VATICAN CITY, MAY 19, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Evil can only be conquered with forgiveness, said Benedict XVI after watching a TV miniseries on the life of Karol Wojtyla.
The Pope attended a special screening today in Paul VI Hall of “Karol, A Man Who Became Pope,” a film that recounts the major events of John Paul II’s life up to his election as Bishop of Rome. The TV movie recounts the horrors of World War II, the suffering of Poland under Nazi occupation and the genocide of the Jews.
“They are atrocious crimes that show all the evil inherent in the Nazi ideology. Overwhelmed by so much sorrow and violence, young Karol decided to mark a turn in his own life, responding to the divine call to the priesthood,” said Benedict XVI.
“How can we not read in the light of a providential divine plan the fact that in the chair of Peter a Polish Pontiff was succeeded by a citizen of that land, Germany, in which the Nazi regime was able to affirm itself with great virulence, afterwards attacking the nearby nations, among them, in particular, Poland?” asked the Pope.
“These two Popes in their youth — although on opposite fronts and in different situations — had to be exposed to the barbarism of World War II, and the insane violence of men against men, of peoples against peoples,” he added.
The Pontiff proposed the path of forgiveness as the remedy to overcome the tragedy of conflicts.
He recalled the letter of reconciliation that “in the last days of Vatican Council II, here in Rome, the Polish bishops handed to the German bishops,” in which could be read “those famous words that also today continue to resonate in our spirit: ‘we forgive, and we ask for forgiveness.'”
“Nothing can improve the world if evil is not overcome, and evil can be overcome only with forgiveness,” concluded the Holy Father.
The movie is based on the script of journalist Gian Franco Svidercoschi, and aired in two parts on Italian television during April. It was the most watched program during that month.