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THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
Apostolic Pilgrimage to France
(October 8 - 11, 1988)
Visit to the European Parliament in the Council of Europe in Strasburg (October 11, 1988)
[French, Italian, Spanish]
Address by His Holiness Pope JOHN-PAUL II, in formal sitting (Strasbourg, 11/10/1988)
Below Google translated from French
2. Since the end of World War II, the Holy See has continued to encourage the construction of Europe. Certainly, the Church's mission to make known to all men their salvation in Jesus Christ, whatever the conditions of this story, because there is never a prerequisite for this task. Also, without leaving the competence that is hers, she considers it his duty to inform and support the initiatives developed by the people who are in line with the values and principles it must proclaim , attentive to the signs of the times that invite reflected in the changing realities of existence permanent queries of the Gospel.
How the Church could she lose interest in the construction of Europe, it is established for centuries in the people that make up one day and has brought to the baptismal font, the people for whom the Christian faith is and remains one of the elements of their cultural identity?
3. Today Europe can certainly welcome as a sign of the times the state of peace and cooperation definitely installed between its member states, which for centuries had exhausted their forces to make war and to seek the hegemony on the other.
Sign of the times again, the increased sensitivity to human rights and the value of democracy which this Assembly is the expression and also wants to be the guarantor. This membership is also always confirm that prevail in all circumstances respect for the rights and dignity of the human person.
Sign of the times too, we believe that this part of Europe, which has invested so far in the field of economic cooperation, or more intensely in search of his soul, and a blast capable of ensuring its spiritual cohesion. On this point, I seem, you represent Europe is on the threshold of a new phase of growth, both in itself and in its relationship with the rest of the world.
4. "Single Act", which will come into force at the end of 1992, will hasten the process of European integration. A common political structure, an offshoot of the free will of European citizens, far from endangering the identity of the peoples of the Community, will be able to ensure more equitable rights, including cultural, of all its regions. These European peoples united will not accept the domination of one nation or culture on others, but support the equal right of all to enrich others of their difference.
The empires of the past have all failed in their attempt to establish their dominance by the coercive force and the policy of assimilation. Your Europe will be that of the free association of all its peoples and the pooling of multiple riches of diversity.
5. Other nations will certainly reach those that are represented here today. My vow of Supreme Pastor of the universal Church, came from Eastern Europe and knows the aspirations of the Slavs, the other "lung" of our same European homeland, my wish is that Europe is giving sovereignly free institutions, may one day be deployed to the dimensions given to him by geography and more history. How could I not like, because the culture inspired by Christian faith has profoundly marked the history of the peoples of our unique Europe, Greek and Latin, Germanic and Slavic, despite all the vicissitudes and across social systems and ideologies?
6. The European nations are all distinguished in their history by their openness to the world and vital exchanges that they have established with the peoples of other continents. No one imagines that a united Europe can retreat into selfishness. Speaking with one voice, joining forces, it will be able, even more than in the past, to devote resources and new energy to the great task of the development of third world countries, especially those who already enjoy with it traditional ties. The "Lomé Convention", which resulted in institutionalized cooperation between Assembly members and representatives from sixty-six countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the Pacific, is in many ways exemplary. European cooperation will be more credible and successful that it will continue, without any mental domination, with the intention of helping poor countries to take charge of their own destiny.
II7. Mr. President, the Church's message about God and the ultimate destiny of man, questions that have the highest degree permeates European culture. In truth, how could we conceive Europe without this transcendent dimension?
Since, on European soil, have developed, in modern times, the currents of thought which have gradually spread God's understanding of the world and of man, two opposing visions fed a constant tension between the point view of believers and that of the proponents of an agnostic humanism and even "atheist".
The first, consider that obedience to God is the source of true freedom, which is never arbitrary freedom and without purpose, but freedom for truth and good, these two quantities are still being beyond the capacity men to capture them completely.
Ethically, this fundamental attitude is reflected by the acceptance of principles and standards of behavior requiring the reason or under the authority of the Word of God, which man, individually or collectively, can not dispose at will, according to the fashions or the changing interests.
8. The second attitude is that which, having removed any subordination of the creature to God, or to a transcendent order of truth and good, man considers himself as the principle and end of all things, society with its laws, standards, achievements, his work as absolutely sovereign. Ethics then has no other foundation than social consensus, and individual freedom of other brake as the company seeks to impose to safeguard the lives of others.
For some, civil and political freedom, once conquered by a reversal of the old order based on religious faith, is still seen as going hand in hand with the marginalization and even the removal of religion, in which we tend to see a disposal system. For some believers, conversely, a life consistent with the faith would be possible only by a return to the old order, also often idealized. These two antagonistic attitudes do not provide solution compatible with the Christian message and the genius of Europe. For when civil liberty reigns and is fully guaranteed religious freedom, faith can only gain in force in meeting the challenge that the address he unbelief and atheism can only measure its limits to the challenge address her faith. Given this diversity of views, the highest function of the law is also to guarantee all citizens the right to live according to their conscience and not to contradict the norms of the natural moral order recognized by reason .
9. At this point, it seems important to remember that it is in the humus of Christianity that modern Europe has drawn the principle - often overlooked during the centuries of "Christendom" - which governs most fundamentally his public life: i mean the principle proclaimed for the first time by Christ, the distinction of "what is Caesar's" and "what is God's". 
This essential distinction between the sphere of development of the outer frame of the earthly city and the independence of people lights from the respective nature of the political community of which necessarily belong all citizens and the religious community to which believers freely adhere.
After Christ, it is no longer possible to idolize society as devouring collective greatness of the human person and his irreducible destiny. Society, the state, political power belong to changing and always perfectible part of this world. No social project can ever establish the Kingdom of God, that is to say, the eschatological perfection on earth. Political messianism lead mostly on the worst tyrannies. The structures that companies never worth giving a definitive; they can not provide for themselves all the goods which man aspires. In particular, they can not substitute for the conscience of man or his quest for truth and the absolute.
Public life, the good order of the state based on the virtue of citizens, which invites to subordinate individual interests to the common good, not to give and not to recognize that this law is objectively right and good. The ancient Greeks had discovered that there is no democracy without liability of all to the law, and no law is based on a transcendent standard of truth and justice.
To say that it is the religious community, not the state, to manage "what is God's", is to ask a salutary limit to the power of men, and this limit is that of the field of consciousness, last Things, the ultimate meaning of life, the absolute on opening of voltage to an unprecedented achievement, which stimulates the efforts and inspires the right choices. All schools of thought of our old continent should think about what gloomy outlook could lead the exclusion of God from public life, of God as the ultimate instance of ethics and supreme guarantee against all abuses of human power over the man.
10. Our European history abundantly shows how often the line between "what is Caesar's" and "what is God's" has been crossed in both directions. The medieval Latin Christianity - to mention it - which theoretically developed yet, resuming the tradition of Aristotle, natural conception of the State, has not always escaped the fundamentalist temptation to exclude temporal community those who do not profess the true faith. Religious fundamentalism, without distinction between the sphere of faith and that of civilian life, still practiced in other lands, seems incompatible with the genius of Europe such as shaped the Christian message .dropoff window
But it is also that came in our time, the greatest threats, when ideologies Absolutized the company itself or a dominant group in defiance of the human person and his freedom. Where man no longer takes support on a scale that transcends, may engage in unbridled power of the arbitrary and pseudo-absolutes that destroy it.