I dream of a Europe...
09 May 2016

A general view of the Charlemagne prize ceremony which was held in the Vatican Palace on 6 May 2016.
View the full speech of Pope Francis here
I dream of a Europe that cares for children, that offers fraternal help to the poor and those newcomers seeking acceptance because they have lost everything and need shelter.
Brussels, 9 May 2016 - On Friday 6th May, Pope Francis was conferred the Charlemagne Prize, in the presence of Donald Tusk, Jean-Claude Junker, Angela Merkel, and Felipe, King of Spain. The Pope called on Europe to rediscover a humanism based on a multicultural identity, open to migrants, a social market economy, able to give work to the young and educate them to dialogue.

“Creativity, genius and a capacity for rebirth and renewal are part of the soul of Europe (…) [A recourse to our memory and to the Fathers who founded Europe] can enable us to draw inspiration from the past in order to confront with courage the complex multipolar framework of our own day and to take up with determination the challenge of “updating” the idea of Europe. A Europe capable of giving birth to a new humanism based on three capacities: the capacity to integrate, the capacity for dialogue and the capacity to generate.”

The idea of Europe challenges us to think of the city as a place where various instances and levels coexist. As many cities in our continent, the European inhabitants have integrated in always new syntheses diverse and varied cultures. “The identity of Europe is, and always has been, a dynamic and multicultural identity.” 

Europe has the potentiality to build a common house, an inclusive society, and this particularly for the young people, who are the present of our times, as well as the refugees and migrants, who are the gift or our present: 

“I dream of a new European humanism, one that involves ‘a constant work of humanization’ and calls for ‘memory, courage, [and] a sound and humane utopian vision’ (…) I dream of a Europe that cares for children, that offers fraternal help to the poor and those newcomers seeking acceptance because they have lost everything and need shelter. I dream of a Europe that is attentive to and concerned for the infirm and the elderly, lest they be simply set aside as useless. I dream of a Europe where being a migrant is not a crime but a summons to greater commitment on behalf of the dignity of every human being.”

JRS, and especially in Europe, receives with gratitude the words of Pope Francis, as a sign of trust and encouragement that strengthens us greatly in our service and accompaniment of refugees and migrants. 

- Jean-Marie Carrière, SJ, regional director of JRS Europe








Press Contact Information
Oscar Spooner
oscar.spooner@jrs.net
+32 2 554 02 20