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Accueil arrow newsitems arrow Strasbourg Cathedral Mass for Europe-2011: Ready for all fights tells EF Vatican envoy Mgr Giordano

Strasbourg Cathedral Mass for Europe-2011: Ready for all fights tells EF Vatican envoy Mgr Giordano

Ecrit par ACM
Tuesday, 04 January 2011

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A "Mass for Europe", in Strasbourg's huge, emblematic Cathedral, at the beginning of EU Parliament's 2011 first plenary session, on Monday afternoon, January 17, as Vatican's Permanent Representative to the Council of Europe, Mgr. Aldo Giordano (an Italian polyglot with a PhD. on Nietzche and experience in Geneva's UNO premisses, etc) said to "EuroFora", can it really have a Topical meaning for European politicians and EU Citizens today, Months before pope Benedict's expected visit to nearby Freiburg ?


It's true that People's reactions and feelings  grew recently, while various innocent Christians were recently killed in the Middle East (Turkey, Irak, Egypt, Nigeria, etc), threatening to provoke a similar "Ethnic" or "Religious Cleansing" as in nowadays Turkish area, where, from Headquarters of Millenary Christian Byzantine Empire, it was notoriously forced to become a ..99% Muslim country, provoking growing reactions from the European and International Community, and mainly from French President Sarkozy and German Chancellor Merkel.

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Symbolically, Giordano was speaking to "EuroFora" on the nearly 1 km. high Mountainous peak of Saint Odile's Monastery ressort, giving a superbe overview over Strasbourg and Rhine's area, despite icy-cold weather counter-balanced by striking Sun-light beams piercing Clouds and enlightening Giant Rocks and thick Mountainous Forests. There where it was natural for "Light" to be at the focus of a passionate Homelie by the Head of France's Christian Catholic Church, Mgr. Vingt-trois, in a Mass celebrated by Strasbourg's ArchiBishop Mgr Gralet, close to Rossheim's closter, dedicated to work for the re-Unification of Europe by late Strasbourg's ArchiBishop Mgr. Brand since the 1988 landmark visit of late pope John-Paul, with whom Benedict collaborated closely together for many years.

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The Date chosen by Giordano : January 17, 2011, coincides both with the start of the 1st EU Parliament's Plenary session in Strasbourg, and with a Week dedicated to Christians' Unity : Both are Pope Benedict's well-known favorite issues :

* The vital need to re-launch Europe can be succesfully met by defending fundamental Human Rights of the People : This was, in substance, the main message of Pope Benedict XVI in his 1st speech in France, at his meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy, when he chaired the EU, at the Elysée in Paris (See "EuroFora"s 8+9/2008 NewsReports from Brixen/Bressanone, Paris and Lourdes) :


- "When Europeans will see and personally experience that the inalienable Rights of the Human Person .., those of their free Education, their Family life, their Work, ..their Religious Rights, ..are respected and promoted, then, these Europeans will fully understand the greatness of the European construction and will be actively involved in it", Benedict XVI stressed.


Sarkozy had replied by welcoming Christian and other religions' contribution to indispensable Public Debates on crucial issues which affect Human Dignity, Europe, even Humankind, as BioGenetics : A topical matter both for France, considering the imminent review of its BioEthical laws, as for Germany, given a recent Constitutional Court's ruling on controversial pre-implantation diagnostics and governing party CDU Congress' subsequent debate recently at Karlsruhe (See "EuroFora"s NewsReports from the event).



This overall problematique emerged again at the forefront now, in a Letter written by Pope Benedict, on the occasion of the "closing of the Compostela Holy Year", at New Years' eve (31/12/2010) :


- There, the Holy Father expresses, indeed, the Hope that "this Light" "may also be perceptible in Europe", with a crystal-clear message  :

- "As an incessant Call to strengthen its Christian Roots,  and thus increase its commitment to Solidarity,  and the Defence of man's Dignity", (i.e. the very Foundation of all elementary Human Rights : See supra).



* It's also undeniable that pope Benedict, (who, being of German origin, knows perfectly well the issue of relations between Catholics and Protestants), has personally done much for the re-Unification of Christians in Europe, as it is proven by many Facts.


 F.ex. :


- It's immediately after his emotional call, urgently launched from Brixen-Bressanone's Mountains on early August 2008, to prevent a fall-back to brutal conflicts, bloody and destructive Wars between Christians in Europe, that EU Chairman-in-office, French President Sarkozy, in agreement with German Chancellor Merkel, who was staying at a nearby ressort of the Dolomites Alpish Peaks, decided to break bureaucratic rules and rush immediately to Russia and Georgia for a series of bilateral Summits with Presidents Medvedev and Shakasvili, succeeding to broker a cease-fire Peace Deal.


