EU Official Lauds Benedict XVI's Words

Affirms Europe's Need to Recall Religious Tradition

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VIENNA, Austria, OCT. 20, 2009 (Zenit.org).- The representative of the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe regarding religious persecution is expressing support for Benedict XVI's call to Europeans to recover their Christian roots.



Mario Mauro, representative of the Chairmanship on Combating Racism, Xenophobia and Discrimination, stated this today, responding to the Pope's Monday address to Yves Gazzo, the new head of the delegation of the Commission of European Communities to the Holy See.

The Pontiff's words are "providential" in a "turbulent period of apparent decline of the project called United Europe," Mauro said.

The Italian member and former vice president of the European Parliament added that the Holy Father's words "providentially appeal again to the responsibility of all Europeans, of all citizens and all politicians, to seek in unity and in the common search for truth that decisive beating of wings to again build something important for themselves and for future generations."

"If Europe is not capable of a historical memory which will enable it to keep alive its cultural and religious tradition, it will not be able to pretend to take off in flight," he affirmed.

Mauro stated: "Progress and civilization stem from unity. Europe was great only in the moment it transmitted those constitutive values that came to it from the Christian faith, making them patrimony of the culture and identity of peoples."

Hence, "the Pope's teaching is not the affirmation of a theological thought vis-a-vis another, but is the last way to be able to surpass a decisive challenge for the re-launching of Europe as a world power," he added.

In his address to the ambassador, Benedict XVI underlined the importance of Europe's recognition of the Christian roots of its values, lest its "model of civilization to be eroded, bit by bit."

He added, "Its original impulse must not be suffocated by individualism and utilitarianism."

The Pontiff stated, "The immense intellectual, cultural and economic resources of the continent will continue to bear fruit if they continue to be fertilized by the transcendent vision of the human person, which is the most precious treasure of European heritage."

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On ZENIT's Web page:

Papal address: http://www.zenit.org/article-27260?l=english