Pope Francis has received a personal letter from European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, La Croix reports.
In it, von der Leyen seeks to ameliorate the European Union’s relationship with the Pope after a proposed internal directive for EU officials not to use Christian language was leaked, causing outcry across Europe. The document has since been withdrawn.
The Pontiff received the letter shortly after being asked about the directive during his return flight from an apostolic visit to Cyprus and Greece—he referred to it as an anachronism.
The European Commission President wrote that there can be no doubt that the EU wants to remain true to Europe’s “cultural, religious and humanist heritage.” Von der Leyen went on to state that she is very unhappy with the controversy. She emphasizes that religious and cultural traditions in Europe are an integral part of diversity, and are actively promoted by the European Commission.
The Vatican on its part has not yet published von der Leyen’s letter nor has it confirmed its existence.