The Order of Malta’s Grand Master Fra’ John Dunlap received yesterday some 100 European members of the European People’s Party at the Magistral Villa on the Aventine Hill in Rome for a debate on “Christianity, Europe and its Mission in the World”.
“We do perceive the importance and meaning of your gathering here as it comes at a very delicate and painful moment for Europe. The war raging in Ukraine is exacting an enormous number of casualties, especially among the civilian population, and causing the destruction of villages, factories, and churches. We, as Order of Malta, have been trying to do our very best to provide support to the thousands of displaced persons in the neighbouring countries and in Ukraine itself through our Volunteer Corps and through to the generosity of many of our members, Grand Priories and National Associations” the Grand Master, Fra’ John Dunlap, stated in welcoming the participants, representing nearly all the countries members of the European Union.
Led by the EPP President Manfred Weber, the members of the parliament listened to speeches by Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, Vice Dean of the College of Cardinals, Monsignor Mariano Crociata, President of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union, Monsignor Miroslaw Wachowski, Under-Secretary for the Holy See’s Relations with States, and Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo, Grand Chancellor of the Order of Malta.
“The first and most important goal that Europe must pursue, is to spread the Christian message, a strong antidote to the tragedies we witness every day. This is a theme on which Europe can play a crucial role and make a difference. And this is the reason why this seminar is extremely timely. I refer, more generally, to the values of peace, dialogue, tolerance, respect for human dignity, equality and solidarity” said the Grand Chancellor of the Order of Malta, Riccardo Paternò di Montecupo addressing the audience.
The meeting offered an opportunity for an in-depth debate on the role of Christian values in European integration processes, in addressing the challenges posed by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, in the management of migration flows, and on the contribution they can make to creating an atmosphere of genuine solidarity and brotherhood in the European context. The Italian Foreign Minister, Antonio Tajani also joined the EPP event later in the evening addressing the audience.
The delegation will meet again today at the Auditorium della Conciliazione and will have various meetings in the Vatican.
On the eve of the meeting, the Grand Master, Fra’ John Dunlap, gave an interview to the catholic newspaper Avvenire explaining that the Order of Malta works in many fields that are the subject of the European Parliament: “I am thinking of the reception of refugees and migrants, health care, care for unaccompanied minors and the homeless, and nursing homes for the elderly. The fields of interaction are really numerous. And so the more the Order of Malta is put in a position to understand what the European Parliament’s projects and major guidelines are, the more we will be able to come alongside and interact by offering our contribution to the building of a more fraternal and supportive society.”
The Sovereign Military Order of Malta’s Embassy to the Holy See was in charge of organizing the conference at the Magistral Villa.