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  • While encouraging the initiative of the meeting, the Pope has developed some ideas that we resume in the lines below.

    - 1 Politics must be conceived as a high form of charity or, rather, as an invaluable service of dedication to the accomplishment of the common good of society. Politics is therefore not at the service of individual ambitions, factionalism and interests. We must not oppose service and power, but power must be subordinated to service so as not to degenerate.

    - 2 The common good is the set of social conditions that enable both groups and each of their members to achieve perfection in a more total and easy way (Gaudium et Spes, § 26

  • ICMICA-Pax Romana is a movement towards action to transform our living environments. I firmly believe that this transformation depends on our transformation as men, as women, as Christians, in order to become effectively the salt of the earth and the light of the world. Testimonies and exchanges about what we are experiencing and what we see are crucial moments in building this social transformation. I sincerely hope that this session will allow us to throw a seed for the improvement of the living conditions of the populations on our continent.

  • Applying the Social Justice Values of Catholic Social Teachings.
    We, Catholic Professionals from Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi, met on 13th October 2012, at the Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations in Nairobi to reflect on the topic ‘Catholic Professionals in the Electoral Processes in Africa Today- Applying the social justice values of Catholic Social Teachings’.
       The meeting was organized by Pax Romana- International Catholic Movement for Intellectual and Cultural Affairs (Pax Romana-ICMICA) and the Kenya Movement of Catholic Professionals (Pax Romana-KMCP) and facilitated by the Africa Forum for Catholic Social Teachings (AFCAST) and Hekima Institute of Peace Studies and International Relations (HIPSIR).
    Reflecting on how we lead our lives as Catholic professionals:

  • Le Comité des Ministres a adopté aujourd'hui des lignes directrices visant à promouvoir la participation des citoyens à la prise de décisions politiques dans les 47 États membres du Conseil de l'Europe.

    Le Comité des Ministres a adopté aujourd'hui des lignes directrices visant à promouvoir la participation des citoyens à la prise de décisions politiques dans les 47 États membres du Conseil de l'Europe. Alors que la démocratie est fragilisée par la défiance de la population à l’égard des responsables politiques et des élites en général, l’un des moyens de garantir la sécurité démocratique est de veiller à ce que tous les membres de la société, particuliers et groupes, participent aux processus politiques et à la prise de décisions.

    Les nouvelles lignes directrices, associées à des textes plus anciens comme la Recommandation (2007)14 sur le statut juridique des organisations non gouvernementales en Europe et le Code de bonne pratique pour la participation civile au processus décisionnel, forment désormais une base solide permettant aux gouvernements et à la société civile de collaborer pour renforcer la démocratie.

    Le Conseil de l'Europe interagit déjà avec la société civile dans le cadre de la Conférence des OING, qui encourage la démocratie participative et apporte sa contribution aux décisions prises au niveau intergouvernemental.

    L’élaboration de cet instrument normatif unique a été recommandée par le Secrétaire Général, Thorbjørn Jagland, dans son rapport de 2015 sur la situation de la démocratie, des droits de l'homme et de l’État de droit en Europe.

  •      As the President of the Conference of INGOs, I am extremely concerned by the criminalization of essential human rights work by NGOs in the context of migration that this bill proposes. The modification of the Criminal Code by this Bill targets organizations and professionals who are merely providing legitimate and necessary assistance to asylum-seekers. In addition, this draft Bill would criminalise the ‘production or dissemination of informational materials’, and other ‘organizational activities’ such as advocacy. These two elements alone risk seriously undermining the rights to freedom of expression and freedom of association which are guaranteed by the European Convention for Human Rights, itself the cornerstone of Hungary’s membership of the Council of Europe.

  • Christianity is dying before everyone in Poland. The reason for this is not the propaganda of freethinkers or the activities of freemason lodges and international conspiracies. We ourselves are eradicating Christianity, we, clergymen, the most zealous members of the Church, at our own request and with our own hands. Fewer and fewer people identify with the Church. The Statistical Institute of the Catholic Church recently recorded the largest decline in practicing Catholics in years. In 2016, the figure fell by more than 3 percent compared to 2015 to 36.7 percent - the lowest figure in Poland's post-war history.

  • The outcome of the elections of March 4 is a political framework that is both profoundly new and extremely fragile. However, there is a further level which is primary and essential. The electoral result in fact reflects deep fractures that cross the country with the result of an apparently blocked parliament. One, of a social nature, is rooted in a growing gap between wealth and poverty, in the diffused intolerance towards a redistribution of wealth through a completely inadequate social and fiscal system and in the sense of injustice for a job whose dignity has been and is too often trampled. The other fracture is geographic and passes through the simultaneous success of the center-right in the central-northern part of the country and the one of the 5 Star Movement in the central southern part.

  • Le deuxième impératif qui est le nôtre, c'est : ne nous divisons pas. La tentation est grande dans cette période trouble du repli sur soi, du nationalisme de penser que, à l'échelle de la nation, on maîtrisera mieux les choses, on retrouvera une part de cette souveraineté qui parfois demeure trop évanescente ou encore naissante au niveau européen. Cette sonnette d'alarme, nous l'avons eue avec le Brexit mais nous l'entendons aussi, des élections italiennes à la Hongrie jusqu'à la Pologne, partout en Europe, résonne cette musique du nationalisme, cette fascination et nous sommes ici, je le disais à l'instant, devant ce rêve carolingien à la hauteur duquel nous souhaitons être, mais le risque européen aujourd'hui est, si je puis dire, un risque lotharingien, celui d'une division extrême. Elle tend à réduire la plupart des débats à une superposition de nationalismes convainquant ceux qui doutent de renoncer aux libertés conquises au prix de mille souffrances.

