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The Programmatic Declaration of St. Adalbert’s Forum

25 lutego 2004 | 15:51 | Ⓒ Ⓟ

Europe is a common legacy of Christianity. Today’s Europe, after centuries of wars and divisions, is faced for the first time in its history with an opportunity to rebuild its community not only in spiritual and cultural dimensions, but also in political and economic ones. No European nation should remain outside of this great community. Poland is an heir to the same legacy of Europe, with its spiritual roots in Judeo-Christianity, Greek philosophy and Roman law.

Through the years of totalitarianism, we tried to preserve our identity. Today we wish to consciously assume the task of co-participating in the responsibility for the shape of the European continent – in solidarity with all people of good will, in cooperation with the communities and nations which compose Europe. European integration is a major task and responsibility, and at the same time a challenge that Catholic or Christianity-inspired communities are faced with. Aware of the co-responsibility for the future state of Poland and Europe, our movements and organisations – endeavouring to live by faith, hope and love – wish to take on this great challenge, treating it as a unique sign of the times.

Let us not be afraid!

We wish to co-create the Europe of the third millennium. We want to participate in the everyday renewal of its countenance, in the shaping of its development and in deciding on the common European future. In accordance with the words of John Paul II, we want to “offer Europe our commitment to faith, our religion-inspired custom, the pastoral effort of bishops and priests, and most probably numerous other values thanks to which Europe could become an organism pulsating not only with a high level of economic development, but also with the depth of its spiritual life” (John Paul II to the Conference of the Polish Episcopate, Kraków, June 8, 1997). Humanism rooted in Christian personalism is a great value of the European heritage. In the name of respect for the dignity of the person, it assumes a defence of the sacred character of human life from the moment of conception to a natural death. The development of Europe has been possible thanks to the privileged position of the family – the fundamental place of human upbringing – based on marriage understood as a permanent relationship between man and woman, as well as thanks to the high prestige of the school, which along with the family has taught and educated enlightened and righteous citizens.

One of the basic values of democracy is the gift of freedom, whose special yardstick is religious freedom, understood three-fold, in its individual, social and institutional dimensions. Culture, which also offers room for dialogue, has been and continues to remain a significant binding agent of the continent. It is these values that we want to serve. We will also take steps to guarantee their rightful place in European legislation. We believe that Poland’s entry into the European Union will provide all people of good will with an opportunity of a fuller participation in shaping the future of our continent, not only in economic and political, but also in cultural, moral and religious terms.

We trust that the future united Europe will pay special respect to the full personal identity and will protect the cultural and religious identity of each and every nation. Joining the process of shaping the spiritual unity of Europe, we will also have the opportunity to participate in the cultural and spiritual wealth of its other nations.

Integration, however, will not be a act of a single moment. We perceive it as a part of the process of reconciliation and establishing friendly relations between nations, of overcoming antagonisms, constructing mutual trust and awakening the will of cooperation, for there is no true and stable unity without a community of the spirit. Aware of the fact that we need to be prepared for a fuller European integration, we join our efforts within St. Adalbert’s Forum.
We wish the Forum to become a place for a joint prayer for Europe and a platform of cooperation of our movements and organisations, our conscious contribution to the construction of the unity and growth of our continent. We entrust this work to the care and intercession of St. Adalbert, a bishop of a yet undivided Church that breathed with both lungs of the East and the West, and a Patron Saint of the ever fuller united Europe.

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