“Overcoming the phase of national interests”

The chairman of the German Bishops' Conference, Cardinal Reinhard Marx, currently sees the EU in a "difficult moment". Member states would have a tendency to put their own interests first, rather than the common good.

Marx made his remarks Tuesday evening in Brussels during a discussion with Cardinal Juan Jose Omella of Barcelona and Cardinal Jozef de Kesel, archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels. He says it is important to overcome this phase of national interests. "The EU project is not over yet," says Marx. The concept of multilateralism is not yet a thing of the past, he said.

The Munich cardinal also advocated placing the family at the center of the discussion on a new sexual morality. "I also wish for a clear answer, but sometimes it is simply not possible," Marx emphasized. He thinks "that the meaning of this morality must be reformulated."He is "half-optimistic" that this can succeed. It was important to include different situations, he said. Developments that are taking place must be taken into account.

Reception and integration opportunities

Omella pleaded for refugees to be adequately accommodated and offered opportunities for integration. "We must not forget our memory, we are a country of immigrants," says the Spanish cardinal. De Kesel spoke positively about the presence of Muslims in Europe. In the context of a secular society, he said, believers are also first and foremost. Still, he said, it's important for Muslims to learn how to integrate into a pluralistic society.

Commenting on a discussion about abortion, which is to become possible for longer in Belgium, de Kesel said it was not just a religious ie. The ie affects everyone and needs to be discussed.

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