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Pope Renews Appeal to Honor Christian Roots

August 23, 2003|From Times Wire Reports

Calling Christianity Europe's "unifying force," Pope John Paul II has renewed his appeal to the European Union to recognize the continent's Christian roots.

The 82-year-old Roman Catholic pontiff made the appeal this month in a brief address to pilgrims gathered for the midday Angelus prayer in the courtyard of his summer residence in Castelgandolfo.

"The Christian faith gave [Europe] form, and some of its fundamental values later inspired the democratic ideal and human rights of modern Europe," the pope said.

"More than a geographical location, Europe is predominantly a cultural and historical concept, characterizing itself as a continent thanks also to the unifying force of Christianity that has integrated different peoples and cultures."

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