Vatican City, 8 February 2013 (VIS) – On behalf of the Pope, Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone, S.D.B., greeted the conference organized to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty between France and Germany. The conference, organized by the Pontifical Gregorian University, had as its theme "Fifty Years of Friendship between France and Germany at the service of Europe: The European Union – A Model for Other Reconciliations?"
In the text, made public this morning by the Press Office of the Holy See, Cardinal Bertone said that "the celebrations marking the 50th anniversary of an important milestone on the path to reconciliation and understanding between the French and German peoples also bring to mind the personal commitment of the authors of the Treaty, Charles de Gaulle and Konrad Adenauer. Even before the stipulation of the Treaty, the two main protagonists of postwar Europe, with their participation at the Reconciliation Mass in the cathedral of Rheims, emphasized that politics are based on principles that cannot be given to oneself."
"The natural moral law, inscribed by the Creator in the human heart, and the human values and rights that are shaped by the Gospel, constitute the basis of a politics that is truly at the service of justice and peace, as well as the progress of the human family. Political action will also have to be built upon this basis in the future so that what we have achieved together not be undermined by new challenges and myopic personal interests and not be abandoned. Peace is an enduring task that must always be accomplished anew."
At the end of the text Cardinal Bertone affirmed that the Holy Father invokes upon the entire French and German peoples, "God's protection and blessing for a future of peace and freedom in their own countries and throughout Europe."
Among the participants in yesterday's conference were Annegret Kramp-Karrenbauer, Minister-President of the state of the Saarland, Germany and delegate for Franco-German cultural relations, Michel Barnier, European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services, and Jacques Santer, former President of the European Commission.