The Pope made this call when he addressed a group of Polish pilgrims at the end of his discourse on St. Odo. Some 6 million Poles died during the war, which began with the German invasion of the Westerplatte military base in Gdansk harbor on Sept. 1, 1939.
“In the memory of the peoples, the human tragedies and the absurdity of the war still remain,” the Holy Father affirmed, emphasizing a lingering need for reconciliation, so that Europe can turn the page on that chapter of history.
In this context, the Bishop of Rome expressed his desire that a “spirit of pardon, peace and reconciliation will prevail in the hearts of mankind.”
“Europe and the world of today need a spirit of communion,” he said. “Let us build it on Christ and on his Gospel, on the foundation of charity and truth.
“To those present and all those who contribute to creating a climate of peace, I impart my heartfelt blessing.”