Catholic World News

Pope emphasizes: Christianity shaped Europe

October 20, 2009

Addressing the new head of the Commission of European Communities’ delegation to the Holy See, Pope Benedict emphasized Europe’s Christian roots and said that “the transcendent vision of the human person” stemming from those roots is Europe’s “most precious treasure.”

“You, Mr. Ambassador, have described the European Union as ‘an area of peace and stability that brings together 27 States with the same fundamental values,’” said Pope Benedict. “It is a happy description. And yet, it is right to observe that the European Union has not gifted itself with these values … These values are the fruit of a long and torturous history in which, no one can deny, Christianity has played a major role. The equality of all human beings, the liberty of the act of faith as root of the other civil liberties, peace as the decisive element of the common good, of human development -- intellectual, social and economic … are a few of many other central elements of Christian Revelation that continue to mold European civilization.”

The Pontiff continued:

The immense intellectual, cultural and economic resources of the Continent will continue to bear fruit if they continue to be fertilized by the transcendent vision of the human person, which is the most precious treasure of European heritage. This humanist tradition, in which so many families of different thoughts recognize themselves, makes Europe capable of addressing the challenges of tomorrow and of responding to the population's expectations.

It is primarily the search for a just and delicate balance between economic efficiency and social exigencies, the safeguarding of the environment and, above all, the indispensable and necessary support to human life from conception to natural death, and to the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman. Europe will be really itself only if it is able to preserve the originality that has constituted its greatness, and this is capable of making of it, in the future, one of the principal actors in the promotion of the integral development of persons, which the Catholic Church regards as the genuine way able to remedy the present imbalances of our world.


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