(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis met on Friday with the presidency of the Council of European Bishops Conferences (CCEE) and was briefed on their work. Afterwards, the CCEE President, Cardinal Peter Erdo, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest, and other senior members of the Council briefed journalists on their meeting.
Susy Hodges spoke to the Vice-Secretary General of the CEE Father Michel Remery who told her one of the key themes discussed during their encounter with the Pope was the question of religious freedom and intolerance against Christians.
Listen to the extended interview with Father Michel Remery:
Father Remery says Pope Francis was “very interested and keen” to hear what they had to say during their meeting and learn about “the issues of greatest concern.” Asked what those greatest concerns were, he replied that threats to religious freedom along with growing secularization are seen as some of the most serious “threats” and required an active response from the Church.
“If you look at the Church in Europe you see that we as the Church in many countries, we’ve become a minority as Christians and the state has become more secularized. And it’s important for us as a Church to respond to that and have an answer ready, to react to the situation which is occurring.”
“Religious freedom,” Father Remery continues, “is under threat in Europe and it’s important to keep raising this issue.”
“Christianity is being pushed to the sidelines.”
Text from Vatican Radio website