The pope issued a word of warning to European legislators to respect the differences of member countries. “Every country has its peculiarity, but every country is open to others,” he said, adding the sovereignty of Europe and the sovereignty of every member state is part of “a unity that respects the singularity of each country.”
Pope Francis’ right-hand man, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who heads the Vatican’s Secretariat of State, also commented on the controversial European document in an interview with Vatican news outlets Nov. 30. The cardinal remarked on the “tendency to homogenize everything” without taking into account the “rightful differences” of countries and religious beliefs.
Parolin stated the document issued by the European Commission shows “forgetfulness of what is a reality” and “a cancellation of our roots,” especially when it comes to “Christian festivities.”
“Of course, we know that Europe owes its existence and its identity to many influences, but we certainly cannot forget that one of the main influences, if not the main one, was Christianity itself,” he added.
The cardinal also said the papal trip to the Mediterranean countries of Cyprus and Greece, countries disproportionally left to address the influx of migrants and refugees without support from Europe, “comes at the right time.”
“It is a journey that reminds us precisely of these fundamental dimensions that cannot be erased. We must rediscover the capacity to integrate all these realities without ignoring them, without fighting them, without eliminating and marginalizing them,” he said.
This article originally appeared here.