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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE French Chair's top Diplomat Mattei to EF on Russia: 6/2019 Timing OK, but Change needs Move

CoE French Chair's top Diplomat Mattei to EF on Russia: 6/2019 Timing OK, but Change needs Move

Written by ACM
mercoledì, 15 maggio 2019
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*Strasbourg/European area/Angelo Marcopolo/- Experienced French Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the CoE, Jean-Baptiste Mattei, replying to "Eurofora"s Questions on the issue of Russia, at the Eve of a Crucial CoE's Foreign Ministers' Summit in Finland, just before France takes over the Presidency of the 47 Member Countries-strong Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organisation of Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, for the Period of May - November 2019, confirmed that June was a Good Timing for a Solution, but also added that it's not yet clear if Ukraine's current political changes might bring, or not, a new stance on that point, and suggested that Moscow could facilitate things by one or another positive gesture.

Meanwhile, after French President Emmanuel Macron, at a recent meeting with CoE's Secretary General Thornbjorn Jagland, spoke in favour of CoE's PanEuropean Dimension, i.e. including key Non-EU Countries, (mainly Russia, but also Turkey, Ukraine, Georgia, Azerbaidjan, Armenia, etc), as well as for Moscow's Membership, with due Respect to CoE's Principles, Mattei announced that Solving the Russian Issue would be the "First Priority" of the incoming French Presidency.

Not only Because of the 33 Millions € of Russia's Annual Financial Contribution to CoE's 430 Millions-strong Budget, ("Freezed" by Moscow since 2017, in Reaction to Sanctions imposed to Russian MEPs by a Controversial Vote in CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, including even DePrivation of the Right to Vote, Speak and/or Participate in leading organs, etc, on the Pretext of Crimea's "Annexion", that "many States consider illegal", as he recalled for what Moscow considers as a Peaceful Popular Referendum for Crimea's ReUnification with Russia, where it belonged for Centuries, after a Violent illegal "Putch" at Kiev topped a Democraticaly Elected Government and slamed an EU-Sponsored Peace Agreement just concluded between All Ukranian factions, including for Amnesty, National Unity Government and New Elections, etc). That could be Faced by several CoE's Economies, followed, in case of prolonged No-Solution, also by a Plan including to Reduce Staff, etc.

But much More Because of the crucial Importance that has CoE's main "Specific" Character, with a Wide, "Pan-European" Dimension (Comp. Supra), and, particularly, the Need to Protect some 140 Millions of People's Human Rights by the ECHR and other CoE's key Monitoring bodies, whose Case-Law is mostly Applied by Moscow, as also Warned several Critical NGOs, who Risk to Lose Access to EuroJudges, if Russia might be pushed to Leave the CoE, Mattei reminded.

 

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- In Addition, the Top French Diplomat Agreed with "Eurofora" that "there is also a Problem of Timing", since a Solution on June 2019 would be the Best, so that Russian MEPs might Participate, then, in the forthcoming Election of CoE's Secretary General by the Parliamentary Assembly : Otherwise, Russia might find a Pretext, Afterwards, by Claiming that it was Hindered even to participate in the Election of CoE's future Head, for the Period of 2019-2024,  as Ambassador Mattei warned. (+A supplementary Point being, also, the Fact that, in case of Non-Solution extended even AFTER June 2019, a ProLonged Blockade of the above-mentioned Financial "Freeze", might provoke Serious Problems even for Russia's Membership in the CoE : Comp. Supra).

- But, Nowadays, "it's Too Early to say" yet what exactly would be the Stance of the New President of Ukraine, Zelensky, recently Elected : He hasn't yet appointed a Government, not even named a Foreign Minister, etc., so that it's Hard to Tell now what will be his main Intentions on that Issue tomorrow. So, at least for the Time being, I guess that a "Continuity" of Ukraine's current Policy might be the most probable, Mattei estimated.

