VATICAN - The Pope speaks of Europe at the Regina Cæli prayer: “If the unity of the peoples of Europe is to be lasting is cannot be only economic and political. Today the soul of Europe is still one because it refers to common human and Christian values.”
Vatican City (Fides Service) - After celebrating Mass in St Peter’s and ordaining 26 deacons as new priests for the Diocese of Rome, on Sunday 2 May, Pope John Paul II prayed the Regina Caeli prayer from his window with the crowds gathered in St Peter’s Square. Introducing the prayer the Pope reflected on the entry, May 1, of 10 new member nations in the European Union on. “ If the unity of the peoples of Europe is to be lasting is cannot be only economic and political - the Pope warned - Today the soul of Europe is still one because it refers to common human and Christian values. The history of the formation of the nations of Europe goes hand in hand with evangelisation. Therefore, despite the spiritual crises which have marked the life of the Continent to our day, Europe’s identity would be incomprehensible without Christianity.”
The Pope recalled that the Church has helped in many ways to consolidate the cultural and spiritual unity of the continent: “The life-giving lymph of the Gospel can guarantee Europe development which is coherent with its identity in freedom and solidarity, in justice and in peace. Only a Europe which does not remove but rather rediscovers its Christian roots will be able to meet the great challenges of the third millennium: peace, dialogue among cultures and religions, protecting creation. To this important undertaking all believers in Christ, of both Eastern and Western Europe thanks to open and sincere ecumenical cooperation, are called to offer their own contribution.”
Greeting the nations which have just joined the European Union the Pope mentioned the “numerous Shrines which through the centuries have nurtured devotion to the Blessed Virgin Mary”. (S.L.) (Agenzia Fides 3/5/2004 - Righe 22; Parole 298)
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