The European Academy of Yuste Foundation and the Faculties of Theology, Canon Law and Philosophy of the Pontifical University of Salamanca (UPSA) are holding the second Dialogues of Yuste conference, titled Christianity and Europe, as part of the Campus Yuste 2015 program.
During the opening ceremony, Enrique Barrasa, Director of the Foundation, declared that today, more than ever, “Europe must face up to its main challenges without losing sight of its founding principles and historical identity”. As for Amadeo Rodríguez, Bishop of the Diocese of Plasencia, he explained that these dialogues “do their bit to ensure that Christianity remains established in Europe” and recalled the profound Christian fervour of Charles V. Finally, Jacinto Núñez, Dean of the Faculty of Theology of the UPSA, argued that the three faculties organize the Dialogues of Yuste because “Dialogue means being convened by the logos, which is rationality in Philosophy, verbum in Theology and order in Law”.
The guests of the Dialogues include about fifty professors from different Spanish universities and figures from the cultural, social and religious worlds.
The morning dialogue dealt with the position currently occupied by the Christian confessions in the construction of Europe. Julio Martínez, Rector of the Comillas Pontifical University, addressed the relationship between the Christian faith and European society from a theological perspective, while José María Contreras Mazario, Professor of Ecclesiastical Law at the Pablo de Olavide University, analysed the role that these confessions are called upon to play within the political-cultural framework of modern democratic and plural states. There was also an in-depth debate on European multiculturalism and the need to deal intelligently with migration flows. Migrations currently pose the main challenge for Europe and in order to deal with them it is necessary to appeal to the principles of Christianity.
The second dialogue, which begins at about five o’clock in the afternoon, will seek to define, within the framework of the so-called “common European homeland”, the values which are regarded as common to everyone, such as human dignity, freedom, democracy, equality, the rule of law and respect for human rights, combining the vision offered by María José Martínez Iglesias, Director for Legislative Affairs of the Presidency of the European Parliament, who will present the concept of constitutional patriotism, linked not to a territory but to adherence to shared principles, with that of Jaime Mayor Oreja, former Member of Parliament and Minister of the Interior, who will base his argument on the Christian roots of Europe.
The Dialogues of Yuste conference forms part of the Campus Yuste program created by the European Academy of Yuste Foundation to group together the Foundation’s training activities and provide students with the opportunity to debate and reflect on issues related to Europe in the unique setting of the Royal Monastery of Yuste.