Commemorating the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, Cardinal Angelo Sodano, dean of the College of Cardinals, remarked that the historical event was possible “thanks to Pope John Paul II and the contributions of many Christians” on the continent.
In an interview with Vatican Radio, Cardinal Sodano recalled that during the time surrounding the fall of the Berlin Wall, he was Vatican Secretary for Relations with States. Two years later, he was named Secretary of State, a post he held until 2002.
“It is just to recall November 9, 1989. A symbol of a divided Europe fell then, and most importantly, the Communist system that was imposed by force on the nations of central-eastern Europe began to fall,” the cardinal said.
As John Paul II said during a 1996 visit to Berlin, the fall of the wall was “the triumph of the freedom of peoples.”
“I was with the Pope then, and I remember the excitement of Chancellor Kohl and all those present who gave him a standing ovation, almost to thank him for his contribution to the returning of freedom to the heart of Europe,” Cardinal Sodano said.