change language
you are in: home - friendsh...the poor - immigrati e rom - immigran... gypsies - the comm...the roma - "you are...dict xvi contact usnewsletterlink

Support the Community


"You are in the heart of the Church!" The Roma of Europe in audience with Pope Benedict XVI

printable version

"You are in the heart of the Church!"
The Roma of Europe in audience with Pope Benedict XVII

June 11, 2011

This morning, in Nervi hall, Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI received a delegation of about 2,000 Roma, Sinti and other gipsy groups from all over Europe. An unprecedented event, made possible by the collaboration between the Community of Sant'Egidio, the Pontifical Council for Pastoral Care of Migrants, and Fondazione Migrantes.




Photogallery ►

On behalf of all the pilgrims were given four speeches:

Testimony of Ceija Stojka
(An Austrian Roma woman, a survivor of the concentration camps of Auschwitz - Birkenau and Bergen - Belsen)


Testimony of Sister Atanazia Hobulova
(Slovak Roma, became Byzantine monks)


Testimony of Charles Mikic
(A Roma Rudari youth. Despite being raised in a gypsy camp, he studied and demonstrates that the youth wish a different future for themselves)


Testimony of Pamela Suffer
(She is an Italian Catholic woman in the group of Sinti. Young mother, she attests her devotion to the children and the faith of her people)

After thanking for the testimonies, the Pope addressed the pilgrims:

"... You have come to Rome from all over Europe to show your faith and your love for Christ, for the Church - which is a home for all of you - and for the Pope. The Servant of God Pope Paul VI addressed Gypsies in 1965, these unforgettable words: "In the Church you are not on the borders, but in some respects, you are at the core, you are in the heart. You are in the heart of the Church". Today I can repeat, with affection: you are inside the Church! You are a beloved part of the pilgrim People of God and you remind us that "here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come"(Hebrews 13:14). (...)

Your history is complex and, in some periods, painful. You are a people who in past centuries has not lived nationalist ideologies, has not aspired to own a land or dominate other people. You have been left homeless and ideally have considered the entire continent as your home. (...)

"I invite you, dear friends, to write together a new page of history for your people and for Europe!"

During my visit to the concentration camp of Auschwitz-Birkenau, May 28th, 2006, I prayed for the victims of persecution and I bowed in front of the inscription in Romanes which remembers your fallen. The European consciousness can not forget so much pain! Never again will your people be subjected to harassment, rejection and contempt! For your part, always sought justice, the rule of law, reconciliation and try to never be the cause of suffering for the others! (...)

The full speech of Pope Benedict XVI

At the end, a group of Roma girls performed a gypsy dance. 

 After the hearing the President of the Community of Sant'Egidio, Marco Impagliazzo, said:
 “The Pope's hearing with representatives of the Roma population was an historical event deeply joyful, moving and peaceful. An event that didn't elude the suffering and persecution experienced by Roma in the twentieth century.
The Pope has asked Europe not to forget so much grief.
After this hearing, from the pain of a story of suffering, it has born the hope that Roma can live together in peace and security with all European peoples.
The Pope's invitation to write together a new page in the history of the Roma minority in Europe remains a decisive word from which we can start again together, Roma and non Roma, to build a society of coexistence.”


The report of TG1

Immigrati, rifugiati 
Rom e Sinti


June 9 2011

Rome, June 11: Audience of Roma in Europe with the Pope. Vigil and delivery of a memory of Blessed Ceferino

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | CA | RU
February 24 2011

Genoa (Italy): In the Roma field of Molassana, a visit of the president of the Community of Sant'Egidio

IT | EN | DE | FR
February 8 2011

The Cardinal Vicar of Rome, Agostino Vallini, presides the prayer vigil for Roma children died in a fire

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL
September 28 2010

Rome: Prayer with the Roma and Sinti, to remember Mario and all Roma children who died in Rome in the Basilica of San Bartolomeo

IT | EN | DE | FR | NL | RU
May 31 2010

Rome: "Right to school, right to the future". An inter-ethnic feast concluding the second year of scholastic integration for Roma children project

IT | EN | ES | DE | FR | PT | CA | NL | ID
March 21 2009

International Day against racism: in Rome a "Spring Day Party" to say no to racism and anti-gitanism.

IT | EN | DE | ID
all news
April 13 2012
Radio Vaticana

41ma Giornata internazionale di rom e sinti - stop alla "politica degli sgomberi"

April 11 2012
Radio Vaticana

41ma Giornata internazionale di rom e sinti - stop alla "politica degli sgomberi"

April 3 2012
Avvenire - Ed. Milano

Quelle borse di studio ai ragazzi Rom

March 30 2012
Corriere della Sera

Il rapporto e i diritti. Il caso Rom alla Camera

February 9 2012
La Repubblica - Ed. Napoli

I rom, nomadi per forza

December 7 2011

Riccardi: i campi rom sono da superare

all press releases
September 21 2017 | OSWIECIM, POLAND

Quinta edizione del convegno internazionale 'Giovani Europei per un mondo senza violenza'

All meetings of prayer for peace

Intervento di Branislav Savic durante la visita di Papa Francesco alla Comunità di Sant'Egidio

CAMPI ROM RISCATTO CERCASI , Avvenire 2 agosto 2013

Per un mondo senza razzismo – per un mondo senza violenza

Testimonianza di Pamela Suffer. Udienza di papa Benedetto XVI ai rom e sinti 11 giugno 2011

Testimonianza di Suor Atanazia Holubova. Udienza con il Santo Padre, 11 giugno 2011

Testimonianza di Ceija Stojka

all documents

TG1 8apr2013 - Giornata internazionale dei rom e dei sinti

432 visits

395 visits

385 visits

410 visits

411 visits
all the related media