Beatification of “father of Europe” possible during coming Papal visit to France

.- The French daily “Le Figaro” is reporting that Pope John Paul II could beatify the late French Prime Minister, Robert Schuman, considered one of the “fathers of Europe,” during a proposed Papal visit to Strasbourg scheduled for next September.

The paper claims “the diocesan investigation for the cause of canonization of the former French leader (1947-1948) has concluded at the diocesan level and should be quickly turned over to Rome, the last step towards possible beatification.”

At the Vatican, “the Congregation for the Causes of Saints has been expressly requested to expedite his case so that it will be ready in the coming months,” says the report.

According to “Le Figaro,” the Holy Father “could—if his health permits—travel to Strasburg next September, address the European Council and beatify a ‘father of Europe,’ Robert Schuman.”

The French daily reports the Pope had outlined his plans recently to a group of visiting French bishops, whom the Pope addressed insisting that the European Constitution recognize the Christian roots of Europe.

During that meeting the Holy Father exhorted Christians to let Gospel values “shine forth” in “political life, economics, places of work and the family.”

Roberto Schuman was born in Metz in 1886 and was Minister of Foreign Relations when he announced the forming of the European Steel and Coal Community on May 9, 1950, which was a first step towards the creation of the European Union.

The European Union celebrates May 9 as “Europe Day.”

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