Address by His Holiness Pope JOHN PAUL II
to the European Council in Strasbourg (October 8, 1988)
[French, Italian, Spanish]
Google translated from French
I can here briefly mentioned these concerns. You know how the Catholic Church attaches importance to the point of having proposed a "Charter of the Rights of the Family." Everything concerning the family is a concern that Christian communities deepened in the light of their faith, but they share with anyone who has a concern for human dignity.
7. One of the most impressive aspects of scientific development for biological and medical disciplines. Often in your bodies, you have to know the questions raised by the new opportunities to intervene at different stages of life, overcoming the limitations of commonly practiced therapeutic. Genetic processes can be promoted, but also altered. Biogenetic process come to break the natural descent. Prenatal diagnosis of a disease too easily leads to abortion, while its legitimate aim is therapeutic.
The experimentation involving human embryos opens the way for tampering. It also happens that serious interventions are accepted simply because scientific advances make it feasible.
Your Assembly is frequently called upon to reflect on these issues that are fundamentally ethical. It is necessary that respect for human dignity is never lost sight, from the moment of conception, until the later stages of the disease or the most serious obscuration of the mental faculties states. You understand that say once by the conviction of the Church: the human being careful not its value as a person, because life is a gift from God. The weakest are entitled to the protection, care, affection, from relatives and from the cohesive society. The insistence of the church to save all life from conception is inspired by nothing but an ethical requirement that results from what the same man who can not be foreign to any free conscience and informed. The Church knows the seriousness of the dilemmas that arise many couples as well as various health physicians or counselors; it does not ignore their suffering and their doubts; However, she would ask that we do not come to distort the consciousness and the authentically human brotherhood will never be lacking. It welcomes the progress made to protect the life of the unborn child, to preserve the integrity of its natural genetic heritage, to develop effective therapies.
By placing ethical bounds to the action of man on man, your institution will fulfill its role as critical awareness at community service.
8. It will seem natural, ladies and gentlemen, I emphasize the reach of patiently conducted by the Board in the field of social work. You have offered Europe a Social Charter which seeks to promote the dignity of all workers, harmonious human relations in the workplace, the ability for all to decent support themselves in a job suited to their abilities. The task is considerable, even if your countries are more favored over many other regions of the world.
The most urgent issue that must mobilize all cooperation is primarily that of access to the job itself; for too many years, the continent is hit by a jobs crisis that severely affects men and women unable to meet their personal and family needs by exercising the trade in which they are prepared. Is it unrealistic to ask that when preparing the economic storm decisions, we take into account the race of those who lose with their work, some of their dignity and sometimes to the strength to hope I need regular. Also the Church would she encourage all efforts to ensure between citizens of nations true solidarity, which, as a "virtue" human and Christian, is not proposing only to offset the loss of resources but includes same time the determination and courage needed to achieve a better distribution of the activity.
And we should not forget the areas of poverty within nations making up the Council. Significant efforts are being made to identify and attempt to remedy the marginal situations in which the poorest are.
9. In the context I just mentioned, we naturally think youth. It depends on her to give the dynamic community of nations for peace and generosity and solidarity in a world capable of facing problems ever new. I will say to the thousands of young Europeans that I will meet tonight.
I know it is the desire of the Board to foster progress in education, to enable all to develop their faculties and intelligence to implement their desire to act.
What training do we offer to young people? Joining here studies and actions in the context of the Board, I would just like to emphasize a key aspect. Youth training takes its human dimension where the acquisition of knowledge and learning techniques are in the framework of the full truth of man. At a time when material goods and technologies may take precedence over calls of mind, should we not remember a word that is not "science without conscience"? If one is an introduction to know is to discover the greatness of the young man's destiny.
