Christian Values Are Stimulus for New Europe, Says Pope

Receives Pilgrims From France Celebrating St. Yves’ 7th Centenary

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 1, 2003 ( A day after the Vatican expressed surprise over the absence of any reference to Christianity in the draft Preamble of the European Constitution, John Paul II invited Christians to cooperate actively with their values in the construction of the new Europe.

The Pope made this invitation Saturday to a group of some 100 French pilgrims from Brittany, led by Bishop Lucien Fruchaud of Saint-Brieuc and Treguier, who were in Rome to celebrate the 700th anniversary of the death of St. Yves, in many countries, patron of lawyers, judges, and notaries.

Yves de Helori (1253-1303), according to tradition an ecclesiastical judge, resigned his post in order not to betray his conscience given the impositions of French King Philip IV. The saint spent the rest of his life defending the poor and preaching the Gospel.

«The values proposed by St. Ives continue to be a powerful stimulus for our time, particularly in the Europe that is being constructed,» the Pope said in his address.

«Servant of justice, St. Yves invites men of good will to construct a world of peace, founded on respect for law and the service of truth,» he said.

In order to «defend the poor, this lawyer encourages people and nations to live in solidarity and equity, which will guarantee the rights of the weakest, whose inalienable dignity must be fully recognized,» the Pope said.

He added: «May the example and life of St. Yves serve to invite Christians to contribute actively to the construction of Europe, community of destinies in which all are called to work so that love and truth will meet, and justice and peace will embrace.»

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