Pope: Europe Must Recognize Its Christian Roots

May 2, 2004

Source: Reuters


On May 2, 2004 Reuters reported, "Pope John Paul Sunday welcomed the 10 new nations of the European Union but said the bloc could only face the challenges of the 21st century if it defended its Christian roots. The pope, whose native country, Poland, is one of the new countries in the 25-strong EU, told a packed St Peter's Square Europe's identity would be 'incomprehensible' without Christianity. 'Only a Europe that does not remove, but rediscovers its Christian roots will reach the stature needed for the great challenges of the third millennium: peace, dialogue between cultures and religions, the safeguarding of creation,' he said. He has repeatedly called for bloc to enshrine Christianity in its constitution, but this has been resisted by secular politicians. EU leaders are also aware of the risk of offending Turkey, a secular state but with a largely Muslim population, which wants to join the EU."