- While Zelensky's official mandate Starts from June 3, the CoE's French Presidency's Top Diplomat agrees with "Eurofora", that, in case of No Solution for June 2019, the forthcoming Parliamentary Elections in Ukraine, until now Scheduled for October 2019, could still influence the political game, particularly towards a "Continuity" too.

- But he does Not Exclude explicitly an "Eurofora"'s hypothesis that, After those Elections, just Before the CoE's French Presidency concludes on November 2019, (f.ex. on October, when French President Macron is expected to return to Strasbourg, during the CoE Assembly's, autumn Plenary Session, when the Organisation's 70th Anniversary will be celebrated), a decisive move might be really made :

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- Significantly, Mattei even speculates about a possible "Anticipated" Election for Ukraine's Parliament, Earlier then initially scheduled, (which, obviously, might facilitate such an alternative scenario)... This is also considered possible by "Wikipedia", which warns that " it may be held Earlier, if a Snap election is called".

 

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- However, he also believes that, in order to have real Chances to succeed, Russia should better make some kind of "Positive Gesture" vis a vis the CoE, beforehand, as Mattei suggested, in conclusion of his Reply to "Eurofora"s relevant Question, (Comp. Supra).

- It could be something about implementing the "Minsk Agreements" (on Ukraine), or Prisoners, "Missing" Persons, (in Donbas), perhaps on Human Rights inside Russia, on the occasion of CoE Commissioner's forthcoming Visit to Moscow, etc., he guessed, inter alia, replying also to a subsequent question.

- Indeed, the Latest move by Vladimir Putin, to Ease issuing Russian Passports for Russian Speaking People in Eastern Ukraine's pro-Autonomy Regions of Donetsk-Luhansk, didn't really help to bring a better mood between Moscow and Kiev, Mattei critically pointed out, speaking of a controversial measure, recently denounced also by CoE Assembly's President.

It was justified mainly on "Humanitarian" Grounds, Moscow replied, meanwhile. Particularly as that measure followed an even More Controversial Decision by Kiev's out-going Poroshenko Government, to Oblige all Minorities, traditionaly Speaking Russian, Polish, Hungarian, German, Bulgarian, Romanian, Greek, etc. throughout various Regional/Local areas of Ukraine since Historical Times, to suddenly switch over to the Ukranian Language only, in all deals with Public Authorities in everyday life, as never before in that country...

That last-minute Poroshenko's move was strongly Criticized, inter alia, also by MEPs from various Countries and/or Political Groups, at a special "Side-Event" Meeting organized in Strasbourg during CoE Assembly's plenary session of Spring 2019, last April, including also Austrian MEPs who Reminded the Fact that in the period of Multi-Ethnic Austro-Hungarian Empire, in Wien's Assembly more than 11 working Languages were used, (as also in Multi-Ethnic former USSR, etc).

But an immediat Surprizing Reaction by the Recently Elected new Ukranian President Zelensky, officialized in a "Press Release", went Further  :

- "The Russian Passport gives the right to be Arrested for Peaceful Demonstration, ..to Never have Free Elections, to Forget Human Rights...", he denounced. On the Contrary, "We (Kiev) will give Ukranian Citizenship to ... Victims of Authoritarian and Corrupted Regimes, in any Countries, and particularly to Russians who suffer the most", he claimed. Because "Ukranian Citizenship is Liberty... We will serve as an Exemplary Democracy", he vowed.

- "Fine. Let's just Do it !", might spontaneously react many naive readers, enthousiastic.

But, there is a Problem : Astonishingly, by an incredible Coincidence, such an officially "Pro-Freedom" message, was, in Fact, send from ...Turkey !  Notoriously the Worst Nightmare in persisting Massive Violations of Human Rights, going from Torture and Inhuman/Degrading Treatments, up to Deprivations of Freedom of Speech, Persecutions of Jounalists, Dismissal of Judges, UnFair Trials, Abusive ImPrisonments, unpunished Killings, (etc) : Indeed, Zelensky was, curiously, eating "Kebab" at Turkey's "Bodrum", where some had pushed him to spend "Holidays", during a (Tragi-?) "Comic" Festival that Week-End, as "Paris-Match" newspaper reveals... Obviously Bad for Credibility, particularly on Human Rights' issues...

