On June 10th we go to the polls to elect members of the European Parliament. The Catholics Bishops of the countries of the European Union, in which Scotland is fully represented, encourage all citizens use their right to vote at these elections and in doing so, contribute to the construction of a better continent for all our people.
Over the centuries Scotland has enjoyed good and cordial relations with the countries of mainland Europe and we are confident such traditions will be strengthened in years to come.
Europe is changing. Since 1989, when Communism collapsed, the continent has, in the words of Pope John Paul II, once more begun to breathe with both lungs, east and west. Soon new member states from the former Eastern bloc will be admitted; the structures of the EU are being revised. Now is the hour for all of us to show our commitment to the ideal of giving a soul to the new Europe which is taking shape.
In an increasingly fragmented world the European Union offers a beacon of hope; an example of fruitful international co-operation. The Church views positively moves towards closer European integration and favours a new solidarity among the people of the Old Continent.
The European Parliament is an increasingly important body in our daily lives. Many important economic, social and moral issues will be decided at European level in the future. It is up to us to be vigilant, therefore, and elect members of the European Parliament of sound moral principles.
We owe it to ourselves and to our fellow citizens of Europe to make the ideal of European co-operation a reality.
The European Union was born out of the destruction and chaos which followed World War II. As war rages in our continent for the first time in fifty years, it is vital that we show our commitment to building a peaceful and safe common European homeland, and demonstrate our support for the efforts at restoring peace currently being pursued by the European Union.
Europe's Christian roots need to be rediscovered. We can help in that process by voting according to our conscience on June 10th.