Portugal and Europe, in their history and in their present, are inseparable from Catholicism.
Europe needs a new evangelization, with culture as an end and as a means, an evangelization that liberates and promotes justice, a cultural and social pedagogy within an integral ecology. For this to happen, the freedom and autonomy of the Church and its separation from the State are necessary. The Church's intervention in society does not have to be confessionalized, but only guided by the common good. The modernity of the autonomy of the State before religion is indebted to the Christian matrix.
These are some of the paths of the texts selected for this work, which reflects on the way Catholicism has marked the Portuguese and European cultural identity, just as Catholicism has marked Portugal and Europe.
D. Manuel Clemente seeks to understand the recomposition of Catholicism in contemporary society through the Catholic movement of the 19th and 20th centuries, especially the formation of the laity in the Church. He analyzes the relationship between the Church and society, in liberalism and republicanism, to know how Christians influence society, how the spiritual order interferes in the political order.
D. Manuel Clemente is a historian by training and it can be said of him, with propriety, that he understands "the present as history.
«If to write history is to narrate history, we can read in D. Manuel's work a figuration of the excess and the fascination for that excess that Portugal is. [...]
Studying the event that Portugal is has been the secular vocation of Bishop Manuel Clemente, who reconciles it with his mission as pastor of the Church of Lisbon.»
in the Preface by Isabel Capeloa Gil, Rector of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa