News Release

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

With twenty senior representatives from various religions including Christian, Muslim, and Jewish faiths, Elder José A. Teixeira, President of the Europe Area of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints joined to discuss “The Future of the European Union” on 10 June 2014.

As tenth in the series of meetings launched in 2005, the high-level meeting was hosted by José Manuel Barroso, President of the European Commission, and was co-chaired by Herman Van Rompuy, President of the European Council and László Surján, Vice-President of the European Parliament. By accepting the invitation to join in the dialogue, this year marks the first time a representative of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has attended.

Focusing on the values of faith, family and religious freedom and the critical role they should play in shaping EU policies, Elder Teixiera stated: “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.”

President Barroso invited participants to reflect on the current challenges and opportunities of the European Union (EU). Some areas of discussion included: 1) the pressing need to strengthen the links between EU citizens and the democratic process of the Union, 2) its shared values of peace, freedom, democracy and rule of law and 3) the moral and political responsibility that must be carried out not only by the institutions, but by each individual European citizen.

Since 2009, the Lisbon Treaty has enshrined open, transparent, and regular dialogue with churches and religious communities, as well as philosophical and non-confessional organisations into primary law. (Art 17 TFEU).

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


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