"MANY PEOPLE feel that the European Commnity has lost the idealism which inspired its founding fathers," Cardinal Hume says in a foreword to a book published today.
"In its present form, it can never engage the sympathies and enthusiasms of young Christians," he adds. "But there is more to the Community than arguments over budget contributions and the failings of its agricultural policies."
The New Nomads by Canon Barney Milligan, which deals with the changing pattern and continuing role of Christianity in Europe, appears the day after millions of Europeans had gone to the polling booths for their parliamentary elections.
Barney Milligan is a Canon of St Alban's Anglican Cathedral. He is a former Secretary of the British Council of Churches' Advisory Committee for Western Europe.
As an observer of the Roman Catholic Committee for Europe under the Bishops' Conference for England and Wales he says he has been fascinated "to discover the way in which the Roman Catholic Church is growing in the European consciousness."
Expressing his pleasure that the Cardinal has written a foreword, Canon Milligan writes, with a delicate touch of humour: "He is not only, in an ecumenical sense my bishop (for as an Anglican, I live in his diocese); he is also the President of the Council of Bishops' Conferences in Europe."