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However, it seems also true that Zelensky's succesful Election was mainly due to the fact that his Promisses Focused particularly on Fighting against Corruption, and for Peace at the Donbas' Eastern Regions,. (I.e. there where Poroshenko had notoriously Failed, and even become dangerously counterproductive, deceiving many from his former allies).

+ In Addition, the Experienced and Famous former Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko, (who had also Suffered in the Prisons of Janukovich), had been Spectacularly Surfing at the Top of all Polls, during Years, as the Most Popular Political Leader of Ukraine, until Recently, with a Program (and Posters) Highlighting the Key-Word: -"Peace" !

++ The First Polls, published After the Presidential Elections, clearly show a Big Boost for the New President's Party, and an even Bigger Growth for the "Opposition Platform - For Life", who Both claim to Focus on Peace too.

+++ Meanwhile, Between the 1st and the 2nd Round of the Presidential Election, and After a Press Campaign of several Months by "Eurofora", (including neglected key Facts on Important Issues, Questions/Replies with ECHR President and CoE's Human Rights Director, etc), the former MEP and National Hero of Ukraine, later fallen in disgrace and imPrisoned also to Kiev's Jails, after those of Moscow, when she started to speak louder about the Need for Dialogue with the pro-Autonomist Regions of Donetsk/Luhansk in order to make Peace, and suddenly Accused to plot ...brutal Mass Killings and a violent Putch, when she Denounced an Ukranian Establishment's Politician for having launched those Mysterious Deadly "Snipers" who notoriously Killed Both Demonstrators and Policemen, provoking Violent Clashes at Kiev back on February 2014, which topped the Elected Government and Cancelled an EU-sponsored Peace Agreement signed by All Sides, (See : ... + ..., etc), i.e. Nadeza Savchenko, was Liberated, on April 15.

Even if Poroshenko's Jails scandalously Hindered her to Participate in the Political Debates of the Presidential Election, (for which Savchenko had even made Hunger Strikes in Prison), nevertheless, she should, now, at least, participate into the forthcoming Parliamentary Elections, hopefully Adding also another Voice for Peace.

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In such a Context, obviously, the alleged Threats that Out-Going Poroshenko's Foreign Minister Pavlo Klimkine has reportedly launched recently, for Ukraine to Drop the Minsk Agreements if Russia is fully re-integrated into the CoE, as a collegue asked Yesterday in Paris the French Foreign Ministry's Spokesman during the Daily Press Point, were soberly Dismissed by the incoming CoE's Presidency's diplomacy :

- "The Commitments undertaken by the Parties for the Implementation of Minsk's Agreements, Must be Respected", as such, reads the Official Reply.

- Inter alia, also because "they should Not be linked to the (current and future) Situation inside the CoE", the French Foreign Ministry replied, clearly dismissing a useless and tricky, last-minute provocation.

+ It simply reminded French President Macron's recent Statement that "it's Important to Find a Solution allowing for Russia to stay inside the CoE, with all the Rights and Obligations attached to that", and, therefore, France calls all CoE's Members to support the current efforts made in this regard by the (outgoing) Presidency of Finland", (on 15-17 May 2019, at the Helsinki CoE's Summit, with the participation of New French State Secretary for European affairs, Amelie de Montchalin.

I.e. just before Paris takes over the PanEuropean Organisation's rotating Presidency, 22 Years after the Historic CoE's 1997 Summit of Heads of State/Government in Strasbourg, which had been Marked also by the Creation of "Trilateral" semestrial Summits between France, Germany and Russia : then = Chirac, Kohl and Yeltsin, of obvious Gaullist inspiration concerning a "Great Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals", (Comp. "Eurofora" co-Founder's relevant Publications from the spot, then, to "TCWeekly"),which remained United, until the Deadly, Damaging and Dangerous Division of Europe, provoked by the Ukranian Conflict on 2014.

