(Re)thinking Europe to renew Europe
However, a referendum vote does not erase the historical and cultural link between the UK and the continent. If London has decided to leave the EU, it does not leave Europe. Put another way, geography cannot be erased by a referendum vote.
This is not simply rhetorical. Even after a Brexit, people will remain European on both sides of the Channel. They will continue to be sons and daughters of principles that have fought against particular interests, hate and blind ideologies that have overshadowed Europe for centuries.
In the UK, as in any other European country, from the largest metropolis to the most rural village, people will continue to desire peace and democracy, pluralism and equality, rule of law and human rights; and the image they will have in mind will be the yellow stars on the blue background of the European Union flag.
Weakened by Brexit and a general Euroscepticism, the European project remains the only peace guarantee for the continent. That is why it is necessary to nourish and renew it with individual and collective efforts to put the dignity of the human person and the common good at the centre of European policies.
The European Church and its bishops, key players in European society, are committed to this effort and intend to make their contribution - a Christian contribution based on the Church's Social Doctrine - to the future of the European project. In this context, one of the main initiatives is the organization of (Re)thinking Europe, an international and multidisciplinary forum of dialogue between Church and political leaders that will take place in the Vatican from 27 to 29 October.
Marking the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome, which first embodied the idea of the European Union, (Re)thinking Europe is organized in the form of a dialogue, thus emphasizing a free and respectful exchange of ideas, different experiences and opinions. Instead of a congressional approach or division of roles, (Re)thinking Europe will consist of a discussion between men and women, political actors and representatives of the Church. Indeed dialogue will be the tool to (re)think Europe, the European Union - the peace project for the continent.
Mgr Gianni Ambrosio