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Book with Reports from Scientific Conference under Auspices of Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences Presented in Sofia

The book Identità europea e radici cristiane. Atti del Convegno Internazionale di Studio, Veliko Tarnovo, 26 maggio 2018 [European Identity and Christian Roots. Reports from the International Scientific Conference in Veliko Tarnovo, May 26, 2018] was presented at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences on Wednesday evening. The Christian Roots of Europe scientific conference was held in Veliko Tarnovo (North Central Bulgaria) in 2018 under the auspices of the Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences, the Vatican Apostolic Library, the Commission of the Episcopates of the European Community, the St John XXIII Foundation – Bergamo, and the St Cyril and St Methodius University of Veliko Tarnovo. 
The presentation was organized by the Institute of Balkan Studies with Centre for Thracology at the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences (BAS). 
Prof Roumyana Preshlenova, Director of the Institute of Balkan Studies, said at the presentation’s opening that the topics raised by the book are directed at the widest audience. “There is no doubt that the Balkans are the cradle of European culture and civilization, which is why it is more than appropriate that in the Balkans and at the BAS, at times of terrifying trials, caused by the horrors of war and natural disasters, we are together and asking again and again the questions who we are, where we are headed, what we should do in these difficult times,” she said. In her words, it is exactly the spiritual guides who in our times should awaken in every person and in society the humanness, goodness, compassion, thirst for peace and understanding, and should remind us the fundamental values uniting us.
Monsignor Luciano Suriani, Apostolic Nuncio to Bulgaria, shared his thoughts on the book. In his words, the reports in it have allowed him to imbue himself with the history of Bulgaria, to discover its rich culture and the deep and sometimes troubled course of the Christian religion among its people. He expressed the hope that the book, which is the result of the studies and work of many people, will have many readers wishing to rediscover their European and Christian identity. He wished Bulgaria, which in the historical and geographical aspect is considered a door between the East and the West, to be able to express that specificity of its and to enrich the realization of Pope John Paul II’s dream: one Europe breathing with two lungs – the East and the West.
Arnaud Bauberot, Attaché for Scientific and University Cooperation at the French Embassy in Sofia, said that Christianity has indeed penetrated into the depths of European civilization and has fed its history as well as other phenomena, related to the continent’s culture, politics, and economy. Europe itself has enriched Christianity. “Although we know from history that in time Europe has fought against Christianity, it is in Europe’s roots,” he said.  
The book was presented by Pontifical Committee of Historical Sciences President Bernard Ardura and Monsignor Strahil Kavalenov, Bishop of Nicopolis. 
Kavalenov told the story of how the idea for the book and the Veliko Tarnovo conference came to be. 
Ardura recalled the important role of St Cyril and St Methodius. He described contemporary Europe as a symphony of nations resting on common values. In his words, the book recalls that every European has their own roots.