Solidarity is “the most effective antidote to modern forms of populism,” Pope Francis told European Union leaders Friday, in a politically charged speech denouncing nationalism as a modern form of selfishness.
In his address to more than 20 European heads of state assembled in Rome for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome that marked the beginning of the European Economic Community (EEC), the Pope advocated a stronger, consolidated Europe against the rising tide of populist movements.
The pontiff contrasted solidarity, which draw us “closer to our neighbors,” with populism, which is “the fruit of an egotism that hems people in and prevents them from overcoming and ‘looking beyond’ their own narrow vision.”
As a number of European countries prepare for important national elections pitting neo-populist leaders against mostly established, left-leaning parties, the Pope took an unusually overt stand in favor of a Eurocentric vision of the future of the region.
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