ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Friday, 17 October 2003
1. I wish to express cordial thanks to the organizers of this evening's splendid concert, along with the members of the Symphonic Orchestra and the Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk Choir, who, guided by the renowned director Howard Arman, carried out their performance with such skill.
My thought then goes to Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, whom I thank for the best wishes he extended to me in the name of all those present. I greet, in turn, the dear Cardinals, Bishops, Prelates of the Roman Curia, Members of the Diplomatic Corps, Authorities and each one here present. The eager participation of many people makes this engagement even more special.
2. The ninth Symphony, the last of Ludwig van Beethoven, was an invitation to reflect on the rich and sometimes dramatic events of human existence. In the grand finale, the hymn of joy guided our thoughts beyond humanity as a whole to the new Europe, which is extending its boundaries to include other Countries. Drawing from the patrimony of the human and Christian values of its past, may the European Continent contribute to the building of a future rich in hope and peace for all of humanity.
A sincere thank you to everyone, from the depths of my heart!
I give you my Blessing.