Brussels (Agenzia Fides) - The Conference of Jesuit Provincial Superiors of Europe sent a message to the institutions of the European Union (EU) asking for "authentic ethical and social solidarity" to be promoted in times of pandemic. The note was released on May 8, on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the end of the Second World War and 70 years after Shumann's declaration.
The statement, sent to Fides, highlights how the coronavirus pandemic has strengthened the awareness of an interconnection that binds all peoples of Europe beyond individualism. Precisely in times when churches are empty, the major Superiors of the European Jesuits invite the governments of the countries in which they live to rediscover, in their Christian roots, the closeness among all human beings. An interconnection that they discover as a source of change and solidarity that must face the various calls which have taken place in the last few months: the call to solidarity with the poorest, with the future of the planet, with the peoples of the south, and with refugees and migrants.
The Jesuits appeal to rethink the current globalization model. "We cannot live healthily on a sick planet", they comment, following the teachings of Pope Francis, then they continue: "fortunately, the EU has returned to practical solidarity which consists in the challenge of facing the economic consequences and social problems of the pandemic. This will necessarily entail a certain redistribution of the wealth of the richest countries to the poorest countries". The message therefore considers the situation of refugees and asylum seekers on the continent: the request for solidarity "must be urgently extended to them too", in particular to those confined in refugee camps inside.
As Pope Francis says, "the European Union is facing an important challenge, on which not only its future, but that of the whole world will depend". The main challenge is therefore to promote a European solidarity which prefigures global solidarity. The message also asks the north "to cancel the debt of the poorest countries, increase humanitarian aid and development cooperation and redirect military spending towards health and social services". The crisis is also a "spiritual opportunity for conversion" and the Jesuits express the hope of not returning to the "old normal" but of "working for a radical change, inspired by our deepest convictions". (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 9/5/2020)