It is not true that Europe is atheistic
Fr. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ
The Holy Father thanked Poles and all those who had demanded that God's name was mentioned in the European Constitution. However, the governments of the leading EU countries decided that Europe should cut herself from her European roots. Thus the history of Europe was evidently falsified. And we can ask ourselves: 'Should we not fear such a Europe?'.
After all, this continent remains unchanged, as the heir of Christianity, which carries the fundamental message of mankind: goodness, peace and justice, in other words the Gospel message of love. Europe is the place marked with ancient cultures of Hellas and ancient Rome, which were so enriched by Christianity. Whenever I am in Rome I am always deeply moved looking at the city of catacombs, popes and monumental basilicas. Then I analyse her history. The magnificent Roman culture is not only Rome but also numerous old European cities and towns, which have always had churches and monasteries in their centres as well as universities connected with various men of the Church, and therefore, focused on religious matters, God's matters. The Gospel, the teaching of Jesus Christ, and then the testimonies of the Apostles impressed on people living in this part of the world such a distinguishing mark that one cannot interpret various social phenomena of the history of this continent independently of the Church, which was the main breeding ground for culture as expressed in architecture, painting, literature, poetry, singing, etc. All these things are an enormous symphony of ages, a symphony of two thousand years that created Europe.
Today it seems that we do not reflect upon these matters and we lack deep philosophical thinking, which once characterised Europe so powerfully. And it might be as well that some evil powers influenced Europe to such an extent that she forgets her roots, heedless of what she lives, of what creates her vital tissue, of what constitutes her beauty and vitality. Nowadays the baton of European politics is in the hands of atheists and people who do not fully understand the value of Christianity - thus such thoughtless decisions.
The invocation of God's name was removed from the Constitution. But it is not true that Europe is atheistic. It was only her thinking that was disturbed. Europe is de facto Christian, her life is full of God, prayer and rich reflection, which yield fruit e.g. in helping others, in wonderful caritas. Therefore, it seems that such trends in politics and thinking are only, as St John Chrysostom would put it, nubicula est, transibit - a little crowd that passes. For Europe does not actually think this way.
It may be that today Poland's role is to demand that God's name should be mentioned in public life and to evoke solidarity of European nations to fight for a right of their own constitutional regulation. It may be that we have joined the European Union to fulfil that extremely important mission and to remind others that God exists and he is to be rightly honoured and that 'without God we cannot even cross a threshold'.
Thank God, some great Poles have already raised their voices and summoned Europe to wake up, to return to God's paths. The grace of faith that we have received must be multiplied in the entire Europe and perhaps all over the world. This may be the spark of God's Divine Mercy, which John Paul II spoke about in the commons in Krakow. It is to set the world on fire.
Therefore, with great hope we are in favour of God's name in the life of the world, of Europe and Poland, of God's name in our own lives. Remember that God exists and what is most important is to be aware of his presence, which is inscribed in the very nature of God, 'I Am who I Am' - Moses received this definition of God from the burning bush. This God is and will always be not only in Europe but also in the whole world and the whole universe.