POPE IN STRASBURG
Pope reached the essence of problems of Europe and aroused hope for return to its ideals.
Pope Francis’ speech in the European Parliament was crowned with an applause. Last week he arrived in Strasburg. His visit was short. Pope gave a speech in the European Parliament and the Parliamentary Assembly of the Europe Council. He finished his pronouncement in our Chamber with an appeal addressed to euro-deputies, in order to ‘build Europe together, which is not concentrated on economy but on the holiness of the human being, essential values’. Pope touched on many essential issues. He reminded about values and ideas of fathers founders of the European Union. He spoke about dignity of the human being which cannot be treated as an object. He took the side of the weak, the ill and the old. He encouraged for listening to the voice of the heart able to ‘distinguish between the good and the evil’. Supporting open humanism, he opposed to ‘culture of rejection’. The speech of the Pope was often interrupted with loud applauses, although there were critical elements in them towards the current institutional system of the Union. The Pope spoke: ‘In the recent years, beside the process of broadening the European Union, there is increasing distrust of citizens to institutions recognized as distanced, involved in making provisions perceived as far-distanced from sensitivity of particular nations, if not even as harmful’. He compared aging Europe to a grandmother, ‘infertile and not lively’. He noted domination of bureaucratic mechanisms. Referring to an official EU motto: ‘Unity in variety’, Francis argued that ‘Europe should be the family of nations’.
Despite many concerns, and even earlier protests against the visit of pope Francis in the European Parliament, the superior of the Catholic Church charmed and united euro-deputies. Everyone was applauding. Pope reached the essence of problems of Europe and aroused hope for return to its ideals. The chairman of the European Parliament – a socialist Martin Schulz, thanking the Holy Father, said that the words said in the aula, had been used from hearts of euro-deputies. It would be good if they returned there and were reflected in decisions expressed by parliamentarians in votes.