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Tiny European churches 'can learn from Asia'
Thailand | Updated: October 26, 2022 10:20 AM
Catholics in secularised Europe can be taught to continue a distinct Christian identity, says Luxembourg cardinal
Cardinal Jean Claude Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg

Cardinal Jean Claude Hollerich, Archbishop of Luxembourg (Photo: www.cathol.lu)

Published on: October 26, 2022 10:20 AM

Catholics are becoming a minority in Europe and can learn from Asian Catholics on ways to continue a distinct Christian identity despite being tiny communities, says Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, the president of the Commission of the Bishops' Conferences of the European Union.

“We can learn from the Church of Asia because the Church of Asia as a minority does not cut all the bonds with society to say 'we have to create our own Christian society.' They live a clear Christian identity in dialogue,” the Jesuit cardinal said in an interview with the French publication La Croix International.

The European Church leader was speaking in Bangkok as he attended the Oct.12-30 Federation of Asian Bishops' Conference (FABC) general conference as a fraternal delegate.

The Church can learn from the Asian Church when people speak about the need to live in harmony with a culturally divergent society.

“Today when people speak about harmony, we can learn from [the Asian Church]” on how “to live a clear Christian identity” amid cultural and religious diversity.

The Church in Europe is also turning to become a minority in a highly secularized society, but the Church has not yet acknowledged it, the cardinal said.

"The Church in Europe is also a minority in a secularized environment"

“For us in Europe, it is very beautiful to see a Church as a minority because, in fact, we are in the same situation. We just haven't acknowledged it,”

“In the past it was different. But the Church in Europe is also a minority in a secularized environment.”

The churches in Europe need to learn to live “in dialogue with the secular society, which surrounds us,” he said.

The cardinal realtor-general of the Synod on Synodality said he is happy that the synod is prolonged over two years because it “means we have time.”

“We don't need to hurry because you can only do a discernment when you have time. And I think also that listening is always done in time.”

He said he also heard about many doubting if the synod will change anything in the Church.

“I feel the responsibility that something should come out of it. What I learned myself personally is a kind of synodal conversion, that I cannot be a bishop without my Church. I am part of this Church and the Church belongs to me as I belong to the Church. So, I can not listen to the Church, and I want to take the responsibility to put things into practice," the cardinal said.

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