On 8 November, the DIALOP position paper was presented in the European Parliament, documenting the common positions of Christians and leftists on a common social ethic.
On 8 November, with the support of the Left Group in the European Parliament, 40 people from 9 EU countries gathered in the Altiero Spinelli Building and a hundred others followed the presentation of the position paper “Seeking a common future in solidarity. Christians and Marxists/Socialists in
dialogue” by live stream.
The document on shared positions in the Christian socialist dialogue, written by Prof. Michael Brie – president of the scientific committee of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation – and the Belgian sociologist Prof. Bernhard Callebaut of the Sophia University Institute, analyses how, as antagonists in the past, Christianity and Marxism are confronting another wall to break down, that of savage capitalism, and how they find surprising affinities in the present.
In the message and in the person of Pope Francis they also find a figure who unites people, a leader and a travelling companion. “In common struggles”, states the position paper, “we are working on projects guided by shared visions.”
In the document the projects are defined as work tracks: “an economy of life; a community of caring; a politics of solidary transformation; a world in which there is room for many worlds; the dignity of each individual in a rich world of commons; and for a togetherness of peace.” The question of how the projects are expressed in practice, at the time of the debate, is therefore inevitable. Walter Baier, of transform!europe, one of the initiators and coordinators of Dialop, responded to this: “We move on three levels”, he explains, “first dialogue, as a cultural initiative, to become a think tank; second involve people in the work for solidarity, as in the initiatives for immigrants and refugees; third stimulate political involvement, especially for peace-building”.
To do the honors was Marisa Matias, Portuguese MEP of the Bloco de Esquerda, and Vice President of the Party of the European Left in the European Parliament. She recalls Pope Francis’s visit to the European Parliament in 2014. He “spoke words at the time when we needed to hear them most.” Marisa Matias pointed to the need for dialogue also within the left, not motivated by mere calculation but from the need to broaden views and understanding.
“To live today we need vision, spirit, and alliances. It is time to hope and give hope “in the plural. Dialop invites us to do this”, theologian Piero Coda said in his opening address on “Common paths towards a global, just, and fraternal society”. A plural that asks and invites us increasingly to broaden alliances, not only in the Catholic world, but in the whole Christian world, and, in an ecumenical dimension, embracing not only Christianity, but other religions, and not only the left but all political souls who are committed to the common good and the defence of the environment. To do so, an initial effort is needed to renounce the claim of – in the words of the document – “having a monopoly on the truth”.
A renewed commitment to dialogue has begun once again from Brussels, with a momentum of inclusiveness, and an awareness that dialogue is a “permanent work in progress”.
Watch here the recording of the presentation event in the European Parliament:
DIALOP is project of dialogue between Socialists/Marxists and Christians, involving intellectuals, academics, politicians, activists and students from several European Countries. DIALOP is also a partner organisation of transform! europe.