ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS PIUS PIO XII
TO A GROUP OF SENATORS AND CONGRESSMEN
FROM THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA*
Saturday, 20 July 1946
It is a real pleasure to Us to welcome you, Gentlemen, Members of the Senate and of the House of Representatives of the United States of America, now engaged in a study of the conflicting currents of events, weighing their effects on the future of nations and striving to guide them aright.
How fascinating it is take one's stand in the stern of an ocean liner and observe the wake of the ship as the steamer plows ahead through the sea; yet how briefly are the waters disturbed, how soon one can no longer discern the course of the vessel « whereof when it is gone, the trace cannot be found, nor the path of the keel in the waters » (Sap. 5, 10).
You too will have traversed a wide expanse in your journey but alas, it is largely one of destruction. Looking back as it recedes, the evidence of the destructive engines of war is deeply engraven on the landscape; the countryside is laid waste, areas of industry have been obliterated: squares of dwelling houses stand precariously or lie tangled heaps of wreckage; far more disastrous than all however is the havoc wrought in the lives of men by the violence done normal human relations whether social, educational, economic or religious.
This spectacle can never be forgotten, yet it ought not be locked away in idle memory: rather, favorably circumstanced by reason of your position you should share this information with the peoples and governments both of your own and of other lands. The diffusion of this knowledge will help men to realise more fully that which you now understand so well: the extent of the havoc wrought by war and the tremendous difficulty of reconstruction.
On you, on those whose thought is ever present to you, on all who help their fellow men to rise from this disaster We pray the blessing of the omnipotent God of Heaven.
*Discorsi e Radiomessaggi di Sua Santità Pio XII, VIII,
Ottavo anno di Pontificato, 2 marzo 1946 - 1° marzo 1947, p. 181
Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana.
L’Osservatore Romano 21.7.1949, p.1.
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