Yesterday marked twenty-five years since the fall of the Berlin Wall. Speaking about the anniversary, Pope Francis paid tribute to those who worked for the Berlin Wall’s end, and made special mention of the role played by John Paul II.
‘The fall happened suddenly, but it was made possible by the long and arduous efforts of many people who had fought for this, prayed and suffered, some even sacrificing their lives. These include a leading role played by Saint Pope John Paul II.’
John Paul II is widely hailed as having played a major part in the fall of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe, with Mikhail Gorbachev once proclaiming that ‘the collapse of the Iron Curtain would have been impossible without John Paul II.’
In his speech, Pope Francis also warned that there are still many walls that divide us today. ‘Where there is a wall, there is closure of the heart. We need bridges, not walls!’
He appealed to all of good will to continue spreading a ‘culture of encounter,’ with the aim of bringing down the walls that still divide the world, and prayed that no more people would be killed or persecuted because of their religious beliefs.