For most people in Europe today, the Christian faith is almost irrelevant, according to the president of the French Bishops’ Conference. “It no longer gives the majority of people in our countries a basis for their lives, their actions, for weighing decisions, for their views of the world,” Archbishop Eric de Moulins-Beaufort said at the weekend at the traditional Charlemagne Service in Frankfurt Cathedral.
For many Europeans, the Christian faith was “only a part of the cultural heritage”, and few people were still looking to seek “a vibrant source” in faith, said Moulins-Beaufort (60). The words of Jesus may still touch people, but often “only as a passing feeling”.
Many regarded the Church as a “relic of the past” and as a nuisance. The Catholic Church even appeared to them “as a disturbing force whose social usefulness is largely diminished by the covered-up crimes that have been committed within it”.
Looking at the congregation gathered in the cathedral, the archbishop asked, “can we not recognise that we are in a period of purification, so that the gospel may once again emerge as the fire that renews our ideas about the world?” In this way, he said, the Church could once again become the place “where an unexpected measure of freedom” and a deep joy could be experienced.
Earlier, in a discussion, Moulins-Beaufort had said people in France expected “a Church that reaches out to them and a Church of openness – inclusive, not exclusive”. He added: “However, the question of ordaining women is not as intense an issue in France as it is in Germany”.
Originally reported by KNA Germany.