The Jesuit Conference of European Provincials (JCEP) is based in
Brussels. This is no coincidence. Brussels is considered the capital of
Europe. The European Commission and several Councils and Committees of
the European institutions have their headquarters in that city. Thus,
the Jesuits of Europe show an interest in the smooth running of this
large civil community: in most of the countries of the European Union,
the Society of Jesus is involved.
It is from this deep rootedness in history, evangelization and social
analysis in Europe that the Conference of Provincials has chosen to
address, in a widely circulated communiqué, the leaders of the European
institutions. The Jesuits insist on building an authentic ethical and
social solidarity in the times of the current pandemic. The declaration
was made on the 75th anniversary of the end of World War II and 70 years
after the declaration of Robert Schumann, often considered the “father
of Europe”, which aimed to ensure that the European Union could oppose
the threats created by the lack of interest in international solidarity.
The JCEP document expresses how the coronavirus pandemic has
reinforced the awareness of an interconnectedness that binds all the
peoples of Europe beyond individualism. The Major Superiors of the
European Jesuits invite the governments of the countries in which they
live to rediscover in their Christian roots the closeness between all
human beings. An interconnection that they discover as a source of
change and solidarity that must respond to the various calls they have
made in recent months for solidarity with the poorest, the future of the
planet, the peoples of the South, refugees and migrants. In short, the
Jesuits call for a rethinking of the current model of globalization,
which will necessarily imply a certain redistribution of wealth from
rich to poor countries.
More than once the document draws on statements or writings of Pope
Francis who, according to the JCEP, offers an integral vision of the
multifaceted solidarity we need today. In this sense, the message is
also a call to interiority, to see the current crisis as a spiritual
opportunity for conversion.
To read the JCEP statement, click here.