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Pope calls for rebirth of European humanism

May 06, 2016

Pope Francis called for a rebirth of humanism in Europe, as he accepted the Charlemagne Prize on May 6.

The Charlemagne Prize is awarded by the people of Aachen, Germany, in recognition of contributions to European unity. In his acceptance speech the Holy Father said: "I am convinced that resignation and weariness do not belong to the soul of Europe, and that even our problems can become powerful forces for unity."

Although he professed confidence in the future of a united Europe, the Pontiff did not deny the current malaise in European culture. He said:

What has happened to you, the Europe of humanism, the champion of human rights, democracy and freedom? What has happened to you, Europe, the home of poets, philosophers, artists, musicians, and men and women of letters? What has happened to you, Europe, the mother of peoples and nations, the mother of great men and women who upheld, and even sacrificed their lives for, the dignity of their brothers and sisters? 

Pope Francis said that the architects of European union, particularly Robert Schuman, built on a sense of confidence and shared culture. The founders of the European community, he said, were "heralds of peace and prophets of the future." 

In his speech the Pope said that European revival should be based on "the capacity to integrate, the capacity for dialogue, and the capacity to generate."


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Show 4 Comments? (Hidden)Hide Comments
  • Posted by: james-w-anderson8230 - May. 06, 2016 10:34 PM ET USA

    I wonder when the Vatican will tell us what he really meant when he said Humanism?

  • Posted by: rpp - May. 06, 2016 5:57 PM ET USA

    Humanism?!?! Seriously? How about a rebirth of European Catholicism and Christianity. Why is Francis promoting an atheistic philosophy?

  • Posted by: rjbennett1294 - May. 06, 2016 5:13 PM ET USA

    The Pope "called for a rebirth of HUMANISM in Europe"? Personally, I think there's enough humanism in Europe to last a very long time. What Europe really needs is a rebirth of faith in Christ. Of course, though, that's something this pope can't actually say. It would disappoint his followers among the intellectual and media elites. For them, if someone mentions Christ, it's because he's a nut. He might as well start talking about a belief in Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy.

  • Posted by: Lucius49 - May. 06, 2016 1:54 PM ET USA

    The Pope is not dealing with the situation. The issue is not European humanism but the Islamicization of Europe under the guise of a migrant crisis. Muslims do not integrate in Europe. Look at France. Look at Belgium.