European Bishops: “Despite Brexit, we will continue to work together”

The Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union has recently released a statement on the UK leaving the European Union.

The Commission released a statement saying: “the United Kingdom is no longer part of the European Union. We are saddened, but as defenders of freedom of expression and democracy, the Catholic Church in Europe respects the will expressed by the British citizens during the 2016 Referendum.”

“As stated by the Bishops of the United Kingdom, we welcome the Brexit Deal achieved between the UK and the EU. It can be seen as a victory of common sense and good neighbourly relations. A No-Deal scenario would have had negative effects on both the United Kingdom and the European Union, but, overall, it would have been harmful for the most vulnerable people.”

“Even if the United Kingdom is no longer part of the EU, it will continue being part of Europe. We are all destined to live and work together in the full respect of everyone else’s choices and diversities. It is crucial, therefore, to maintain good relations with each other. We invite all people of good will to pray and work for the common good and make sure that Brexit will not succeed in shattering the fraternal relations between brothers and sisters on both shores of the sea. It might be a long and challenging process, but it could also be an opportunity to trigger new dynamics between European peoples and rebuild a sense of community in Europe.”

The declaration concludes: “Despite Brexit, the Bishops’ Conferences of the United Kingdom will remain an integral part of the Church in Europe. Their Bishop delegates will even continue to be participating at COMECE (the Catholic Church in the European Union), at the political level as observer members, and at the technical level within the framework of the COMECE Commissions and Working Groups.”

Meanwhile, Cardinal Vincent Gerard Nichols of London declared: “As the UK formally leaves the European Union, we have an opportunity to move beyond the divisions which have been evident at many levels in our society. It is important for everyone to renew a commitment to each other through everyday acts of kindness, being good neighbours, welcoming the stranger and caring for the most vulnerable in our society. In these ways we contribute to the common good at every level of society, from national politics to individual generosity, particularly for those in greatest hardship and uncertainty. As Catholics, with all people of good will, we commit ourselves to playing our role in this endeavour.”