Pope gives landmark address to EU leaders

What happened?

Pope Francis addressed the leaders of the European Union on the eve of the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome. He called on the EU to “invest in development and in peace”, which includes “the dignity of labour, decent living conditions, access to education and necessary medical care”.

The Pope said peace could not prevail when “people are cast aside or forced to live in dire poverty”, adding: “There is no peace without employment and the prospect of earning a dignified wage.”

What the British media said

The Guardian interpreted the Pope’s speech as a warning to Brexiteers, reporting: “Pope Francis has urged European leaders to resist the ‘false forms of security’ promised by those who want to wall themselves off, just days before Theresa May triggers Article 50 negotiations.” It quoted the Pontiff as saying: “Europe finds new hope when she refuses to yield to fear or close herself off in false forms of security.” He also praised “leadership which avoids appealing to emotions to gain consent” and instead practises “solidarity and subsidiarity.”

Meanwhile, the Independent highlighted Francis’s warning that the EU faced “a vacuum of values.” The Pope added: “When a body loses its sense of direction and is no longer able to look ahead, it experiences a regression and, in the long run, risks dying.”

​How to continue reading…

This article appears in the Catholic Herald magazine - to read it in full subscribe to our digital edition from just 30p a week

The Catholic Herald is your essential weekly guide to the Catholic world; latest news, incisive opinion, expert analysis and spiritual reflection