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Europe: appeal from EU Catholic rectors ahead of elections

“By its very history and vocation, Europe is first and foremost a community. A living community implies mutual recognition, frank relations, and the constant reaffirmation of our common foundations and goals; we should not be afraid of dialogue and competition, rather we should work together to enhance cooperation on projects clearly inspired by the principle of subsidiarity”. The Rector of LUMSA University, Francesco Bonini, and the rector of the Institut Catholique de Paris, Mgr. Philippe Bordeyne, wrote this on behalf of European Catholic rectors in the run-up to the 26 May European elections. In their statement, the signatories explained that “democracy in Europe and European democracy are an original and precious, yet fragile and ongoing, achievement. This democracy defends our principles and is rooted in pluralism, the rule of law and solidarity. It has created and should continue to ensure prosperity for all, fighting all forms of social exclusion. It calls for join efforts, for us to commit to a ‘contemporary humanism’ seen as the framework and horizon for the development of each and everyone”. Furthermore, Europe has “a specific role and responsibility in the world, precisely because it is the expression of so many national, state, social and institutional bodies, for which we should all feel jointly responsible. In order to serve the European and international common good, we need to rethink those fundamental goods we would like to achieve together to address the big challenges of today and tomorrow”. Universities and Catholic universities in particular, the rectors concluded, “have an essential role in teaching life in a plural community, social welfare, moral awareness, and solidarity as a social dimension. Critical thinking, which is a constitutive element of knowledge, is what makes possible to resist all forms of homogenising and imperialist globalisation. This is why, we are committed to continuing to form free, strong, self-aware and excellent men and women, who are able to advance research, technology and science towards new frontiers, and always put themselves at the service of concrete people and communities, for a sustainable and equitable development”. The appeal, that will be presented tomorrow in Paris, is supported by other universities, including the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, the Lateran University, and the Salesian University.

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