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Pope in Romania: conference on return flight, “we are all responsible for the European Union”. “Overcome divisions and borders”

“We are all responsible for the European Union”. Pope Francis said this as he responded to the questions on the future of Europe put to him by journalists, on his return flight from Romania, during which he insisted on the “responsibility” that all member states, which not surprisingly are called to take turns in chairing it, have for our continent. “If Europe does not look carefully at the challenges ahead, Europe will wither, it will be withered”, Pope Francis warned. Reiterating what he had said in Strasbourg, he stressed the danger facing our “mother” Europe, who is becoming our “grandmother Europe”. Indeed, Europe “has aged, and has lost the enthusiasm for working together”, to the point that “some might even ask: is this perhaps the end of a 70-year adventure?”. The Pope suggested “taking up again the mysticism of the Founding Fathers”, for “Europe needs to be itself, it needs its own identity and its own unity, in order to overcome – with the many things that good politics can offer – divisions and borders”. “We see borders within Europe, and this is not good”, Pope Francis warned. “It is true that every country has its own identity, which it must protect, but with the mysticism of the polyhedron. There is a globalization where all cultures are respected, but please, do not let Europe be defeated by pessimism or ideologies. Indeed, Europe at present is not attacked by cannons or bombs, but by ideologies that are not European, that come from abroad, or are born in small European groups”.

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