This morning, Pope Francis met with Martin Schulz, President of the European Parliament today at the Vatican Apostolic Palace. President Schulz’s visit coincided with the publication of an essay written by him to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Blessed Pope John II’s visit to the European Parliament.
“Twenty-five years ago, on this same day, John Paul II delivered before the European Parliament meeting in Strasbourg an inspirational speech,” Schulz wrote in the editorial. “Today, for the European Parliament, it would be a great honor to hear again the message of the Holy Father, his words of foresight, solidarity, and hope.”
Fr. Federico Lombardi, Director of the Holy See Press Office, told journalists today that President Schulz renewed his invitation to the Holy Father to visit and address the European Parliament. The Holy Father raised several topics of discussion, Fr. Lombardi said, including the issues of poverty, immigration, youth unemployment, the “throwaway” culture, and the current economic situation in Europe and the world.
“Among the gifts present to the Holy Father, was a volume of photos commemorating Blessed Pope John Paul II’s visit,” the director of the Holy See Press Office noted.
After his audience with the Pope, President Schulz released a statement on his visit, saying that the Holy Father’s words were both “inspiring and thought provoking.”
“Whether we look at the protection of refugees in the Mediterranean, the fight against poverty and social exclusion or improving the prospects of young people both within and outside the EU, these are subjects on which we share similar views and on which we can join forces,” the President’s statement read.
Concluding his statement, President Schulz once again extended his “invitation to Pope Francis to address the plenary.”