Some opponents had already reacted negatively, from that August 2008, against prospects that they feared about the Franco-German Political Leaders, Sarkozy and Merkel, coming closer to the Spiritual Leader Chrisitian Pope Benedict, less than a Year before the June 2009 EU Parliament's Elections, which gave an exceptionally strong Majority to ChristianDemocrats/EPP and other MEPs opposed to Turkey's controversial and impopular EU bid, in the most important EU Member Countries, soon spreading also soon afterwards, in various ways, to several EU Member Countries' National Elections, (f.ex. Hungary, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Czech Republic, Sweden, Holland, Belgium, etc).


- After 2001's late John-Paul's Historic visit to Greece (See also infra), it's for his long-time close collaborator, current pope Benedict to visit in 2006 the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomeos at the Millenary (330-1.453) Constantinupolis, (currently Istanbul, since the 1453 Turkish Invasion/Occupation, and the 1922 and 1955 Pogroms), and the 1st Country to become officially Christian (since the 4rth Century) : Cyprus, on June 2010, where he held a landmark Synod of Bishops from all over the Middle-East.


In fact, the move appeared to be more ... Russian than Mediterranean, since Cyprus is well known for its particularly close relations with Russia, where, after the 2007 (?) visit of late Russian ArchiBishop Alexis to Strasbourg's CoE's Headquarters and in Paris, pope Benedict's visit should logically follow in Russia during his successor Archibishop Cyril.


+ In his famous Regensburg University speech on "Reason and Faith", back in 2005, Benedict highlighted the late Byzantine Emperor Konstantinos Paleologos, galoping in Trapezunta and Cilicia (current Asia Minor), while in his landmark Paris 2008 open-area Mass, at "les Invalides" square, he commemorated John Chrysostomos and "Church in the rock". Cyprus' born founder of Stoicism, Philosopher Zenon, has, meanwhile, been hailed by the Pope as vital part of the Movement of Ideas which contributed, also from the Ancient Greek Civilisation, to the emergence of Christianism.


His faithful defense of Family Values, Poor and/or Persecuted Persons and Peace, criticism of some Global Financial abuses and Wars, etc. progressively makes Christian catholics a.o. more popular among proletarians and/or proletarisation-threatened Middle-Class People, particularly during this period of Economic Hardship and aggravation of internal contradictions after the Global Crisis.


Meanwhile, Benedict's close relations to Jewish thinking and appeals to Dialogue and tolerance with Muslims, are added to his notorious, systematic efforts to link Faith and Science together, (as his Brixen/Bressanone's  Historic Library's emblema : "Faith and Knowledge"),  in a way able to appeal and stimulate real Intellectuals.
One of the topical, important issues on which Benedict's catholic stand was revealed to be very close to that of Alexis the orthodox (as well as to many Evangelists, both in Europe and in the U.S., etc.) was BioEthics, which is one of the most crucial issues today for all Humanity.


It's, indeed, in his latest Encyclique "Caritas in Veritate" (7/2009) that Benedict warned People to be ready for "a particularly Crucial Battleground in today's cultural Struggle"  between Human Values and some abusive Technocratic "supremacy" chimeras, mainly on the field of Genetic and/or Brain a.o. Manipulations on Humans, from Embryos up to Adults, daring even to stand up and openly criticize current US President Barak Obama's controversial decision to obey to some Lobbies and cancel former US Presidents' George Bush and Bill Clinton's refusals to allow Public Funding for risky Genetic Manipulations of Human Embros, which may be dangerous for all Humankind.


It's "in this most delicate and critical area", i.e. in "the field of BioEthics, where the very possibility of integral Human Development is radically called into question", he had warned, pleading for "Reason and Faith" to advance together, and not alone.


It's a fact that this Brave stance was followed, shortly after, by a series of unprecedented even physical Incidents and/or Aggressions, (f.ex. breaking his wrist shortly after the Obama meeting, and throwing him down afterwards, with a threat to break bones, as for another, older Bishop who was standing besides him, etc), and by a sudden Mass Media-relayed systematic Slandering of the Church, sometimes out of trivial and/or old accusations steming from a remote Past of more than 20, 30 or even 40 Years ago (!), that he strived hard to wipe out by bringing in Reforms today, also by imposing strong sanctions to those rightfuly suspected of errors, sometimes even minors. In consequence, Honest People were inevitably surprised by the otherwise unexplained fact that such an unprecedented series of Physical and Moral Attacks was suddenly triggered shortly after the Pope dared to start becoming clearly outspoken on some key BioEthical issues notoriously linked with Big Lobbies' interests...


