Yesterday Pope Francis met with 27 European Union heads of state and government who gathered in Rome to mark and celebrate the 60th Anniversary of signing the Treaty of Rome.
This Treaty was originally signed within the broader context of a continent emerging from war, experiencing political tension, polarisation, and social deprivation. The Treaty sought to bring greater prosperity through political and economic stability, dignity and freedom with the establishment of the EEC which duly became the European Union.
As we celebrate the signing of the Treaty of Rome this weekend, we are increasingly conscious that we are the children and grandchildren of this unifying vision that has ennobled and empowered its member states.
There is no doubt that the journey has been difficult and we continue to face many challenges across Europe and within our own country at this time which threaten in new ways the peace, dignity and welfare of all citizens. Surely the legacy of the Treaty of Rome is to be found in continuing the work begun by previous generations who courageously and prophetically sought to establish a better future for all.
Living, as we do, on the foundations laid by the Treaty of Rome, there is a constant need to protect and foster the rights of all human beings within our society lest we lose those freedoms and values so highly esteemed.
· Bishop Noel Treanor is Bishop of Down & Connor and a member of the Commission for Social Issues and International Affairs of the Irish Catholic Bishops’ Conference.
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