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Address of His Holiness Paul VI  
to the President of the European Parliament

Thursday, 25 November 1971 


Mr. President

We extend a warm greeting to you and your suite and thank you for the significant address that you delivered to us in your capacity as President of the European Parliament.

You stressed, in appreciative terms, the particular interest that the Holy See has always shown in the problem of a united Europe. In fact, without wishing to interfere in the political affairs of individual States, we have repeatedly referred in our addresses to the prerequisites for peaceful co-existence and fruitful collaboration among the peoples of Europe. We have recently shown our interest in the whole issue by nominating a diplomatic representative of our own to the European communities For the Holy See encourages with all its moral authority all efforts to serve the true and lasting progress of peoples.

In this connection it is deeply significant that you made a point of paying the Pope a visit in order to express your conviction that the eternal values of the dignity or every individual man, his freedom and moral responsibility, his rights and duties to his fellow-men, to the family and to the State, form, as Christianity preaches, the unshakable foundation of every well-ordered society. This doctrine formed Europe in the past centuries, enabling it to achieve such a high cultural development that it became the educator of other peoples and continents. If in the pluralistic society of today, despite all technical progress, we find that social security and the peaceful co-existence of peoples and communities is jeopardized, is it not due in the last analysis to the fact that a universally valid moral law is being denied and rejected." Here therefore those who occupy a responsible position in public life have certainly a decisive task to carry out. The Europe of yesterday suffered devastation and cruelty which seem actually incredible: the Europe of tomorrow must become another Europe which does credit to its historical vocation of teaching true progress.

With the wish that you, Mr President, and your collaborators may successfully employ your best forces in the high office that you fill for the common good of mankind, we warmly invoke God’s lasting protection and blessing for all of you.

*ORa n.49 p.5.


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