Europe Suffering “Crises in Value” Says Pope

Addition to European Union may provide a turning point
( [email protected] ) Aug 19, 2003 04:21 PM EDT

CASTEL GANDOLFO, Italy – Pope John Paul II expressed concern over Europe’s “crisis in values” during his public appearance, August 18.

"You can't deny, that in these times of ours, Europe is going through a crisis in values, and it is important that it recovers its true identity," John Paul told pilgrims and tourists in the courtyard of his summer residence in Castel Gandolfo, a town on a hill near Rome.

The pontiff, in decrying Europe’s movement from its Christian roots, also added hopes that the addition of 10 more countries to the European Union would provide a means for the continent’s renewal.

"The process of European Union enlargement to other countries cannot deal only with geographical and economic aspects," the pope said, "but must translate into a renewed harmony of values to be expressed in law and life."

He urged prayers so that the continent "be always aware of its own spiritual vocation and contribute to building solidarity and peace within its own borders and in the entire world."

Several of the 10 countries to be added to the European Union next year, including Malta, Slovakia and the pope's native Poland, are heavily Roman Catholic.