Representatives from 175 Catholic, Evangelical, Orthodox and Anglican movements and communities took part in a meeting in Stuttgart, Germany, which was broadcast simultaneously in 158 European cities on Saturday. In a letter to delegates, the Pope wrote : "On this European day of encounter and dialogue participants gather to reflect on their Christian roots and on the future of the European continent in the light of the Gospel." After emphasizing that the Christian faith "represents the present and future of Europe," John Paul II said that "the many witnesses to the faith who have been victims of the bloody and painful persecutions of European history during the 20th century represent a common heritage for all Christian confessions. May this heritage strengthen the desire for unity among European Christians and their commitment to the work of evangelization." He said: "The Christians gathered in Stuttgart, bear witness that the Gospel has helped them to overcome egotistical nationalism and to see Europe as a family of peoples, rich in culture diversity and historical experiences, but at the same time, united in a sort of community of destinies. This is the awareness that the Europe of tomorrow needs in order to participate in the great events to which it is called by history. Ecumenical dialogue decisively contributes to developing a European identity based on the Christian faith." "A united Europe, however, cannot think only of itself and close itself off within its borders and its own well-being. Europe is called to serve the world, especially the poorest and most forgotten parts like Africa, in particular, characterized by so many serious problems. It is not possible to build a common European house without worrying about the general well-being of humanity." The Pope concludes by emphasizing that "Europe needs the commitment and enthusiasm of Christians, especially the youth, in order to receive the Good News of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The new evangelization," he concludes, "gives a new soul to Europe and helps the continent to no longer live for itself and only within its own borders, but rather to make humanity more human, respectful of life, and to create a generous presence in the theatres of the world." Source: VIS
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