“She (the Church) will be more modest, smaller, more sympathetic and more confessional”. Those are the four adjectives that the Cardinal Archbishop of Mechelen-Brussels used to paint the face of the Catholic Church, outspokenly missionary and open, in a pluralistic European society. The two sides of that face are the encounter as embodied by the future Saint Charles de Foucauld and the friendship as experienced by the monks of Tibhirine in Algeria with each other and with their hosts.
For the Belgian cardinal, European Catholics should be concerned not so much with the sometimes obsessive fear of becoming less numerous or less influential in society, but rather with the risk of becoming insignificant and uninteresting to their contemporaries by turning back on themselves.
Cardinal Jozef de Kesel of Brussels-Malines in a recent exchange at the invitation of the Catholic University and the Archdiocese of Lille (France) to present the main points of his book “Faith and religion in a secular society” published last year.
(translated from Kerknet.be)