Breaking News

EU Commission President Barroso Invites Mormon Leader at High-Level Meeting with Religious Leaders

Elder José A. Teixeira, President of the Europe Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, joined eighteen senior representatives from Christian, Muslim, Jewish and other religions from all over Europe to discuss “The Future of the European Union.”

The high-level meeting was hosted by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and co-chaired by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council and László Surján, Vice-President of the European Parliament. This year marks the first time a representative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was invited to attend.

During the debate, Elder Teixeira suggested that in order to secure a stronger and peaceful future for Europe, faith, family and religious freedom should play an important role and be given sufficient consideration in shaping EU policies. He said: “The future of Europe is today. It’s in our families, where children learn the lessons of life: truth, honour, virtue, self-control; the value of education, honest work, and the purpose and privilege of life.”

In closing his remarks, Elder Teixeira quoted from The Family: A proclamation to the World, calling “upon responsible citizens and officers of government everywhere to promote those measures designed to maintain and strengthen the family as the fundamental unit of society.” The proclamation on the family was issued by the First Presidency, the highest governing body of the Church, in September 1995.

The participants accepted the invitation by President Barroso to reflect on the current challenges and opportunities of the European Union (EU): the pressing need to strengthen the links between EU citizens and the democratic process of the Union; its shared values of peace, freedom, democracy and rule of law; and the moral and political responsibility that must be carried out not only by the institutions, but by each individual European.

The Lisbon Treaty enshrines since 2009 the open, transparent and regular dialogue with churches, religious communities as well as philosophical and non-confessional organisations into primary law (Art 17 TFEU). Today's high-level meeting of religious leaders is the tenth in the series of meetings launched by President Barroso in 2005.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a Christian faith with half million members in Europe, recently opened its European Union office in Brussels and seeks opportunities to serve the European community through its political and institutional bodies, by reaching out to international NGOs, religious organizations and civil society.

Style Guide Note:When reporting about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, please use the complete name of the Church in the first reference. For more information on the use of the name of the Church, go to our online Style Guide.