Pope: Christians can promote political dialogue in Europe

Source: Associated Press

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis on Saturday said Christians can play a role in shaping Europe’s future by promoting political dialogue “especially where it is threatened and where conflict seems to prevail.”

Francis addressed European political and church leaders at a moment of broad political crises in Europe. It came a day after the regional parliament in Catalonia made a unilateral declaration of independence from Spain, and as Britain negotiates its exit from the European Union after four decades.

Francis’ fifth foreign policy speech on Europe, titled “To be the soul of Europe,” was made to a forum on Europe organized by the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community.

Pointedly, Francis said politics, rather than promoting dialogue as it should, “is becoming instead a forum for clashes between opposing forces. The voice of dialogue is replaced by shouted claims and demands.”

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