Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has welcomed Pope Francis’ visit to the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Tuesday.
Speaking after the Pope addressed MEPs in the parliament, Derry politician Ms Anderson said:
“Pope Francis is head of the Catholic Church and head of state of the Vatican, and is one of the few personalities that has such a broad appeal that reaches policy makers.
“He has publicly challenged poverty and deprivation and promoted social justice.
“It is important he addressed the European Parliament at a time when EU policies have resulted in such misery, poverty and deprivations.
“Pope Francis’ challenge to international capitalism with his remarks that human beings are reduced to cogs in a machine and disposed of when no longer needed are to be welcomed.”
Ms Anderson said that while the EU is a secular project, and none of its institutions are connected to any religion and are in place to serve all equally, the ethical dimension is an important part of the EU’s work.
“Our values on protecting the poor and tackling inequality are laid down in the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights,” she said.