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Welcome to “The Europe of the Spirit”

16 stycznia 2004 | 01:45 | Ⓒ Ⓟ

We wish to extend our invitation to all who feel responsible for the future of Europe and the shape of its spiritual and moral character to participate in the V Congress of Gniezno titled “The Europe of the Spirit. Christians in the Process of European Integration”.

We will take part in an ecumenical gathering of over 500 representatives of movements, associations, and new apostolic communities from the East and the West – the two lungs of Europe whose integration is a great wish of John Paul II.
In the city of St. Adalbert – the patron saint of European unity – we will be looking into the present-day “ways of the Spirit” for the ever more integrating Europe. These ways will be brought closer to us by contemporary founders of new great religious movements, among others by Chiara Lubich, Kiko Arguello, Marie-Helene Mathieu, Fr. Laurent Fabre, or Andrea Riccardi. Attending the Congress will be numerous cardinals, European politicians, and representatives of the world of culture.
The Congress – drawing upon the thousand-year-old tradition of Congresses of Gniezno during which were discussed the fate of our part of the continent – will be a venue of debate and reflection on the involvement of Christians in public life and their responsibility for Europe. It will also offer an opportunity for an exchange of spiritual gifts and individual experiences, both between the East and the West and among the various traditions within Christianity. The Gniezno Congress of the laity – taking place under the patronage of the Primate of Poland and the Metropolitan Archbishop of Gniezno – will be one of the major religious events in this part of Europe on the eve of another stage of the continent’s integration.
All you need to do in order to take part in “The Europe of the Spirit” Congress is fill out the enclosed form. Translation into English is provided for all foreign Guests.
Organising Committee of the V Congress of Gniezno

*John Paul II*: I encourage you to continue the debate!
I encourage the participants of the Congress of Gniezno to continue the debate and to creatively participate in the work of shaping the place and the role of the Church in the new, united Europe. I wish the idea of the Congress of Gniezno to be an inspiration for contemporary people for seeking the paths of unity and mutual understanding and constructing a stable civilisation of love on the foundations of the Gospel. May the residents of Europe, when discovering their roots, the heritage of whole generations and the cultural bases of individual nations, not lose sight of the significance of Evangelical values and the Person of Jesus Christ.
John Paul II to the participants of the IV Congress of Gniezno, Vatican, April 2003

*Why is it worth to come to Gniezno? *
*Archbishop Henryk Muszyński*, Host of the Congress:
Because this Congress will show that “The Europe of the Spirit” really exists. It will make us all aware that Christianity in Europe and for Europe continues to remain fascinating, that it is ever new and that we should become engrossed in this novelty.
I expect you to discover in today’s Christianity ever new sources of what may offer us a creative and fascinating inspiration. Finally, I expect a suggestion of a Christian witness which is not limited to a perception of religion as a cult, but as a prophetic stand.

*Zofia Dietl*, Chair of the Organising Committee:
It is worth coming to Gniezno because “The Europe of the Spirit” Congress will be not only an event, but an experience of a spiritual, social, and visual character. The spirituality of the Congress is not limited only to hearing the testimonies, but also a common prayer, singing, the Holy Mass, the Way of the Cross. All in the spirit of a mutual exchange of gifts and sharing. The multiplicity of the movements, nationalities and denominations represented will contribute to the Congress being a powerful social event where people can get to know one another better. It will provide an opportunity to get to know other countries, Churches, as well as to begin new acquaintances – to find inspiration to spread the “Europe of the Spirit” in individual communities. We wish the V Congress of Gniezno to be also a visual experience. We wish the idea of the Congress to be represented in the painting of Prof. Jerzy Nowosielski, while you as Guests may take part in the painterly representation of “The Europe of the Spirit” by attending the exhibition “We in the Europe of the Spirit”.
V Congress of Gniezno will be a joint experience of “The Europe of the Spirit”.

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