by Uvedaie Tristram
SPEAKING to the European Forum of the Laity meeting in Dublin as President of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences, Cardinal Hume drew a grim picture of modern Europe.
"Europe is divided," he said. "Europe is faithless. Europe is rich. Europe prides itself on its skill and technology. Europe is
an armed camp". '
But he caw hope in "the growing realisation or men and women that they are the apostles of the present age".
He recalled that throughout Christian history, the Church has faced many crises. "In the first centuries of its existence, the Church was even then engated in a painful process of clarifying the content of its doctrines. It confronted within its own ranks heresies and dissent and created a wealth of understanding which is still preserved for us in the Creeds and the writings of the Fathers".
He spoke of the change in western attitudes towards the sanctity of human life marked by the acceptance of abortion.
There will be a need in our time a conscious effort to purify love from all that debases it. Lastly he called on Christians to refuse to countenance systems and structures which reduce man's dignity and the blasphemy of the concentration camp, the Gulag Archipelago, the Holocaust and apartheid".