Pope urges Europeans to embrace unity, reject nationalism

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Pope urges Europeans to embrace unity, reject nationalism
Pope urges Europeans to embrace unity, reject nationalism

BOLONGA, Italy (AP) – Pope Francis is urging Europeans not to fear unity and to put aside nationalistic and other self-interests.

Francis didn’t mention the police violence during Catalonia’s independence referendum Sunday on his visit to Bologna. But in a speech to university students, Francis recalled that the European Union was borne out of the ashes of war to guarantee peace.

He warned that conflicts and other interests were now threatening those founding ideals.

Francis said: “Don’t be afraid of unity! May special interests and nationalism not render the courageous dreams of the founders of the European Union in vain.”

The Vatican has indicated it doesn’t support the independence effort in Catalonia, denying a Catalan cleric’s claim earlier that it would immediately recognize an independent Catalonia. Spain’s bishops have urged dialogue in the dispute.

Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (L’Osservatore Romano/ Pool Photo via AP)
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (L’Osservatore Romano/ Pool Photo via AP)
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (L’Osservatore Romano/ Pool Photo via AP)
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (L’Osservatore Romano/ Pool Photo via AP)
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (L’Osservatore Romano/ Pool Photo via AP)
Faithful wait for Pope Francis to celebrate Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (Giorgio Benvenuti/ANSA via AP)
Faithful wait for Pope Francis to celebrate Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (Giorgio Benvenuti/ANSA via AP)
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Pope Francis leads Monsignor Guido Marini, the papal master of liturgical ceremonies, as he celebrates Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Pope Francis is flanked by Monsignor Guido Marini, the papal master of liturgical ceremonies, as he celebrates Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Pope Francis is flollowed by Monsignor Guido Marini, the papal master of liturgical ceremonies, as he arrives to celebrate Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Pope Francis, left, is flanked by Monsignor Guido Marini, the papal master of liturgical ceremonies, as he celebrates Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Pope Francis speaks during a meeting with university students in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (L’Osservatore Romano/ Pool Photo via AP)
Pope Francis is followed by Monsignor Guido Marini, the papal master of liturgical ceremonies, as he arrives to celebrate Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Pope Francis is flanked by Monsignor Guido Marini, the papal master of liturgical ceremonies, as he celebrates Mass at the Renato Dall’Ara stadium in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (AP Photo/Antonio Calanni)
Pope Francis waves after meeting university students in Bologna, Italy, Sunday, Oct. 1, 2017. Pope Francis is on a one-day visit to the northern Italian towns of Cesena and Bologna. (AP Photo/Luca Bruno)
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