Wednesday, 18 May 2011

‘Founding Father’ waiting for a miracle

Robert Schuman, an early architect of the European Union, has hit an obstacle on his way to becoming a Catholic saint due to the lack of a miracle.

Schuman, a former French foreign minister was in 1960 dubbed a "founding father" of the Union by the European Parliament in a title recalling the "fathers" of the Catholic church such as St Augustine and St Gregory. The Institut Saint-Benoit, a foundation in Montingy-les-Metz, France, where Schuman spent much of his life, was set up in 1988 to promote his candidacy for sainthood. The foundation believes that Schuman is an "exemplary Christian" both in terms of his personal life and the "holiness of his politics".

The Vatican's embassy to the EU in Brussels has said however that: "We are still waiting for a miracle. One miracle is required for beatification and two for sainthood." Recently Johanna Touzel, a spokeswoman for Comece, a Brussels-based liaison bureau between the Catholic church and the EU institutions, has pointedly said "it has certainly helped" in past relations that the three top men in the EU capital are Christians.

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