 

=> Time for Change ? 

 

 

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Benedict's "Source" to revitalize Europe : - "The World needs Hope", Pope says, calling to relaunch E.U. via Human Rights !

Paris - Lourdes - Strasbourg : 12 - 17 September 2008.

The vital need to re-launch Europe can be succesfully met by defending fundamental Human Rights of the People, said Pope Benedict XVI in his 1st speech in France, at his meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy, who currently chairs the EU.

Sarkozy replied by welcoming Christian and other religions' contribution to indispensable Public Debates on crucial issues which affect Human Dignity, Europe, even Humankind, as BioGenetics.

- "When Europeans will see and personally experience that the inalienable Rights of the Human Person .., those of their free Education, their Family life, their Work, ..their Religious Rights, ..are respected and promoted, then, these Europeans will fully understand the greatness of the European construction and will be actively involved in it", Benedict XVI stressed.

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- "It's important that during France's EU Presidency, there is, indeed, a desire for the Church to contribute to protect Human Person's integrity, and I think that there is also a growing Conscience, beyond any polemics, to defend Human Rights, and, thus, contribute to ensure respect for Human Dignity", added to "EuroFora" the Pope's Spokesman, Vatican's Press Director Federico Lombardi.

- "Nobody really told us here that Lisbon Treaty was good for this or that reason to the People. They only told us that we "had" to ratify it, and tried to scare us, but failed", said 2 Irish pilgrims to "EuroFora", after 2 Majority Abstentions in 1999 and 2004 EU Elections and 3 "NO" to Referenda in France and the Netherlands in 2005, followed by the Irish "No" in 2008, during a Decade of EU Crisis since the controversial Turkey EU- bid (1999-2008).

More than .."224 cases of Murders, Torture, "Disappearancies" or Destructions" by "agents of Turkish Security forces", where all those responsible for so heavy Crimes still remain scandalously unpunished, despite regular condemnations of Ankara by Strasbourg''s European Court of Human Rights from 1996 to 2008, were examined the same week by CoE's Ministers, who decided to launch a fresh call "urging" the Turkish Authorities to end this dangerous "virtual Impunity" of criminals, without comparison to European countries.

- "Why not Ukraine, instead of Turkey ?", asked EuroFora a Journalist from "Kiev : the city where it's enough to cross the streets in order to realize that it's a European town", as Sarkozy recently said, before solemnly declaring this week, together with Ukranian President Jushenko and EU Commission's chair Baroso, EU's "recognition that Ukraine is a fully European Country, linked to Europe by culture and History".

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Europe's "Christian roots" and Values, with "openess and mutual respect" to other cultures and beliefs, were highlighted by Sarkozy in harmony with Benedict XVI.

The Human person should be protected "from his inception until his natural death", added the Pope, faithful to BioEthic principles defended by his predecessor and collaborator, John Paul II, of topical importance in France, Europe and the World today, as Sarkozy announced :

- "Fast and important progres in Genetic Science and procreation raise delicate BioEthical Questions to our Democracies", which "involve our view of Humans and Life, and can lead to Social Mutations. That's why they cannot remain only a business of experts", hestressed.

- "It's Politician's responsibility to set a proper framework for such Public Debates", as "France will do on BioEthics in 2009". "Religious and Philosophic traditions must take part, with their ideas and centuries' long experience : A positive Laicity is an open invitation to Dialogue", he said.

- "France engaged in Europe at another Debate on how to make Financial Capitalism more moral", and the "Social doctrine of the Church fits well what is at stake in modern Globalized Economy"

- "But, a "Real Dialogue is not for an elite of a Globalized world : It penetrates deep into the People : That's why Churches should actively participate : .. It's bringing New Oxygen to Public Debates", stressed Sarkozy.

