As we know, the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union. This is a democratic decision, and must be respected, regardless of our personal point of view concerning the result.
However, this momentous and historic decision means that there will be a time of national and international soul-searching, and also uncertainty, as we do not know what arrangements and treaties will be made between the UK and the EU and its member states, and also between the UK and other countries.
I am conscious that this decision will have led to a mixture of emotions, from elation to despair. But it will have unsettled many people – not only British citizens but the many people from other European countries and beyond who have come to live and work in the UK, and in particular those staff and students of the University of Nottingham from elsewhere in our continent who remain, and always will remain, extremely welcome in our University and Diocese, and who contribute so much to our community.
It is a privilege to belong to a large, diverse and international community such as our University. Please do read this statement from Prof Sir David Greenaway, our Vice-Chancellor (http://www.nottingham.ac.uk/about/government-relations/eu-referendum/index.aspx), and be assured that all of us who are responsible for the pastoral care and wellbeing of others will do whatever we can to help and support those, regardless of their personal viewpoint, who have been particularly affected by this momentous and historic decision and who may be concerned about what happens in the future.
I ask all members of the Catholic community to hold in prayer all who hold public office, in the UK and across the EU, that they will always work for the common good of those whom they serve, and especially those who will take part in the negotiations that will follow the referendum.
Please pray for all who live and work in this country, regardless of our opinion as to the decision that has been democratically taken, that we will listen to one another with open hearts and minds, and that we will overcome the deep divisions in our society that this referendum has revealed and so come together and move forward in a spirit of civility and mutual respect.
We commend ourselves, our University, our country and our continent to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Our Lady of Europe and the Seat of Wisdom.
With my prayers and best wishes to you all as the summer vacation begins,