Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, the Vatican Secretary of State addressed participants in a conference celebrating the 50thanniversary of the Elysée Treaty. The event, which was organized by the Embassies of France and Germany to the Holy See, focused on the theme “Fifty years of Franco-German friendship at the service of Europe: the European Union, a model for other reconciliations.”
Speaking on behalf of the Holy Father, Cardinal Bertone conveyed the Pope’s greetings and “ensuring his spiritual closeness” to the participants of the conference.
The Elysée Treaty, which is also known as the Treaty of Friendship, was signed in 1963 and ended centuries of rivalry between France and Germany.
“The festivities on the occasion of the 50thanniversary of a major milestone in the common path of reconciliation and understanding between the people of France and Germany, also call to mind the personal commitment of the fathers of the Treaty, Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer,” Cardinal Bertone said.
“Even before the conclusion of the Treaty, the two leading figures of post-war Europe, by their participation in the Mass of reconciliation in the Cathedral of Reims, highlighted how politics is based on principles that it cannot give itself.”
“The natural moral law,” Cardinal Bertone, continued, “inscribed by the Creator in the human heart, and the values and human rights shaped by the Gospel form the basis of a politics that truly places itself at the service of justice and peace, as well as of the progress of the whole human family.”
The Vatican Secretary of State emphasized that what has been achieved thus far must be undermined by new challenges and “short-sighted special interests.”
Peace, Cardinal Bertone said, “is an enduring task and one that must be fulfilled always anew.”
The Italian prelate concluded his address assuring the participants of the Holy Father’s prayers and God’s blessing on them and on the people of France and Germany.