This morning His Holiness Pope Francis received in private audience the Standing Committee of the Commission of Bishops’ Conferences of the European Union (COMECE). The COMECE delegation was led by its President Reinhard Cardinal Marx, Archbishop of Munich and Freising. During their half an hour together the Pope, the bishops and their General Secretary discussed the current economic crisis in Europe, its social impact and the challenge to the Church to transmit a message of hope to the citizens of Europe.
The Holy Father showed a profound appreciation of the Christian roots of Europe and asked the bishops to convey a message of encouragement to all who work to further the European project. He emphasised how essential it was to bear witness to God, especially in the current European situation. Pope Francis assured the COMECE bishops of his interest in and support for their mission.