Faith communities will help shape future of Europe, Mormon leader says at European Commission meeting

Faith communities will help shape future of Europe, Mormon leader says at European Commission meeting

News Release

Churches and religious communities will have a profound influence in shaping the future of Europe, said Elder Massimo De Feo of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at the annual High-level Meeting with Religious Leaders. The event held on Tuesday, 7 November 2017, was hosted by Frans Timmermans, First Vice-President of the European Commission. He was joined by Ms. Mairead McGuinness, First Vice-President of the European Parliament. The ten religious leaders and European Union officials gathered at the European Commission’s headquarters in Brussels discussed “The Future of Europe: A Value-Based and Effective Union.”

 

“Far beyond the walls of a church, religious individuals and organizations build hospitals and schools, operate charities and shelters, run businesses and think tanks, teach youth groups and literacy programs, distribute humanitarian aid across the globe and find work for the unemployed,” observed Elder De Feo who serves as a General Authority Seventy.

In his speech, Elder De Feo discussed how to define common values in divided societies, the contribution religious leaders make to the discussion of European values, and the need to develop a sense of community at the larger European level. He also emphasised the important role youth play. Without them, he added, there is not a real future for Europe. He advised that the new generations need to find those religious and moral values that are being lost, among which the foundational role of the traditional family. Citing the 12th and 13th Articles of Faith, Elder De Feo encouraged the promotion of future European policies that are “virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy,” and emphasized the importance of active citizen participation in the democratic process.

Link to the full video of the press conference here (European Commission website).

“We believe that law-abiding citizens who are sincerely interested in promoting the common good can be agents for positive change and development,” he noted. “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints stands ready and considers it its duty, together with other faiths, groups or communities, to benefit and bless the lives of all of God’s children.”

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has had an active presence in Europe for over 170 years and currently maintains more than a half-million members meeting in thousands of congregations across the continent.

The full statement of the Europe Area Presidency of the Church on the “Future of Europe” will later be published, as an additional resource.

Statement of Ms Mairead McGuiness, First Vice-President of the European Parliament, here (European Commission website).

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