French and German bishops celebrate 50th anniversary of Elysee Treaty
January 18, 2013
The Catholic bishops’ conferences of Germany and France released a joint declaration on January 18 marking the 50th anniversary of the Elysee Treaty that reconciled the two World War II foes.
The Elysee Treaty, the bishops’ statement said, “was the height of the reconciliation between the two enemy nations and the starting point for the deepening of friendly relations through political and social contact at all levels.” The statement said that such friendly cooperation is “now more important than ever for overcoming the current crisis and for shaping the future of Europe."
The bishops’ declaration also observed that the Elysee Treaty was celebrated with a Mass of reconciliation at the cathedral of Rheims, attended by the two heads of state: General Charles de Gaulle of France and Chancellor Konrad Adenauer of Germany. The political leaders’ participation at that Mass, the bishops said, "symbolized the awareness that politics is built upon foundations that it cannot build itself.”
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