ST. JOHN PAUL II A PATRON AND PRECURSOR OF NEW EUROPE
Fr. Ireneusz Skubiś interviews cardinal Stanisław Dziwisz
FR. IRENEUSZ SKUBIŚ: - In 2017, at the International Congress of the ‘Europa Christi’ movement, Priest Cardinal undertook the initiative so that St. John Paul II would be included into the group of the saint patrons of Europe. Soon after that Your Eminency received a list of 14 thousand signatures from Spain, addressed to pope Francis so that he would proclaim St. John Paul II a patron of Europe. So, this is already an European initiative.
CARDINAL STANISŁAW DZIWISZ: - Luckily, in Europe there are a lot of people who think similarly and want to return to Christian roots. I am sure that among the Europeans there will be people who will join the justified initiative so that St. John Paul II would become a co-patron of our continent. His merits for strengthening the moral order and development of Europe are indisputable. He always emphasized that the European community should be a community of spirit in which human rights- in both personal and national dimension – are followed and evangelical ideals are its fundament.
Doesn’t Eminency think it as a right thing that compatriots of St. John Paul II would join the action of collecting signatures under the petition to the Holy Father, so that he would proclaim the Polish Pope a patron of Europe? The ‘Europa Christi’ movement has already undertaken this kind of attempt – we have collected about 10 thousand signatures.
This initiative needs time to give out a fruit. What is necessary is effort to gain social support for this matter and also work on it so that Poles would perceive a great chance of spiritual rebirth of not only the European continent but also our Homeland. When this idea becomes mature, it will be possible to request the Holy Father – through the Polish Episcopal Conference – to proclaim St. John Paul II a co-patron of Europe.
There is going to be the International Congress of the ‘Europa Christi’ movement under the motto: ‘Vision of Europe according to St. John Paul II’. What does Eminency think about the motto of the congress in the context of the project, so that pope Francis would proclaim St. John Paul II a patron of Europe? What justification would Priest suggest for this project?
I am glad that this year’s congress is going to be under the motto ‘Vision of Europe according to St. John Paul II. The matter of faithfulness to Christian roots of our continent was deeply in the heart of the Holy Father, which was proved in various statements on it. A lot of them turned out to be prophetic ad there were also those which gave the beginning to great political and cultural changes in Europe. We need to return to this teaching all the time in order to realize the spiritual testament of John Paul II – the pope who had vision of Europe as a powerful community of spirit, based on civilisational heritage of Christianity and universal values which are its fundament. The pope often expressed his concern about reducing the European community to the economic dimension in which there is confusion in vision of solidarity societies, respecting religious freedom, respecting human dignity. Europe need hope today, whose source is in the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The congress is going to be attended by about 100 people including 40 people from other 20 countries. How does Cardinal perceive this initiative in which we want to encourage the Old Continent with the idea of returning the vision of John Paul II to it, who really cared about the return of inhabitants of Europe to Christian roots?
The ‘Europa Christi’ movement is a great proposition for Poland and the Old Continent. This new initiative is gaining more and more support and is becoming a work which may awaken Europe and remind its citizens of nostalgia for spiritual values which are growing out of Christian roots. I wish you accepting the proposition of Europe of spirit both in Poland and abroad.
Translated by Aneta Amrozik
Niedziela 40/2018 (7 X 2018)