Image via WikipediaI do not claim to understand thoroughly the bureaucracy that attempts to run the European Union. But it is heartening to see a serious Catholic taking a leading role in a continent that often reflects nihilism, a loss of nerve, and despair about the future. Below is an excerpt from today's N.Y. Times:
WHEN a visit to the United Nations was canceled abruptly last month, the European Union’s new president, Herman Van Rompuy, headed instead for somewhere he says he feels really at home: Affligem Abbey, a Benedictine monastery in the countryside here, founded in 1062.
Mr. Van Rompuy spent a day in a simple room, attending services and eating in a cavernous hall where monks listen to readings from a library of 70,000 books. And he also likes the beer, one of Belgium’s most famous, now brewed under license from the monks.
. . . .
A Roman Catholic, Mr. Van Rompuy often seems to be fighting to conquer the sin of pride — in his manner, his dress (he favors brown) and his lack of affectation. But it is a struggle he sometimes loses. He is a man who feels inferior, it can be said, to few, and he is convinced that the modest and back-room fashion in which he is guiding Europe — and quietly expanding his influence — is the only possible way to do it.