- Jan 18, 2020
In the wake of the Brexit earthquake, Catholic leaders across Europe have expressed concern that the U.K.’s exit from the EU threatens European unity, but have also said the result is a wake-up call for the EU to rethink its priorities.
In two perceptive speeches, one in Strasbourg in 2014 and another for the Charlemagne Prize earlier this year, Pope Francis warned that treating people as mere “cogs in a machine” has disastrous consequences — and the Brexit result shows how right he was.
In a wide-ranging news conference on Sunday, Pope Francis said Christians should apologize anytime “there are people we could have defended and we didn’t,” insisted that “there’s only one pope” despite recent talk of an expanded papacy, and denied that creating a commission necessarily “opens the door” to women deacons.
In a week with a papal trip, the Brexit vote, the aftermath of the Orlando shootings, and more, plenty of important Catholic news was overshadowed — from sex abuse reform and an apology to the LGBT community, as well as charges of corruption in a pet papal charity.
On day one of his June 24-26 trip to Armenia, Pope Francis hailed a new peace deal in Colombia, avoided taking a strong position on the U.K.’s decision to exit the European Union, and praised the Armenian Apostolic Church for its openness to closer ecumenical relations.
In a seismic Referendum, the United Kingdom has voted 52-48 per cent to leave the European Union. As an exercise in discerning solutions and building consensus, it was a disaster. Could the UK have learned something from Pope Francis’s synod?