Beatification Process for Robert Schuman Clears One Phase

METZ, France, MAY 31, 2004 ( The diocesan phase of the process of beatification for French statesman Robert Schuman drew to a close over the weekend.

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Schuman (1886-1963) was one of the fathers of European integration that gave birth to the European Union.

«The abundant documentation collected with care, classified and studied, will be sent immediately to the Congregation for Sainthood Causes,» said Bishop Pierre Raffin of Metz. He said that to date he knows of no miraculous events attributed to Schuman’s intercession.

«The news, according to which [the Pope] might beatify Robert Schuman in the autumn, on the occasion of a possible trip to Strasbourg, manifests the imagination of journalists,» the bishop said in a statement.

Bishop Raffin said he thinks Schuman’s fame for holiness «outside of small fervent circles, is not very developed.»

Schuman was the first French parliamentarian arrested by the Gestapo during World War II. Later he joined the Resistance.

After the war, Schuman was named prime minister and then foreign minister. He was one of the authors of the May 9, 1950, declaration that was the basis of European construction. He was the first president of the European Parliament.

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