This morning Pope John Paul II, receiving Romano Prodi, outgoing president of the European Commission, on the eve of the signing of the European constitution, said that regardless of “whether or not it is recognized in the official documents,” the Christian influence on the formation of Europe, “is an undeniable fact that no historian can forget."
The treaty will be signed tomorrow by representatives from 25 countries that are members of the European Union will also sign the treaty.
"The Holy See," said the Pope, "has promoted the formation of the European Union, before it was juridically structured, and has followed with active interest the subsequent phases. The Holy See has always felt the duty to openly express the just longing of a great number of Christian citizens in Europe who have asked it to show interest," he noted.
"Therefore," he continued, "the Holy See reminded everyone that Christianity, in its different expressions, has contributed to the formation of a common conscience of Europeans and has greatly shaped civilizations.”
Congratulating Prodi for his work in the European Commission, the Pope expressed the hope "the difficulties that have emerged in these days with regard to the new commission find a solution of reciprocal respect in a spirit of harmony among all interested parties."
"May the European Union always express the best of the great traditions of its member states, may it work actively on the international level for peace among peoples and may it offer generous help for the growth of the neediest peoples of other continents," said the Holy Father.