As the political leaders of Europe come together to save the euro and European Union itself, I believe the time has come for religious leaders to do likewise.
The task ahead of us is not between Jews and Catholics, or even Jews and Christians, but between Jews and Christians on the one hand and the increasingly, even aggressively secularising forces at work in Europe today on the other, challenging and even ridiculing our faith.
When a civilisation loses its faith, it loses its future. When it recovers its faith, it recovers its future. For the sake of our children, and their children not yet born, we ”” Jews and Christians, side by side ”” must renew our faith and its prophetic voice. We must help Europe to recover its soul.
The idea of religious leaders saving the euro and the EU sounds absurd. What has religion to do with economics, or spirituality with financial institutions? The answer is that the market economy has religious roots. It emerged in a Europe saturated with Judeo-Christian values. In the Hebrew Bible, for instance, material prosperity is a divine blessing. Poverty crushes the human spirit as well as the body, and its alleviation is a sacred task.