Pope Hopes Christians Continue to Aid Europe

Comments on the Signing of EU Constitutional Treaty

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 31, 2004 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II expressed his satisfaction over the signing of the European Union’s Constitution and called for the continent’s Christian roots not to be forgotten.

The Pope dedicated his brief Angelus address to comment on Friday’s historic event, in which 25 heads of government signed the Constitutional Treaty. The treaty now faces a vote of ratification in each of the countries.

«It was a highly significant moment in the building of the ‘New Europe,’ which we continue to look to with confidence. It is the most recent stage of a road that is still long and that seems over more exacting,» the Holy Father said when addressing several thousand pilgrims gathered today in St. Peter’s Square.

«The Holy See has always been in favor of the promotion of a Europe united on the basis of those common values that are part of its history,» he said.

«To acknowledge the Christian roots of the Continent means to make use of a spiritual patrimony that remains essential for the future development of the Union,» the Pope continued.

«Therefore, I hope that also in the years to come, Christians will continue to contribute, in all ambits of European institutions, that evangelical ferment that is the guarantee of peace and collaboration among all citizens in the shared commitment to serve the common good,» he said.

On Saturday, when receiving Polish Prime Minister Marek Belka, John Paul II said that he himself personally and the Apostolic See have «supported the process of integration so that ‘Europe can breathe fully with two lungs: with the spirit of the West and of the East.'»

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