Vatican lauds the euro as 'a stimulus for greater unity'
His Grace is reminded that this New Year’s Eve marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of the euro coins and notes. It is easy to pour scorn over the BBC, the FT, the Guardian or poor Michael Heseltine for their europhiliac obsessions. But what may be easily (or purposely) overlooked is the boundless enthusiasm (Gr. 'inspired by God') which arose from the Throne of St Peter in Rome. ‘Euro in the Vatican gets Pope's blessing,’ bleated The Telegraph even before the coins were minted.
And a special ‘Celebrative Silver Coin’ was minted (‘Europe, a project for peace and brotherhood’). Pope John Paul II addressed the faithful pilgrims gathered in Saint Peter's Square regarding the introduction of the Euro, saying:
I extend a special greeting of peace and of prosperity to the Nations of the European Union that today, with a single new currency, have reached an historical goal. I very much hope that this will favour the full development of the citizens in the various countries. May justice and solidarity grow throughout Europe for the advantage of the entire human family!Historic goal? The ‘full development’ of citizens?
According to a Wikileaks cable from the US Embassy in the Vatican to the State Department in Washington, the Vatican’s Finance Minister Cardinal Sergio Sebastiani said the euro can be seen as a kind of guiding light ‘so that it can overcome the barriers of past divisions and become a stimulus for greater unity among the nations’. It notes: ‘The introduction of the euro is actively supported by the Vatican for political reasons rather than economic reasons’. It adds: ‘Throughout his pontificate Pope John Paul II has consistently preached of a Christian Europe stretching from the Atlantic coast to the Ural mountains.’ And then we read: ‘He is likely to regard the introduction of euro notes and coins as another instrument towards the realization of the dream.’
That dream is of a united Roman Catholic empire stetching 'from the Atlantic to the Urals'. And it remains the religio-political objective under the pontificate of Benedict XVI (eg here and here). His Grace will say no more, lest the mere reporting of these (inconvenient) facts incite the usual suspects to the same tedious ad hominem.