Synod. Communion, mission, justice: to be a church in Europe today

Foto Pietro Romeo / Riforma

Torre Pellice (Turin), August 31, 2018 – “Today’s challenge is to understand the great transformations in progress; as far as religions are concerned the challenge is knowing how to relate to the Others and taking care of them”, this was the incipit of Professor Luigi Berzano’s speech at the event of August 28 on “Commission, mission, justice: to be a church in Europe today”, promoted by the Waldensian board on the sidelines of the Waldensian and Methodist Synod’s works.

Among others, we recall the declaration of pastor Daniela Di Carlo, of the Waldensian community of Milan: “The mission of the church is to give meaning to being and to remaining human, beyond prejudices”.
Paolo Naso, coordinator of the refugee and migrant program of the Federation of Evangelical Churches in Italy (FCEI) Mediterranean Hope, referred to recent events: “The case of the Diciotti ship returns the image of Europe as an economic giant without soul. The idea of ​​Europe, from its origins, was and should once again become, the respect for human dignity and the rights of minorities. Some ministers welcome the confrontation and accompany us to receive those who arrive in Italy through the humanitarian corridors. We can tell them what we like and what we do not like. This is part of a dynamic of freedom that a church must respect. Even if Europe has often left us alone, we must look at this with confidence and in the long run”.
“I welcomed the humanitarian corridors and I was spontaneous when saying that this is the Italy we want”, declared the Minister of Foreign Affairs Emanuela Del Re, addressing those present in the hall, many of whom wore the symbolic red shirt to “remain human”, symbol of the campaign launched by the association Libera in July. “I will continue to work for cooperation – continued Del Re -. I am proud to say that in Italy, my country, I feel protected, and that here also the principles of humanity are protected by our Constitution. I trust in my country and I will continue to do so”.
The moderator of the Waldensian Board, Eugenio Bernardini declared “We work as a church in the name of a loyal, human collaboration, attentive to confrontation, knowledge, understanding and resolution of conflicts. The role of the churches of the Western tradition is to place themselves at the service of the most fragile and of the last ones, whereas preaching and diaconate are the two sides of the same discipleship. For the survivors rescued by the Diciotti ship, we are ready to accept them, in the event that Albania could no longer take on the part of refugees for which it proposed – concluded Bernardini addressing the vice minister – to be responsibly present, even as a minority, in the European panorama, as churches and as a service. It is our tradition, our present and future history”.

During the evening the choir of the Waldensian College of Torre Pellice, directed by the teacher Raffaella Azzario, intervened with some musical pieces.