Continued from P1 suddenly. The Archbishop of Genoa, who helped the Pope to write the encyclicals Evangelium Vitae and Veritatis Splendour, was in charge of drafting the Synod's final message, which had three important themes: Europe, ecumenism and the new movements.
The message gave an overwhelming endorsement to the European Union, urging member countries to "pursue, with courage and urgency, the process of European integration".
Bishop Crispian Hollis of Portsmouth, who helped to draft the message, said: "Coming from England it was surprising to come into contact with such enthusiasm for Europe. There was an almost unanimous feeling that European integration was entirely appropriate and good."
But the Synod also warned against a "fortress Europe mentality" which excluded genuine asylum seekers from the Third World. It called for the European Union to be built on the "primacy of ethical and spiritual values" and not on economic criteria alone.
Bishop Hollis said that bishops also wanted to highlight "the role of the ecumenical movement in bringing together the European family". As a result the bishops hailed the Pope's May visit to Romania and this Sunday's agreement with the Lutherans as "steps forward on the ecumenical journey in truth, love and reconciliation".
Bishop Hollis added that the Synod made an important affirmation of the new lay movements, which it said "awakens a Christian way of life more strongly marked by an evangelical radicalism and a missionary thrust".
"New movements are recognised as a gift of the Holy Spirit," the bishop said. "I think that they will be encouraged, but they are also reminded that they belong within the structures of the Church."
He added that "any danger that the new movements might split away from the Church" could be avoided if they were "anchored in diocesan structures".
But the Synod Fathers stressed that all Europe's Catholics had a duty to spread the faith.
"All of us — bishops, priests, deacons, consecrated and lay faithful, men and women, — let us dedicate our hearts and our lives to the great and wonderful task of working with Christ for the salvation, freedom and happiness of everyone, and in particular of our brothers and sisters in Europe!"
The full synod message is available on www.vatican.va Editorial Comment — P7