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Pagina principale 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

Scritto da 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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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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