10. It is often express regret to see the young remain somehow foreign to the memory of the cultural heritage status of the peoples of Europe in more than two millennia. It also feels a concern for the same conservation of this heritage. If I briefly mentioned the issue after talking about education, it is in the conviction that the unique cultural heritage of this continent should not simply be preserved to remain available to the remote or indifferent glance which one carries to remains. It is important that, from one generation to another, we can transmit, assign, witnesses of a living culture, works, discoveries and experiences that have gradually helped shape the man in Europe. That's why I want to encourage not only the remarkable efforts to save the loss the riches of the past, but to make the wealth of today. This task will respond even better to the reality of this continent, that will develop the tradition of exchanging one region to another by an entertainer or an intellectual feel at home both in Flanders and Italy in Portugal in Sweden on the banks of the Rhine as well as those of the Danube. Young people in particular are willing to cultural exchange, allow them to take on board the best achievements of their fathers, to know the past to better prepare them to turn the initiative and fertilize their creative abilities.
11. Ladies and gentlemen, if Europe is to be true to itself, it must know together all the forces of the continent, respecting the original character of each region, but by rediscovering its roots in the spirit common. The member countries of your Council are aware of not the whole of Europe; expressing the fervent wish for intensified cooperation already outlined, with other nations, especially the center and the east, I feel the desire to reach millions of men and women who know linked in a common history and who hope for a destiny of unity and solidarity on the scale of the continent.
For centuries, Europe has played a significant role in other parts of the world. One must admit that it has not always been the best of herself in her meeting with other civilizations, but no one can deny that she has shared many values fortunately she had well considered. His son had a vital part in spreading the Christian message. If Europe wants to play a role today, it must, in unity, clear base its action on what is there more human and more generous in his legacy.
Good relations between countries of different regions of the world can remain in the dealings of political or economic. With the proliferation of dating people from all continents, it is a new way feels how much is needed to understand human communities from different traditions. I'm sure it is in this light that fits the newly implemented to facilitate and promote North-South relations program. There are, indeed, in the context of universal solidarity, responsibility of Europe with regard to this part of the world.
We already see an important sign of the seriousness of this desire for understanding and peace in the quality of the welcome home to anyone who knocks arriving elsewhere, whether immediately Partner, or that it is forced to seek refuge. For their part, Christians who strive themselves to rebuild their unity, also want to show their respect to the believers of other religions present in their regions, and they wish to maintain fraternal dialogue with them, in all clarity.
Peace is the price of the esteem of the cultural and spiritual identity of peoples. Europeans can rely on this conviction their disinterested contribution to the good of all nations!
12. Mr. President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Coming now to the first International Assembly constituted in the world, I am aware of speak to qualified representatives of peoples who, faithful to their living sources, wanted to join to strengthen their unity and s open to other nations from all continents, with respect for the truth of man. I can testify to the availability of Christians to take an active part in the work of your institutions. I wish the Board to work with fruit to make ever more vibrant and generous soul of Europe.
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)
Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen,
1. First of all, permit me to say how much I appreciate the words of welcome and consideration which you have been good enough to express in my regard. I wish to thank you most warmly, Mr President, for having personally renewed the invitation, first extended in 1980, to come and address this prestigious Assembly. The hope which I expressed more than three years ago before the representatives of the European Institutions is now being realized, and I am very conscious of the importance of my present meeting with the representatives of the twelve countries which make up the European Community, that is to say, the representatives of some three hundred and thirty million citizens who have entrusted to you the mandate of directing their common destinies.
Now that your Assembly, which has been the centre of European integration since the beginnings of the European Coal and Steel Community and the signing of the Treaty of Rome, is elected by direct universal suffrage and, consequently, enjoys increased prestige and authority, it rightly appears to your compatriots as the institution that will guide their future as a democratic community of countries, desirous of integrating their economy more closely, of harmonizing their legislations on a number of points, and of offering all their citizens greater freedom in the perspective of mutual cooperation and cultural enrichment.
Our encounter takes place at a special moment in the history of this continent when after a long journey, not without difficulties, we stand at the beginning of new and decisive stages which, with the coming into force of the Single European Act will hasten the process of integration which has been patiently conducted during recent decades.