Pope Francis met with over 20 leaders of the European Union March 24, on the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, which established the European Community. The European Community is now called the European Union. The heads of state and government are facing a serious crisis that challenges the validity of the European Union.
The bloc has been experiencing a decade-long economic crisis tied to the inflexibility of the Euro, the common currency used by many of its members; wars, droughts, and other humanitarian disasters are forcing a stream of migrants and refugees into member-states, and the search for a common policy is proving elusive; and the rise of Eurosceptic populist parties is threatening the very future of the European project.
The pontiff urged the EU leaders to tackle these problems with the boldness of the people who signed the Treaty of Rome 60 years ago. The pope said leaders need to realize the founders of the EU did not see Europe as “a manual of protocols and procedures to follow,” but “a way of understanding man based on his transcendent and inalienable dignity.”
The pope said Europe can find hope in solidarity, calling it the most effective antidote to modern forms of populism. Populism undermines globalism, of which the European Union is an advanced example.
Speaking of its Catholic history, the pope said that Europe has “a patrimony of ideals and spiritual values unique in the world,” calling it the “best antidote against the vacuum of values of our time, which provides a fertile terrain for every form of extremism.”
“Politics needs this kind of leadership, which avoids appealing to emotions to gain consent, but instead, in a spirit of solidarity and subsidiarity, devises policies that can make the Union as a whole develop harmoniously,” the pontiff said.
The pope also called for Europe to provide employment and a dignified wage to all its people, address poverty, protect life (including the unborn), decent living conditions, education for the young and the respect of conscience, among other things, all of which are consistent with Catholic social teaching and globalism.
The pope has a vested interest in keeping Europe together. After all, the European Union is in essence, the resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire. Providing guidance to European leaders ties them to Rome more tightly.
The Bible predicts that a global religion will arise, forcing all people to worship in the same way, namely on Sunday. The only entity that has the global political stature and hierarchy to impose such a religion is the Catholic Church. If Rome cannot regain control of Europe’s faith and political order, she will never be able to impose her religion on the rest of the world.
“All the world wondered…” Revelation 13:3.