Pope Francis has signed a decree recognizing the “heroic virtues” of French politician Robert Schumann, considered one of the founders of what is now the European Union. Thus, Schumann, who died in 1963, acquires the status of “Venerable”. It can eventually be sanctified, a process that can take decades.
In the 1950s, Schumann along with other great statesmen such as Konrad Adenauer (Germany), Jean Monnet (France) and Alcide de Gasperi (Italy), laid the foundations of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), which is considered the early predecessor of the European Union.
The idea was that international economic cooperation and the promotion of democracy would prevent European nations from waging devastating wars with each other again. Over time, this cooperation will continue to expand and will also take on an increasingly administrative character. The European Economic Community, the successor to ECSC, transformed into the European Union in 1993.
Schumann was a devout Catholic and his efforts to counter the new wars in Europe had already earned him credit from previous popes. The Pope is the only one who can sanctify anyone.
Before that, it must be proven that Schumann performed at least one miracle. He can then be beatified. If another miracle is attributed to him and the Pope formally agrees to be venerated by the Church, then he will be holy. Often a miracle in the context of sanctification is the healing of a sick person that cannot be explained medically.
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