Archbishop Vincent Concessao has said a Catholic country like Switzerland should not allow stashing of illegal money in its banks and that Europe, “bankrupt on moral values”, was in need of re-evangelization.
The Delhi archbishop, on an ad limina visit, said “We asked if the Church could talk to a Catholic country like Switzerland and see how they can help justice be done so that the money can go back and be utilized for the development of our country. We were told they would try. But the big question is: How Catholic are these countries in their practice?”
In an interview to Catholic News Agency, he said the issue of the re-Christianizing Europe emerged during discussions with the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace about the amount of private Indian wealth deposited in Swiss bank accounts to avoid paying taxes in India.
The conclusion reached by the Indian bishops, said Archbishop Concessao, was that Europe is bankrupt “as regards to moral values which are so important to the Catholic Church.”
He said it is time for Indian Catholics to further help re-evangelize Europe.
“We are very much concerned because it was missionaries from Europe that brought the good news to continents like Asia and Africa.
“While the Holy Father keeps on harping about the value of life, on morality, on dignity, and human rights, this is not necessarily reflected in terms of the behavior of the people in Europe,” he said.
Hence, the increasing need, the prelate said, for Indian Catholics is to help re-evangelize the continent which helped to bring Christianity to India.
His predecessors as archbishop have included men from Wales and Ireland.
“There are already missionaries from India – priests and religious – working and offering pastoral services” in Europe, he explained.
“And it looks like now even the basic Catholic philosophy of life has to be re-communicated to the West in the present context.”
While Catholicism accounts for less than 2 percent of India’s population, that figure still constitutes over 17 million Catholics, a number that is more than three times the amount of Catholics in the United Kingdom.
Archbishop Concessao said their ad limina visit to Rome was a real reminder of the missionary nature of the universal Church.