Pontiff Notes How Protecting Dignity Gives Peace

Reflects on Milestones in Germany

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 6, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI says a rule of law that gives priority to human dignity has brought about peaceful development in Germany, as opposed to the communist «long and painful night of violence and oppression.»

The Pope reflected on two milestones of his homeland at a concert Friday in the Sistine Chapel.

The event was sponsored by the German president and marked 60 years since the founding of the Federal Republic of Germany, with the signing of the Basic Law on May 23, 1949, and the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.

«Many at the time experienced the events of Nov. 9, 1989, as the unexpected dawn of freedom, after a long and painful night of violence and oppression by a totalitarian system that, at the very end, led to a nihilism, an emptying of souls,» the Pope said. «Under the communist dictatorship there was no action that would have been regarded as evil and always immoral in itself. Whatever served the objectives of the party was good — however inhuman it might be.»

The rule set out by the Basic Law «has contributed in an essential way to the peaceful development of Germany over the past six decades,» he affirmed.

Peaceful development has hinged on the Basic Law, the Holy Father added, because «it exhorts men in every act of state legislation, and in responsibility before God the Creator, to give priority to human dignity, to respect marriage and the family as the foundation of every society and to have regard and profound respect for what is sacred to others.»

Communicating God

The Holy Father affirmed that this peace has not been due to the merit of human beings, but because of the help of God.

«God reunites men in a true communion, and he makes the individual understand that, in communion with the other, there is One who is greater who is likewise present, who is the original cause of our life and our being together,» he said. 

And, the Pope proposed, this is manifested to us in a special way at Christmas, «where this God draws near in his love, where he himself as man, as a child, asks for our love.»

Individuals in communion with Jesus can help each other to reach God, the Holy Father affirmed. 

«No one believes for himself alone; everyone lives in his faith because of human meditations too,» he explained. «But none of these mediations by themselves would be sufficient to build the bridge to God, because no man can obtain from it that which is the absolute guarantee of the existence and nearness of God. But in communion with him who is this nearness itself, we men can be — and we are — mediators for each other.»

And in bringing each other to God, the Pontiff affirmed, «we will be able to awaken a new way of thinking and generating new energies in the service of an integral humanism.»

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On ZENIT’s Web page:
Full translation of the Pope’s address: www.zenit.org/article-27757?l=english

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