Vatican City, 9 November 2014 (VIS) – After praying the Angelus, the Pope commented that 25 years ago today, on 8 November 1989, saw the fall of the Berlin Wall “which had long divided the city in two and was a symbol of the ideological division of Europe and the entire world. It took place suddenly, but it had been made possible by the long and tireless efforts of many people who fought, prayed and suffered for it; some of them even sacrificed their lives”. Among these people, St. John Paul II played a central role. Let us pray that, with the Lord's help and the collaboration of all persons of good will, a culture of encounter may become ever more widespread, able to bring down all the walls that continue to divide the world; and that innocent people will never more be persecuted and even killed for their beliefs and their religion. Where there is a wall, there is a closed heart. We need bridges, not walls!”
He added that today Italy holds a day of thanksgiving, the theme of which this year is “Feed the planet, energy for life”, and the Holy Father joined with the bishops in expressing his hope that renewed efforts might ensure “that no-one lacks the daily sustenance that God gives to all”. He added, “I assure my closeness to the world of agriculture, and urge you to cultivate the land in a sustainable and fair way. In this context, the Diocese of Rome is holding a day for the protection of the creation, the aim of which is to promote lifestyles based on respect for the environment, reaffirming the alliance between human beings, guardians of creation, and the Creator”.