Pope Francis stresses timeless values constantly in his almost daily exhortations to the world, summoning us to honor the better angels of our nature. He is able to smile on all but to say things that sear the conscience of those who act against the goodness he seeks to spread to all people.

Francis addresses the problems of Europe

Today at the Vatican the Pope stood and addressed seated rows of what looked to be mainly white men lining the walls of a great room. Angela Merkel was there and may have shared a moment of shared agreement with the Pope.

Both Merkel and Pope Francis have stood against walls of opposition for tolerance and respect for all persons. Also present was Beata Szydlo, prime minister of Poland.

Embrace a multi-cultural world

The Pope minced no words, warning Europe not to regard common ties as able to withstand forces of evil. “Today’s prosperity seems to have clipped the continent’s wings and lowered its gaze,” Francis told the leaders. Urging tolerance and empathy, the Pope added that a viable future involves accepting a multi-cultural world.

The Pope lamented dividedness and called the leaders to address the poverty and destitution that result from warfare and refugee status. Europe has been in the path of a huge influx of refugees from the Middle East.

This has given fodder to politicians on the right who have campaigned on platforms that are based on sowing fear, resentment, and even hatred.

An anniversary

Tomorrow will mark the 60th anniversary of the 1957 Treaty of Rome which led eventually to the creation of the EU.

Things are uneasy now. Both Poland and Greece have been among nations still hurt by austerity imposed by the financial crisis. The Rome meeting is aimed at producing a declaration for a united Europe that can move forward without one of its most powerful countries, Great Britain.

Ominous Papal warning

The New York Times account ends with a clear warning which the Pope made in an interview with El Pais. Hitler did not steal power, Francis told the Spanish paper. He was elected.