But Europe, hasn't it always been precisely the Continent whose intellectuals and politicians are traditionally enclined, throughout all History (from Ancient Greeks Philosophers, Rome and Jews' Diaspora, up to Alexander the Great's attempt to unite all developed Civilisations known at his times, to Marco-Polo and the Renaissance, Galileo, Columbus, the Spanish discoveries and the Portuguese trans-continental Ocean-crossing, including the Century of Enlightnement, Darwinism and Marxism, Fascism and Nazism, 1st and 2nd World Wars, as well as Human Rights' and the neo-Democratic and various Civic/Citizens' movements recently, etc), to strive to think and act from a Universal viewpoint ?

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Thus, Benedict's recent symbolic references to Family a.o. moral Values and Europe's Historic Identity, particularly during his landmark visit to Spain's unfinished majestic Modern Architecture Cathedral of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona (2010), shortly before another Historically Symbolic country such as Hungary (the 1st in History to succeed to unite nearly all free European Nations under the banner of Christianism already since 1.600-1.700),  takes over EU's rotating Presidency from the beginning of 2011 with a timely thirst to evoke Europe's Identity, (See Prime Minister Victor Urban's replies to "EuroFora"'s Questions at Brussels' EU Summit 12/2010), followed by Poland (2011), before Denmark and Cyprus (2012), become more and more topical today, at the eve of the 2011 World Youth Days (also in Spain), due to be prepared by European Young People earlier next year in Strasbourg, long before the holly father's expected venue, during his Autumn 2011 official visit to Germany, also to nearby Freiburg .


- "We are Ready for all Fights", energetically replied to "EuroFora" Mgr. Aldo Giordano, when we warned about some "Cloudy" or thorny issues (some of them probably due to be provoked by certain lobbies, out of the blue), which could be in the waiting list.. But, Europe's History and Identity, Human Dignity and basic Freedoms, or protection of Humankind from modern a.o.  new risks, (etc)., seem to be sufficient  motivations, able to stimulate moral and spiritual battles at various noble fields.

- Particularly if "People have the Courage of their Convictions", added to "EuroFora" on the occasion of the crucial BioEthical issue, the Head of France's Christian catholic Church, Mgr. Vingt-Trois at that same occasion..


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"Angels Chapel'"s "secret" Light ?

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Meanwhile, during that same exceptional Mass at the majestic Saint Odile Mountainous Closter's anniversary, on a particularly snowy mi-December 2010, with the Head of France's Christian catholics, Mgr Ving Trois, and Strasbourg's ArchiBishop Mgr. Grallet, while rare but brillant Sunlight beams transperced, from times to times, the heavy, gray clouds, the focus was naturally put on "Light", calling Christians to act also in order to transmit "light" to other People who need it.


But it was also said that, most of all, it's the transformation of our own eyes' capacity to "see", in a crystal-clear way, a light, that is  of crucial importance.


A good Symbol for that point was given by the famous "Angels' Chapel" : a Tiny Room  at the Edge of the Highest peak of that Mountainous closter, inside which  most superficial, hasty Tourists usually can't see anything in the Dark, so that they are obliged to pay some Money and wait for a loudy Machine to open some Electric Bulbes which briefly splash a few Artificial beams over the Ceiling for a while, before "disappearing" all out of a sudden. Apparently, without an available coin of 1 or 2 €, nothing could be seen in the dark...


But, in fact, the reality is absolutely differend, as "EuroFora" found out : If People stay awhile in the "Dark" Room (which has a tiny semi-closed window, leaving just a few Natural light-beams enter inside), then, their eyes really "change", and start seeing, more and more clearly, one after the other, all the original Celestial Figures pictured at the Ceiling, overhead, (including a Stary Symbol close to what became, meanwhile, Europe's flag !). Thus, thanks to this gradual, Voluntary Natural Transformation, (probably facilitated also by some substances in the original Materials selected for the "Angels' Chapel"'s ceiling), indeed, simple Human eyes CAN start to "see", even in the "Dark", and for as long a time as it might be needed !

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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
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EU "Solidarity" ?
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Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

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Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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