06/20/2004, 00.00
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The Pope: Europe, you must not cut the roots from which you were born

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – In an unexpected statement at the end of the Angelus prayer, Pope John Paul II criticized the failure to make any mention of Christian roots in the new European constitution. "People should not cut the roots from which they were born!" said the Pope, who was visibly annoyed, as he spoke to the Polish pilgrims who were present. Continuing to speak in Polish, the Holy Father thanked Poland, "that faithfully defended in the Europeans institutions the Christian roots of our continent from which the culture and civil progress of our times have grown."

Yesterday, in a more sober way, the Holy See expressed its "sorrow for the opposition  of some governments to the explicit recognition of the Christian roots of Europe." The declaration of the spokesperson Joaquin Navarro-Valls expressed as well "satisfaction" at the fact that the treaty safeguards "the status of the religious confessions of the member states." Before the Angelus, the Holy Father had called to mind World Refugee Day, which is observed today.

These were the word that the People used to introduced the Marian prayer:


Last Friday we celebrated the solemnity of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, the last of the great liturgical celebrations that, after Paschal time, gives us another wonderful synthesis of the Christian mystery: the Holy Trinity, The Body and Blood of Christ, and, as we said, the Sacred Heart, "the Font of life and holiness, our peace and reconciliation" (Litany of the Sacred Heart).

People cannot know Jesus Christ deeply if they fail to penetrate into his heart, that is, into the inner depths of his divine and human person (cf. Pius XII's Encyclical Haurietis aquas: AAS 48 [1956], 316 ff.).

The mystery of merciful love that is expressed in the Sacred Heart of Jesus help us to live today's World Refugee Day, which has the theme: "A place to call home. Rebuild lives in safety and dignity." Every person needs a safe environment to live in. The refugees are longing for this, but in various countries of the world, unfortunately there are millions who remain in the refugee camps or, in any event, very limited in the exercise of their rights.

Let us not forget those brother refugees. Let us express our support and encouragement for those in the Church who devote themselves to them. At the same time, let us hope for a renewed commitment of the international community so that the causes of this sad situation can be removed.

To the Immaculate Heart of Mary, which we remembered yesterday, we ask with confidence that by accepting the message of the love of Chirst, humanity will progress in brotherhood and peace, and that the earth will become the "common home" of all the nations.

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See also
Europe needs its Christian roots to build its future, Pope says
Chinese trade unionist tells Europe that China is not just a market
Pope talks about the Middle East, the Holy Land and the food crisis with Bush
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Europe's identity incomprehensible without Christianity, pope says


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