The Europe of the Spirit
16 stycznia 2004 | 01:14 | Ⓒ Ⓟ
This is the motto of forthcoming Gniezno Congress, during which in March 2004 at the tomb of St. Adalbertus, the patron of European unity, the representatives of laics from Poland and the adjoining countries will get to know the common „ways of the Spirit” for the more and more integrating Europe.
The main aim of the Congeress is to show, that Europe is today not „laicized desert”, but a place of still living, spiritual inspiration, perfectly adopted to nawadays. The Congress, organizised the day before the accession of ten new countries to European Union, will have an international, multicultural and ecumenical character, as the Europe is today. It will gather about 700 representatives of many movements and associations from the West and East, these two lungs, about which integration calls John Paul II.
*The New Spring of Church*
Europe is in the excepional moment of history, when the unparalleled wave of laicization, characteristic for 20-th century, seems to loose its impetus. Exactly these rarely realized perspectives will be shown in Gniezno by the best konwn contemporary witnesses of faith: the fathers of nawadays „Europe of the Spirit”. The creators of new spiritual schools and the new way of laics’ presence in Church. Among them: Chiara Lubich and Kiko Arguello, fathers Laurent Fabre, Marie-Dominique Philippe or Andrea Riccardi. In their direct testimony one will be able to see this reality, which Holy Father names: New Spring of Europe. This Spring is equally needed on West and East. The Gniezno Congress will become an important inspiration for Polish laics, often closed within theirs own problems, deaf on Holy Father’s appeals for the creative presence of Polish Christians in European space.
*An ecumenical imperative*
The Congress will have an ecumenical character. For the Christians the reintegration of the continent should be an especial call to rebuild unification of divided Churches.
In the other way our testimony will have characters of anti-testimony.
“This dialog – says John Paul II – determines one of the Churches’s main aims, especially here, in Europe, in previous millennium witnessing too many partitions within Christianity, and today proceeding to closer unity. We shall not stop on this way, we shall not go back!” (Ecclesia in Europa, 31). The sign of our pray for the unity will be an ecumenic Passion (Droga Krzyżowa), during which we will march along gniezno streets on friday, 12 march 2004.
*Future of the Europe*
“The Europe of the Spirit” congress will be a place for reflection on Europe’s future and its shape just before the accession of ten new countries, among others Poland, into the European Union.
It will also give a possibility to exchange experience and reflexions: how different christian circles could enrich the common European area. The success on economic and political field is not enough to rebuild the european unity. It is necessary to reveal the common space, including judeo-christian legacy, greek philosophy, roman culture and Enlightenment ideas, and nowadays in new evangelism process finding its new power and expression.
*Europe as a place of engagement*
Finally, within numerous discussion groups, the Gniezno Convention quests will debate, how to give a jointly testimony in democration and pluralism conditions, as a response to the problems facing Europe “of today and tomorrow”.
The basic aim of the convention, is to arise among its participants from east and west a new apostolical dynamism towards Europe. The matter is to wake up this “sleeping giant” – as we call the laics in todays Church, to reveal numerous responsibility areas (non excluding political sphere), towards new challenge. This chalenge is not only a resoinsibility for an individual christian identity, but also for the future of the uniting continent.
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