Vatican Radio REPORT: On Saturday morning, Pope Francis received in audience members of the French parliament. A Vatican Radio translation of the full text of his address can be found below:
Mr. President, dear members of Parliament,
I am pleased to receive members of the Senate and national Assembly of the French Republic this morning. Over and above the different political sensibilities which you represent, your presence demonstrates the quality of the relationship between your country and the Holy See.
This meeting is, for me, an opportunity to highlight the relationship of trust which, on the whole, exists in France between leaders of public life and those of the Catholic Church, be it in at a national level, be it at a regional or local level. The principles of secularism which governs the relations between the French State and the various religious denominations should not imply that there is a hostility towards the religious reality, or an exclusion of religions from the social sphere and the debates which enliven them. One can rejoice in the fact that French society is rediscovering proposals made by the Church, which, among other things, offer a certain vision of the person and his or her dignity in light of the common good. The Church desires, therefore, to offer its own particular contribution to the deeper questions which demand a more complete vision of the person and his or her destiny, of society and its destiny. This contribution is collocated not only in the anthropological and social sphere, but in political, economic, and cultural spheres as well.
As elected officials from a nation towards which the eyes of the world are often turned, I believe it to be your responsibility to contribute in an effective and consistent way towards improving the lives of your citizens whom you know through the numerous local contacts you cultivate, and which help you to better know their needs. Your duty is certainly technical and juridical, and involves proposing, amending and abolishing legislation. However, it is also necessary to instil something extra in them, I would say a spirit, a soul, that does not limit itself to reflecting the modalities and ideas of the moment, but which also confers upon them the indispensible quality that elevates and dignifies the human person.
I therefore extend to you my warmest encouragement in fulfilling your mission, always seeking the good of the person and promoting fraternity in your country.
SHARED FROM Vatican Radio