Pope Francis to the European Parliament
On Tuesday, November 25, 2014, Pope Francis visited the European Parliament in Strasbourg, France. In his address, the Pope spoke about human dignity, governmental institutions, and the importance of the family.
In order for a nation to have hope, Pope Francis instructed, not only does the centrality of the human person need to be acknowledged but the gifts of each man and woman need to be nurtured as well. Settings in which each individual’s talents are shaped and flourished need to be invested in, he said. The first area that requires this investment is education, which the Pope stated begins with the family.
The family is “the fundamental cell and most precious element of any society,” Pope Francis declared. The necessary elements for fostering hope in the future are found within the family, which is “united, fruitful and indissoluble.” If the family is not a solid basis for a society, then “the future ends up being built on sand, with dire social consequences.”
Finally, the Pope stated that not only does this stressing of the importance of the family give “direction and hope to new generations, but also to many of our elderly, who are often forced to live alone and are effectively abandoned because there is no longer the warmth of a family hearth able to accompany and support them.”