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New head of European bishops’ commission sets out priorities

BRUSSELS (CNS): The new head the Brussels-based Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community bishops, Archbishop Jean-Claude Hollerich of Luxembourg, pledged to combat populism and promote European unity.
“The European Union (EU) is a gain for the common good and this is why the Church should be in constant dialogue with it,” said Bishop Hollerich, who was elected president of the commission on March 8.
“But certain citizens have their own preoccupations, and there’s now a growing populism. Combating this needn’t mean adopting populism’s adages, but engaging in a true dialogue of depth and friendship, where everything can be said,” he said.
Archbishop Hollerich said he was ready to work with everyone “dedicated to respecting and protecting human dignity” and believed COMECE, as the commission is known, played a vital role in placing people at the centre of EU policies.
Reinhard Cardinal Marx of Munich-Freising, Germany, the outgoing president of the commission, also urged Church leaders to “get the forces of dialogue going,” rather than thinking they had “an answer to everything.”
Cardinal Marx told Germany’s Catholic news agency, KNA, “We need this more than ever in Europe—not to talk about each other, but with each other,” 
He said, “There are different perceptions now of what the EU is, what a free society and open democracy are—and we have to talk about this.” 

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