain.”  An expert in Islamic culture, Cardinal Amigo believes globalization is “a great social conquest which nevertheless widens the gap between rich and poor, north and south.”

In his opinion the geographic and economic criterion upon which Europe is being built risk “the imposition of the culture of the strongest.” Therefore, he called for dialogue, understanding and respect as “the keys to resolving differences.”

Cardinal Amigo also touched on the controversy in some countries such as France or Germany surrounding external religious symbols, saying, “I have never been of the opinion that the best way to get rid of a headache is to cut off one’s head.”

In this sense he insisted on respect, dialogue and acceptance of others as the first step for living together in peace.  Therefore he called for a “recovery of the values that Europe has lost.”

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