Pope Francis mentioned on Friday, in his speech at Cotroceni Palace, the unity and harmony and took care to mention the Romanians in the Diaspora. In a message that had several meanings, Pope Francis seemed to urge the political class to take more care of the citizens and to consolidate the democratic state.
“I pay tribute to the sacrifice of the sons and daughters of Romania who, by their culture, the heritage values and their work enrich the countries they immigrated to, and the fruits of their efforts help their families back home,” Pope Francis said in his speech at Cotroceni.
“I am glad to be in your beautiful country 20 years after the visit of St. John Paul II, now that for the first time since joining the European Union, Romania holds the Presidency of the European Council. This is a good time to have an overview of the 30 years since Romania liberated itself from a regime that hindered civil and religious liberty and isolated it from the other European countries, and which, in addition, led to the stagnation of the economy and the exhaustion of his creative forces,” Pope Francis said.
“During this time, Romania has engaged in a democratic project through plurality of political and social forces and through dialogue between them, aiming at the essential recognition of religious freedom and the full integration of the country into the wider international context.
It is important to recognize that, despite the many difficulties and shortcomings, Romania has taken many steps forward on this road. The willingness to advance in the different sectors of civil, social and scientific life unleashed energy and inventiveness, liberated the creative forces that had been held captive until then, and gave a new boost to many initiatives, propelling the country into the 21st century. I encourage you to continue the work of consolidating the necessary structures and institutions, not just to meet the legitimate aspirations of citizens, but also to stimulate and create the conditions for your people to manifest their full potential and ingenuity we know it is capable of,” Pope Francis further said.
“We also need to admit that the transformations generated by the opening to a new era have attracted, along with the benefits, the inevitable obstacles to overcome and the consequences that are not always easy to solve in order to preserve social stability and the good administration of the country. I refer first and foremost to the phenomenon of emigration, which has led millions to leave home and their homeland to seek new work and life opportunities. I am thinking of the depopulation of so many villages, which in a few years have become deserted by a large part of their inhabitants. I realize the consequences that all these phenomena can have on the quality of life in those places, and the exhaustion of the richest cultural and spiritual sources of your people, those who strengthened you in times of trouble,” the Pontiff Sovereign said, pointing out the demographic decline of Romania.
Speaking of the Romanian Diaspora, Pope Francis made an indirect appeal to the politicians, sent an urge to unity and asked them to take care of the good of the people: “To face the difficulties of this new historical phase, to identify effective solutions and to find the power to put them into practice, the positive collaboration of political, economic, social and spiritual forces must be intensified. There is the need that you all go together and firmly aim not to give up the noblest vocation of the state: to take care of the common good of its people.”
The speech was attended by all the former presidents of Romania, with the exception of Ion Iliescu, by Senate President Calin Popescu Tariceanu, Premier Viorica Dăncilă, Constitutional Court President Valer Dorneanu, numerous other representatives of the institutions the country, politicians, of course senior prelates and representatives of the Church, as well as legend athletes of Romania, including footballer Gheorghe Hagi, pugilist Leonard Doroftei and fencer Mihai Covaliu.
photo: TV capture