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The European Parliament elections will take place June 6-9 (CNS photo/Yves Herman, Reuters)

Two of Europe’s leading prelates have penned a letter ahead of the European Union parliamentary elections next month, stressing the importance of solidifying European unity and identity. Source: Crux.

The letter, published ahead of European Day on May 9, was signed by Cardinal Matteo Zuppi of Bologna, president of the Italian Bishops Conference, and Bishop Mariano Crociata of Latina, president of the Commission of Episcopal Conferences of the European Union (COMECE).

Their statement comes as polls predict significant gains for right-wing political parties across the EU, including several seats in France, Germany, and Italy.

From June 6-9, some 370 million voters in the EU’s 27 countries will cast ballots to elect the 720 lawmakers who will make up the next European Parliament.

In the letter, Cardinal Zuppi and Bishop Crociata stressed the importance of “togetherness” in European identity. They suggested that the time has come for the EU to adopt “new institutional reforms”.

The prelates also touched on the EU’s role on the international stage and the rise of nationalist sentiments, saying internal divisions prevent the EU from assuming “the role that would be expected from your historical and cultural stature”.

“Some would push to believe that we would be better off in isolation, whereas any one of your countries, even a large one, would be fatally reduced to the weakest position,” they said.

They lamented the progressive loss of the Christian sentiment in EU policies, saying, “we suffer while seeing that you are afraid of life, do not know how to defend it and welcome it from its beginning to its end, and do not always encourage the growth of population”.

Cardinal Zuppi and Bishop Crociata also pressed the EU on migration, saying: “You cannot just look inwards. You cannot live just to feel good; you need to feel good enough to help the world, to combat injustice, to fight against poverty.”


Top European prelates stress unity ahead of EU elections (By Elise Ann Allen, Crux)