British bishop assesses Pope Francis’ speeches in Strasbourg
(Vatican Radio) Reaction continues around the world to Pope Francis’s wide-ranging discourses made to the European Parliament and the Council of Europe during his 4 hour visit to Strasbourg on Tuesday. In his two addresses, the Pope touched on many different issues, including human dignity, the need for Europe to rediscover its vigour and its core values, immigration, unemployment and solidarity.
Bishop William Kenney is the spokesman on European affairs for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of England and Wales and gave Susy Hodges his personal reaction to the Pope’s remarks in Strasbourg.
Listen to the full interview with Bishop Kenney:
Describing the Pope’s two speeches as “brilliant”, Bishop Kenney said he found them infused with “hope” despite the many problems that Europe is facing. Asked which parts of the addresses he was most struck by, the bishop singled out Pope Francis’ appeal for Europe to rediscover its “core values.”
Some of the most-quoted remarks in the media following the papal visit to the European institutions focused on the Pope’s description of Europe as somewhat elderly and haggard, rather like a grandmother that has lost her vigour and fertility. Bishop Kenney said he agreed with those who see this as an “apt criticism” of some aspects of European society and but said that overall this was a “rallying” speech.