Andrea Riccardi commented on the speech by Pope Francis during the award of the prestigious Charlemagne Prize. From the Sala Regia of the Vatican Apostolic Palace, the founder of the Community of Sant’Egidio – who received the “Karlpreis” in 2009 – spoke of a strong message of hope that looks to the future and to the new generations. “The appeal of Francis, his heartfelt question ‘what has happened to you, Europe?’, requires a broad and generous response, far from selfishness and from the walls we are witnessing in recent times. His ‘dream’ of Europe, he repeated several times – reminiscent of the ‘I Have a Dream’ of Martin Luther King – urges us to continue to dream with him, of a Europe without walls, but with many bridges to build.
A Europe in which – as has urged us – there is room for everyone: the young, the elderly, migrants and families, along with the rights of every citizen to a more dignified life and of work. But Francis has also shown us the tools to realize this dream: to be able to integrate, communicate and create, the three capacities that must feed this new humanism. In other words, to go beyond any populism and lack of vision, the only way to go if we want to give a future and a new youthfulness to our Europe.”