2009-10-19 17:14:14

Address by Pope Benedict XVI to Yves Gazzo, Head of the Delegation of the Commission of the European Community

(October 19, 2009) “The equal dignity of all human beings, freedom of the act of faith as the root of all other civil liberties, peace as a decisive element of the common good, human development which is intellectual, social and economic and a sense of history that follows, are all central elements of Christian revelation that continue to shape European civilization,” said Pope Benedict XVI. These values are the result of a long and tortuous history in which nobody will deny, Christianity has played a leading role, he added. He said this in his address to Yves Gazzo, Head of the Delegation of the Commission of the European Community to the Vatican, in Rome on Monday 19th of October. The reality of the European Union is considered as a "zone of peace and stability which comprises 27 states with the same core values." The Pontiff then added that when the Church recalls the Christian roots of Europe, it is not seeking a special status for itself. She wants to work from historical memory by first recalling a truth, namely, the decisive Christian inspiration of the founding fathers of the European Union. Europe, the Holy Father said, cannot forget the organic principle of the original values revealed to human persons both its high dignity and the personal vocation which opens to all to build one family. Pope Benedict then reminded of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall and he wanted to greet this special event through his special visit to the Czech Republic. Personally he could give thanks for the gift of freedom recovered allowing the continent to regain its integrity and unity, he said. While expressing his appreciation for the excellent relations between the European Communities, the Pope said the Holy See follows with respect and attention the activity of European institutions, hoping that they, through their work and creativity, build up Europe that is more than continent.

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