In 1957, six European nations agreed on a single economic market that laid the groundwork for the European Union, bringing together a continent that in the previous decade had been shattered by total war.
On Monday, some sixty years after those six countries signed Treaty of Rome, Pope Francis reminded diplomats of the agreement’s importance as he called for a new European humanism.
“Europe as a whole is experiencing a decisive moment in its history, one in which it is called to rediscover its proper identity. This requires recovering its roots in order to shape its future,” said the pope in the annual papal “state of the world” address.
“In response to currents of divisiveness, it is all the more urgent to update the idea of Europe, so as to give birth to a new humanism based on the capacity to integrate, dialogue and generate that made the Old Continent great,” he said.
Pope France’s annual foreign policy speech comes, as he noted in his address, at a time when Europe is in the midst of a migrant crisis, the threat of religious-inspired violence, and a shakeup through Brexit. The pope’s speech represents another effort on his part to urge peace and reconciliation in Europe and abroad.
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