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Europe must recover spiritual roots, Pope tells French visitors

March 02, 2016

“Europe is the only continent that can bring some sort of unity to the world,” Pope Francis said in a March 2 meeting with a small group of Christian socialists from France.

In a wide-ranging discussion of Christian involvement in politics, the Pope said that Europe has “a universal role” to serve the cause of world unity. To serve that cause, however, the Pope went on to say that Europe must “rediscover its cultural roots.” He added that Europe’s future is endangered by its falling birth rates.

The Pope remarked that today there is talk of an “Arab invasion” of Europe, because of the influx of migrants. But he argued that nationalists are wrong to take an anti-immigrant stand. The problem, he suggested, is the absence of a unifying spirit in Europe-- an absence that creates a vacuum that is now being filled by immigration. Throughout history, the Pope argued, a stronger Europe has absorbed contacts with new groups, and found ways to use them as ways to open exchanges between cultures.

Speaking to his visitors about the political situation in France, the Pope said that the country’s emphasis on secularism is “incomplete.” He argued that France needs a “healthy secularism,” one that does not seek to exclude spiritual and religious dimension.

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  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Mar. 03, 2016 12:39 PM ET USA

    Makes me think the Pope has just loose thoughts to offer. Well known battles with Muslems (Arabs) saved Europe, not the admittance of hoards of enemies. Europe's present distress comes from a confusion about its self understanding. It has no strength to allow and absorb a totally conflicting culture to live in its midst since ts own dominant secular culture has has become so disoriented it doesn't know what to do. Anyway, without babies it can't go anywhere but down.