In a refreshingly forthright speech, Cardinal Brady took issue with the fact that the “the claims and influence of secularism and relativism have gone largely unchallenged in the Irish culture and media”. Indeed those driving the European agenda, which Pope John Paul II described as having a “loss of Christian memory” may need to be reminded that the European Convention on Human Rights has been build on a foundation of Judeo-Christian ethics. The removal of any reference to Christianity in the foundation of these rights has placed the European state in a value vacuum. Without the God given boundaries to govern human conduct there can be little confidence that the flow of anti-Christian decisions, listed by the Cardinal, will abate. Ireland and indeed Europe have become places where Christ is largely absent from its institutions. In his lecture this scene was contrasted with the US where last week the political contenders were brought together by a Pastor, who spent two hours interviewing them on the national media, on their faith in Christ and its implications as to how they would govern. By comparison, in Europe, having Christian convictions was enough the remove an Italian Politician from office. In the US the absence of such convictions are a handicap to being elected! Indeed the adoption of the “born again” label has occasionally been fraudulently used to garner votes! But people do not counterfeit things that are worthless and behind Jesus reply to Nicodemus’s probing’s as to how he might become a member of Christ’s Kingdom, “I tell you the truth, no-one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again” lies an invitation to a transformed life. For Nicodemus putting his faith in Christ changed him from a fearful member of the Sanhedrin to a fearless disciple, defending him before the Pharisees and assisting in the burial of Jesus’s body. But before we can get born again politicians we need to have born again constituents. Christ will remain absent from the institutions of Europe until you and I demand a restoration of Christian values which will only come when our lives are committed to the risen Christ.