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Pope worried about Europe's 'indifference to Christianity'

The Pope expressed his concern at the processes secularisation in Europe, which seek to "exclude God and Christianity from all expressions of human life".

Speaking at the weekend to participants in the 3rd International Forum if the Alcide de Gasperi Foundation, he identified his "greatest concern for Europe" as the preservation of Europe's Christian heritage.

He said: "It cannot be denied that the Continent sinks its roots both in the Greco-Roman as well as the Judeo-Christian patrimony, which for centuries was its most profound soul."

The Holy Father explained that "a great part of what Europe has produced in the legal, artistic, literary and philosophical fields has the Christian stamp, and it is very difficult to understand and evaluate without a Christian perspective."

"Unfortunately, [there was] a process of secularization in the middle of the last millennium -- intensified since the 18th century -- that tried to exclude God and Christianity from all expressions of human life," the Pope added.

"Thus, the Christian religion has been relegated to the confines of each one's private life," he said. "Isn't it significant, from this point of view, that all explicit reference to religions was removed from the Charter of Europe and, therefore, to Christianity also?