(Brussels / Vatican) Pope Francis is coming on November 25 to address the European Parliament in Strasbourg.Vatican spokesman Father Federico Lombardi confirmed this today in a press statement on the Pope's visit. The invitation came from European Parliament President Martin Schulz (SPD).
The invitation had been issued on March 19, 2013 on the day of inauguration of Pope Francis in Rome.Schulz said at the time: "I hope to welcome the pope as soon as possible to send a European and universal message about the core values that are needed today more than ever."
The President of the German Bishops' Conference and soon the European Bishops' Conferences (COMECE), Archbishop Reinhard Marx of Cardinal of Munich and Freising spoke of "very good news". The German cardinal sees a "strong signal by the Pope in support and encouragement of European integration". The Pope "recognizes the success of the European project and, not least, the peace dividend, for which the EU has received the Nobel Peace Prize." This second speech of a pope before the EU Parliament will underline the "continuing support of the Church for the high ideals of European integration" , says Marx.
Will Pope Francis find critical words about the socio-political orientation of the EU, as uncritical and statesmanlike occurred to the German Cardinal?
In 1988 Pope John Paul II had spoken to the European Parliament.. A speech by Pope Benedict XVI. did not materialize.
Text: Giuseppe Nardi
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