Pope Francis Addresses the EU Leaders

(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis addressed Heads of State and Heads of Government of European Union countries on Friday afternoon, the eve of the 60° anniversary of the signing of the treaties creating the European Economic Community and the European Atomic Energy Community – the first major structural steps toward creating the European Union.

* * *

Please find below my selection of excerpts, and my emphases, from this address.

* * *

The Bible, with its rich historical narratives, can teach us a basic lesson.  We cannot understand our own times apart from the past, seen not as an assemblage of distant facts, but as the lymph that gives life to the present.  Without such an awareness, reality loses its unity, history loses its logical thread, and humanity loses a sense of the meaning of its activity and its progress towards the future.

25 March 1957 was a day full of hope and expectation, enthusiasm and apprehension.  Only an event of exceptional significance and historical consequences could make it unique in history.  The memory of that day is linked to today’s hopes and the expectations of the people of Europe, who call for discernment in the present, so that the journey that has begun can continue with renewed enthusiasm and confidence. Continue reading “Pope Francis Addresses the EU Leaders”

Declaratia Schuman – 9 mai 1950

Robert Schuman

Declaratia Schuman este unul dintre documentele fundamentale pentru istoria Uniunii Europene. Spre deosebire insa de paradigma secularista (marca Giscard d’Estaing) care caracterizeaza astazi filosofia UE, documentul semnat de Maurice Schuman, pe atunci ministru de externe al Frantei, este profund inradacinat intr-o perspectiva crestina asupra realitatii.

Redau mai jos textul documentului in limba romana (pentru care multumesc domnisoarei Marinela Blaj, de la Schuman Studies for European Studies) si de asemenea textul aceluia in limba engleza. Continue reading “Declaratia Schuman – 9 mai 1950”

Adam Michnik in Der Spiegel: ‘We Are Bastards of Communism’

Adam_Michnik

The online international edition of Der Spiegel has just published probably the most interesting interviews on post-communist Eastern Europe I have read in years. This is no surprise when the interviewee is Adam Michnik,  former Polish dissident, editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza, the most read Polish daily newspaper, and one of the most lucid minds in the former communist world.

Here are excerpts from this interview that, I suggest, should be read in its entirety.

* * *

SPIEGEL: Mr. Michnik, for more than six weeks now, thousands of people have taken to the streets in Bulgaria to demonstrate against their country’s rotten political system. More than 20 years after Eastern Europe’s democratic awakening, political conflicts are still characterized by turf wars and hatred. Why?

Michnik: We lack a political culture, a culture of compromise. We in Poland, as well as the Hungarians, have never learned this sort of thing. Although there is a strong desire for freedom in the countries of Eastern Europe, there is no democratic tradition, so that the risk of anarchy and chaos continues to exist. Demagoguery and populism are rampant. We are the illegitimate children, the bastards of communism. It shaped our mentality. Continue reading “Adam Michnik in Der Spiegel: ‘We Are Bastards of Communism’”