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Pope Francis spoke about the Christian roots of Hungary during his general audience in St. Peter’s Square yesterday (CNA/Daniel Ibanez)

Freedom is under threat in Europe, as people choose consumerism and individualism over building families and community, Pope Francis said yesterday. Source: CNA.

Even today, “freedom is under threat,” the Pope said. “Above all with kid gloves, by a consumerism that anesthetises, where one is content with a little material well-being and, forgetting the past, one ‘floats’ in a present made to the measure of the individual.”

“This is the dangerous persecution of modernity that advances consumerism,” he underlined.

“But when the only thing that counts is thinking about oneself and doing what one likes, the roots suffocate,” he warned. “This is a problem throughout Europe, where dedicating oneself to others, community feeling, the beauty of dreaming together and creating large families are in crisis. All of Europe is in crisis.”

Pope Francis spoke about Europe, its roots, and the problem of consumerism, during his weekly audience with the public.

Speaking about his visit last month to Budapest, he asked those present at the audience to think about “the importance of preserving roots, because only by going deep will the branches grow upwards and bear fruit”.

He began his reflection on the three-day trip to Hungary’s capital city by recalling the country’s Christian roots and the ways those were tested in the 20th century.

“Their faith, as we have heard from the Word of God, has been tested by fire,” he said, noting the atheist persecution in the 1900s, when “Christians were struck down violently, with bishops, priests, religious, and lay people killed or deprived of their freedom.”

“But while attempts were made to cut down the tree of faith, the roots remained intact,” he said, pointing out the steadfastness of the “hidden Church” in Hungary.


Pope Francis: Freedom is under threat in Europe (By Hannah Brockhaus, CNA)