VATICAN CITY, 5 DEC 2009 (VIS) - Yesterday evening in the Sistine Chapel, the Pope attended a concert offered by Horst Kohler, president of the Federal Republic of Germany, to mark the sixtieth anniversary of the foundation of that State, and the twentieth anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall.
The "Augsburger Domsingknaben" and the "Residenz-Kammerorchester Munchen", conducted by Reinhard Kammler, played Johann Sebastian Bach's Christmas Oratorio BWV 248 (Cantatas I-III).
In his remarks at the end of the concert, the Holy Father recalled how the Berlin Wall was "a frontier of death which for many years divided our homeland, forcibly separating people, families, neighbours and friends. Many at the time saw the events of 9 November 1989 as an unexpected dawn of freedom after a long and harsh night of violence and oppression due to a totalitarian system which, in the end, led to nihilism, to an emptying of souls.
"Under the communist dictatorship no action was held to be evil and always immoral in itself. What served the aims of the party was good, however inhuman it could be", the Pope added.
He went on to note how the current Federal Republic of Germany is proof that "the social order of the West is better and more humane". This is largely due to the "Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany" which "exhorts men and women, responsible before God the Creator, to give priority to human dignity, to respect marriage and the family as the foundation of all societies, and to show esteem and profound respect for what is sacred to others.
"May the citizens of Germany - faithful to the duty established in the Basic Law concerning spiritual and political renewal in the wake of National Socialism and the Second World War - continue to collaborate for the construction of a freer and more social society".
"The history of Europe in the twentieth century shows how responsibility before God is of vital importance for moral political activity", said the Pope. "God brings mankind together in true communion and shows individuals that, in their communion with others, a greater One is present, One Who is the original cause of our lives and of our joint existence. This is particularly evident in the mystery of the Nativity when this God comes close to us with His love and, as a Child, requests our love".
BXVI-CONCERT/GERMANY/... VIS 20091207 (410)