16 November 2017

There have been many events all over Europe celebrating/commemorating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. Here in Brussels there have a number of events and discussions in regards to how the Reformation may or may not have lessons for us today, leading to many questions for consideration.

One such event was held in the Chapel for Europe, ‘Chapelle de la Resurrection’. The Chapel of the Resurrection is a Catholic church with an ecumenical orientation in the heart of Brussels' and co-hosted by the German Lutheran Church.  They recently discussed ‘Reformation and renewal in Europe in these troubled times’, asking such questions as:

 ‘What does the reformation mean to the churches and then to Europe’? What role does the church have in the future of Europe? Is it possible to solve the challenges, with lessons from the Reformation?’

Historically to be a leader in Europe you needed a Christian back ground, today that is not required. So where does the church fit in? The answers to such questions illustrated the need for Europe, its Union, our societies and its institutions’ need to reform, and the need to develop its common values. The church can lead the way in showing unity and common purpose, to be secure in its values and yet open to different views. Above all the church should listen.

The pressures and challenges facing Europe range from disintegration (some calling for an end to the union), to migration and refugees, to the weakness of modern democracy,  the lack of quality of ideas, seeking the easiest populist answers, and recognition that the free market does not work for the people leading to both greed and poverty going hand in hand.

The reformation teaches us that, there is freedom enough for us to be Christians in Europe, the problem is our courage to be a disciple and stand up to be a Christian, in comparison to other parts of the world, we have all the freedom we need to speak as we like. The reformation is not a past event it is continuously evolving, it is alive. 

M. Stannett , EU Affairs Officer

Tags: Europe