  •     A little more than a year ago, recalling Aldo Moro, the President of the Republic traced this profile: "Crucial, in Moro, was the relationship between the State, politics and society. The understanding of social facts, of their interrelations, of the connections with the growing anxieties in other countries, was accompanied by a deep respect for the new phenomena, towards which he put himself in an attitude of listening, to make sure that they knot their path in the sphere of republican democracy and enrich the models of common life organized in institutions. He saw these, that is, constantly modulated on the positive effects of the transformations taking place in the Country".

  •      The situation changes minute by minute. And as I write it, this piece on the Italian political situation risks not being updated anymore. New hypotheses of government have re-emerged after the resounding end of the first attempt of the League-5 stars and the appointment of Carlo Cottarelli. And this too is a dramatic sign of a situation in which the search for true good for our country, on the part of many protagonists on the political scene, has increasingly gone into the background. Because this is the point that risks escaping the vortex of declarations, debates and contrasts. There is no question about whetehr a parliamentary majority is formed, which has the right to govern. But if, after almost three months of waiting, this has not yet been achieved and if the only political objective is either to govern at all costs or to go to new elections (it does not matter if in the middle of summer and with a country increasingly under attack from speculation, whose harmful effects - it should be remembered - are fortunately held back, at least for now, from membership of the Euro and a European institution such as the ECB), in the hope of increasing its consensus, without any concern for the real state and the needs of Italy, means that we are really losing sight of the fundamentals. And it's worrying to see so many people fidgeting and exalting, as if we were at the stadium, and then pulling up the pieces - the television, the smartphone and the computer off - of an economic situation that is getting worse.

  •  Le populisme se développe dans de nombreux pays en Europe. Le mot est bien choisi ou non, mais il décrit une dérive de la culture démocratique dont il constitue une véritable pathologie. On trouvera ici un premier article sur la Pologne sous la plume de Henryk Wozniakowski, de la revue Znak de Cracovie. Le second article informe sur la Hongrie. Malheureusement, le populisme n'est pas limité à ces deux pays. 

    Ces deux articles se trouvaient sur le site de la COMECE et ils ont été retirés à la demande des conférences des Evêques de Pologne et de Hongrie.


    Que se passe-t-il en Pologne?

    Les choses vont mal en Pologne. L'Europe a de véritables raisons de s'inquiéter des événements qui s’y déroulent. Pourquoi le pays qui a résisté à la crise et qui menait une politique de développement durable exemplaire se met-il à affaiblir ses institutions démocratiques et à imposer des mesures qui tendent à restreindre les libertés civiles ?
  • Open letter addressed to international public opinion, at the initiative of the civic NGOs in Poland.

    We are writing to you from Poland. And from many other places in the world, where we live, study and work. We, the Poles, who do not agree with how current policy casts a pall over the Polish-Jewish relations developed over the years. We write to all of you who look at Poland today with disbelief, sadness or anger.

    We write because we want you to know that regardless of how radical and inappropriate the positions of Polish authorities or certain groups are, these are not the positions and views of us all. We ask that you keep current politics in perspective, although we know how difficult this may be.

  • Le MIIC-Pax Romana est un mouvement porté vers l’action en vue de la transformation de nos milieux de vie. Je crois fermement que cette transformation est tributaire de notre transformation en tant qu’homme, en tant que femme, chrétien, afin de devenir effectivement sel de la terre et lumière du monde. Les témoignages et les échanges sur ce que nous vivons et sur ce que nous voyons sont des moments cruciaux pour construire cette transformation sociale. J’appelle de tous mes vœux que cette session nous permette de jeter une graine pour l’amélioration des conditions de vie des populations sur notre continent.

  • Right to dissent and the obligation of obedience

                    In a secular society – in which we have been living in the most part of Europe for at least two hundred years – it can be found as obvious that there is no consensus in several instances and that one citizen’s opinion may differ from that of another one or from the position of a supreme power or body.  It is an everyday experience to meet conflicting views.  However, once a pious citizen crosses the threshold of a church, he or she might think that the possibility and the right to be dissented have ceased in the altar.

  • 1 MEIC: Government: incomprehensible stiffening, parties must find a sense of responsibility

                    The dramatic conclusion of the attempt to create a new government in the country is triggering a phase of instability for our democratic life. We are concerned about the arrogant way in which the President of the Republic has been forced to appoint a minister, an act which, according to our Constitution, he owns. We are concerned about the contemptuous judgments that are spreading over Sergio Mattarella for a decision that was the conclusion of a long work of mediation, shattered on the rocks of an incomprehensible stiffening of the political forces that should have supported the new government. A very delicate season is beginning, for the problems that our country has to face, but now also for the conflict that involves our institutions. At this delicate time, Meic would like to thank the President of the Republic for the dignity and seriousness with which he is managing a complex and difficult situation. At the same time, however, it is intended to remind the political parties and their leaders of a sense of responsibility towards the future that seems to have disappeared today, dissolved in an eternal present of incessant electoral campaigning.