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Commemorating visit by Pope John Paul II, Lithuanian archbishop warns against indulging "dubious moral values in Europe"

Arkivyskupas metropolitas Sigitas Tamkevičius
Šarūno Mažeikos/BFL nuotr. / Arkivyskupas metropolitas Sigitas Tamkevičius
Šaltinis: BNS

Sigitas Tamkevičius, the archbishop of Kaunas and president of the Lithuanian Bishops' Conference, says one should not indulge "dubious moral values" in Europe.

"If you are tempted sometimes to indulge very dubious moral values in Europe, you should remember what John Paul II invited as to do – to make our contribution to the spiritual revival of Europe," Tamkevičius told a conference at the Lithuanian Seimas on Wednesday, held to mark the 20th anniversary of a visit by late Pope John Paul II to Lithuania.

The Lithuanian archbishop underlined that the pope's visit was very important for Lithuania that had just declared independence from the Soviet Union.

"It was a difficult time of revival. The enthusiasm of the Baltic Chain had waned as people faced the difficult reality: economic ties were cut off and there were no new ones. There was a lack of basic goods: gas and raw materials for the industry. The pope's visit, his words of encouragement were very necessary during the difficult period," he said.

Attending the conference, the late pope's biographer George Weigel drew attention to the thoughts the pope expressed in 2003 when he perceptively foretold the future and today's challenges.

"The first and most fundamental of these were challenges to the very idea of the human person. As John Paul II understood both from his philosophical studies, from his Christian faith and from his own experience of the sorrows of the 20th century, when a measure on man, when a measure of the human person is not dignity, but utility," Weigel said.

Pope John Paul II visited Lithuanian on September 4-8, 1993, the only papal visit in the country's history.

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