Europe, according to Bishop Dr. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst to reare himself of his roots and to tap into these very own sources of strength anew. At the diocesan day of the association "Community of Catholics in Business and Administration" (KKV) on Saturday in Limburg, the bishop made it clear that Europe needs more than a common currency and economy.
"We need the moral and spiritual dimension in Europe," concretized Bishop. The conviction of a creator God had the idea of human rights, the equality of all people before the law and the recognition of the inviolability of dignity. This must be brought up again in political, economic and social debates. A look at the history of Europe shows that after the experiences of two world wars, people were inspired by the idea of overcoming divisions and building a new togetherness. Economic success alone does not create social cohesion. What is needed in Europe is a convergence of values expressed in law and in life.
In his speech, Bishop Tebartz-van Elst also looked at the current economic situation and made it clear that it was now a matter of proving oneself in the crisis, so as not to lose political legitimacy vis-à-vis other actors. According to the bishop, a modern economy is unthinkable without credit and debt. "Debt is not necessarily a bad thing, and even the much-discussed bailout does not simply represent a naive milkmaid’s calculation," Tebartz-van Elst said. With appropriate budgetary discipline, the bailout could well lead to the rehabilitation of the predicament in the medium term. Economy, however, is never meaningful in itself, but must always have a servant character. Economic success is also not an end in itself, but "should enable the greatest possible participation and involvement of all in economic social life". Consumption alone or pure capitalism could not accomplish this. "The challenges of our time can only be met from an ared identity. Only from a firm foundation can we develop patience, hope, strength, confidence and, not least, longsuffering with the shortcomings of our own efforts," the bishop said. The economy, he says, depends on preconditions that it cannot produce itself. There is a need for a market economy that aims at general prosperity and is thus socially acceptable.
The bishop used the diocesan day of the KKV to thank the members for their commitment to the association. "You dare to enter society and give orientation to others through your life and your work," Tebartz-van Elst said. In the association there is the courage to stand up for convictions and values. Strength for this testimony could be gained from prayer. "He who stops praying loses faith," said the bishop. Dialogue with God is also a source of strength for Christians to get involved in social debates and discussions and to stand up for values.
Further thoughts on the subject can be found in the new book by Bishop Dr. Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst. The second edition of the book will soon be published: Preserving Values – Shaping Society: A Plea for Politics with a Christian Profile. Publisher: Butzon Bercker, ISBN: 3766613901.
Source: Diocese of Limburg