- "Democracy must not be cut off Reason", which is "compatible with Faith", thanks to "the meeting between Christianism and Greek philosophy ", he added, referring to Pope's views. "It means to advance with logic arguments, search what's best and respect common principles of thinking :... It's an everyday need for Public Administration and the Political Debate", he added.
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Pope Benedict's 1st visit to France looked like the start of a brillant, manifold demonstration that this was well-founded and could become true in the lives of the People : After its Theoretical foundations unfolded at a "speech to the world of Culture", inaugurating Bernadins' cultural centre, and its dogmatic instrument shaped at an address to the Clergy in the Historic Notre Dame' Cathedral, he started to resolutely reach out to the People :

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The move went upwards like Bach's music : Begining with a call to more than fifteen thousand enthousiastic Youngsters gathered at Notre Dame's parvis with overnight celebrations, it gained strength in an impressive open-air Mass at Paris'central Invalides'area facing Alexander III's bridge, attended by more than 150.000 people, French Prime Minister Fillon, many Ministers, Foreign Ambassadors, etc, and culminated in a series of pan-European Mega-meetings at Lourdes 150th anniversary, together with all French Bishops, EU Commission's vice-Chairman Barrot, and some 200.000 enthousiastic People from all over Europe and beyond : After a Sea of Lights astonishingly braved Saturday Night's rain, an open-air mass at riverside fields among Pyrenees' Mountains Sunday Morning, was followed on Monday by a Sea of "Compassion" to those facing Health or Life threats, surrounded by an endless gathering of People, whose gigantic dimensions obviously surprised the organisers..

Meanwhile, Benedict had the occasion to speak to the French Priests at Notre Dame of Paris, and with the Bishops at Lourdes, where they prepare a crucial November plenary meeting, due to take important decisions on imminent EU debates and choices about Europe's identity, BioEthics, etc.
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- "A new way of thinking about Laicity has become necessary", agreed the Pope with President Sarkozy at Elysee. While keeping the "distinction between Politics and Religion, to guarantee Citizens' Liberty", "religion is important for shaping Consciousness and contributing, together with others, to create a basic Ethical Consensus in society".

- "Searching Essential realities", (as "God" for christians), needs "Speech : "Logos" in greek, i.e. Reason", "able to shape a Community","with creative work transforming Human History". But "Dialogue" is instrumental for "Reason", because it's the way to "search" for Truth", in "Liberty", according to Greek Platonic Philosophy, with Socrates' dialectics. "Reason" implies "Spirit and Liberty", hence the polyphonic "Music" of "Dialogue", in a responsible, "well balanced" way, to avoid "destruction".

Starting with a "Dialogue between christians and intellectual or artistic movements" highlighted at Bernardins' Cultural Center. with former Presidents Chirac and Giscard d'Estain, UNESCO's chair Anastassopoulos, etc., as well as representatives of Muslim Communities, (including a separate Turkish), after contacts with Jews at Vatican's Embassy, the Pope turned towards the People :

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To French Priests : "Church built on the rock" !
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- Speaking to thousands of French Priests at Notre Dame's Cathedral, Benedict highlighted a solid "Church built on the Rock" of conscious and active persons, transmitting "a lively, energetic and sharp" "God's Speech, actively working on Human History".

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"Praying together" with "representatives of Christian Churches and ecclesiastic communities", (as Orthodoxes, Armenians, Protestants, etc), he called "to reinforce the Unity of the church", against "any form of Division", around Holy Spirit', "the Word","Christ's Justice", and "Love" to fellow- humans : Essentials which "resume all holy scripts", as he said.

