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Pope Francis and The European Union

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On being elected Pope on 13 March 2013, the Argentinian Jesuit Jorge Bergoglio became the first non-European to inherit the see of Rome in almost a thousand three hundred years.
Now four years a European bishop, albeit a unique one, Pope Francis has grown into this part of his new role with remarkable ease. His ministry as pontiff is to the whole world, yet Europe is the theatre in which he operates day to day. Moreover, Pope Francis has quickly made clear that he feels he has a particular mission, as pastor, to a continent in crisis, to a political project at a cross-roads and to that family of nation states which make up the EU and among whom, as Bishop
of Rome, he now lives. He is quite self-assured in transmitting a message, borrowing the words of one of the EU founding fathers Alcide De Gasperi, to ‘our dear beloved continent.’