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Pope Francis

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Benedict XVI and the Fall of the Berlin Wall

2014-11-08

During his pontificate, Benedict XVI spoke twice about the fall of the Berlin Wall. Both occasions marked the 20th anniversary of that historic moment ingrained in world history. 

The first comment came after a concert titled 'Youth against War.' The Pope's comments reflected those made by years ago by John Paul II. 

BENEDICT XVI
October 8, 2009
"This year marks another significant anniversary. It's been 20 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. It's a clear symbol that marks the end of totalitarian regimes in Eastern Europe. The fall of the Berlin Wall, wrote John Paul II, just like the fall of the dangerous models and oppressive ideologies, proved that fundamental liberties that give meaning to human life, cannot be suppressed or ignored for long.” 

Two months later, Benedict XVI addressed the issue again, when he along with Germany's president attended yet another concert. 

BENEDICT XVI
December 4th, 2009
"That wall of death divided our country for many years. It forcefully separated people, families, neighbors and friends. So for many, what happened on November 9th, 1989 unexpectedly opened a new door towards liberty. Especially after a long and painful night of violence and oppression by a totalitarian system. In the end, it was heavy pessimism that drove empty souls. Under the communist dictatorship, no action was considered ultimately wrong or immoral. Whatever strengthened the objectives of the regime was considered good, even if it was inhumane.” 

Interestingly, he also highlighted how many looked back at those troubling times, before the fall of the wall, with nostalgia. 

BENEDICT XVI
December 4th, 2009
"Today, some people question whether the social order of the West is better or even more humane. The history of the German Federal Republic proves that it is. It calls on people to give priority, with responsibility before God the Creator, to human dignity in state laws. It calls for the respect of marriages and the family as the fundamental base of society. It calls for respect and consideration for what is sacred for all people.” 

During that very concert, he called on people to be 'mediators' between God and human beings, so that a human chain of strength could rise...In essence, just the opposite of what the Berlin wall came to symbolize. 


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