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To Young People : "New Horizons"
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To some 15.000 enthousiastic Young People at Notre Dame's parvis, along Seine's river, Benedict spoke about "the Energy of the Holy Spirit" and "the Mystery of the Cross" : - "The Holy Spirit opens New Horizons to Human Intelligence .. and makes it conscious of the real greatness of Christ's sacrifice, dying and resurecting for World's life".

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Some "may slander you as crazy, laugh at you, or even persecute you. But, "the Holy Cross is a symbol of God's love", and "givesmoral strength" : "Witness of People's pains, it's at the same time, a precious, unique expression of their Hopes", he told them at Paris' dawn.

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Invalides' plateau : "People chosen to become God's friends"
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At the 1st open-air Mass in Paris' center area of Invalides, facing the Grand Palais, along the river Seine, during an impressive gathering of more than 150.000, French Prime Minister Fillon, Ministers Alliot-Marie, Bachelot, Dati, Jouyet, Assembly's President Accoyer, Senate's Chair Poncelet, former 1st Lady Bernadette Chirac, former Prime Minister Raffarin, many foreign Ambassadors, and other political personalities were present. (While earlier, from the Socialist opposition, Paris' Mayor Delanoye, artist Robert Hussein a.o. assisted at the Elysee meeting).

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But the "Entry Song" focused on the "People chosen to become God's Friends". The September 11 mass was Dedicated to "Saint Chrysostomus, that great priest of Constantinople", with his "wonderful eloquence and great courage to face challenges", who "made out of despaired and godless people, a people of brothers", opening a possibility to "become all one complete entity", as Pope Benedict reminded.

- "Reason never enters in real contradiction with Faith", stressed Pope Benedict, who prepared his speeches for France during a short Summer rest at Brixen/Bressanone's Seminar, whose Library honors both "Faith and Science".. - "We must use not only our Reason, but also our Faith" : "Get away from Idolatry", "cupidity", "avidity for money, power or even knowledge deviating from essential aims", and other "falses appearances". and "build your Home on the Rock", "with the force that Holy Spirit gives to those who let it act in them", he said to the People of Paris.

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Benedict at Lourdes : - "Become Light (even) in the Dark !"
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- "Our World needs Hope", stressed Pope Benedict, addressing an impressive TorchLight procession at Lourdes' sanctuaries, where a Sea of Lights held by Hundreds of Thousands of People gathered at Pyrenee's Mountains from all over Europe astonishingly kept their flames despite a heavy Rain at a windy Dark Night...

- "150 years earlier (1858 - 2008), ..here, in the cave, ... a simple young girl, Bernadette .. saw a Light". "The everyday life of her Family was, however, made of Misery, Sadness, Sickness, Misunderstandings, Rejection and Poverty... It was hard to live in Jail". Today, "we think to all Human Beings who suffer : The innocent Victims who face Violence, War, Terrorism, Hunger, Injustices, Catastrophes, Hate and Oppression, Violations of Human Dignity and of their fundamental Rights, of their Liberty to act and think. We also think to those who face Familial problems, sufferings from Unemployment, Sickness, Infirmity, Isolation, or their situation as Immigrants, without forgetting those who suffer and die for the name of Christ", he said.

- "But the Shadows of the Earth, did not hinder Sky's Light to shine : <<The Light shines in the Dark>>" ..."A Way full of Light opens in Human History even in its Darkest moments" : ..."As Night falls, Christ tels us : <<- Keep your Lamps alight !>>."Hold a Light while walking in the Night .. sums up our condition as Christians on their way : "We need light, and we are called to become Light !", Benedict stressed to People setting in motion Lights, Flags and Songs with enthousiasm.

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"<<- She looked at me as a Person, who speaks to another Person>>, the poor girl had noted."Light emerges from such a Dialogue", stressed the Pope : "A small Flame called Hope, Compassion and Tenderness dwells inside those who return after being moved by Lourdes' experience". "Christ .. entrusts us with the Mission to let the Light of Charity shine : To make of our Prayers an Act of Love to our brothers and to Fraternal Charity", he concluded.

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