By Thaddeus M. Baklinski

VATICAN CITY, October 20, 2009 ( – Pope Benedict XVI called again for an entrenchment of the right to life of the unborn and a realization of the fundamental nature and importance of the family founded on natural marriage as he received the EU's new envoy to the Vatican on Monday.

After receiving the Letters of Credence of Yves Gazzo, head of the delegation to the Holy See of the Commission of the European Communities, the Holy Father reminded those present that the European values of respect for life, and the role of natural marriage as the basis of society, are the product of a long history in which Christianity played a vital role.

These values, he said, “are the fruit of a long and complex history in which, it cannot be denied, Christianity has played a major role. The equal dignity of all human beings, the freedom of expression of faith as the basis of all other civil liberties, peace as a decisive element of the common good, human development (intellectual, social and economic) as a divine vocation and the sense of history deriving therefrom, are all central elements of the Christian revelation that continues to mould European civilization.”

“This mainly involves the search for a just and delicate balance between economic efficiency and social needs, the protection of the environment and, above all, the indispensable and necessary support for human life from conception to natural death, and for the family founded on marriage between a man and a woman,” the Pope said.

Warning of the danger to the collective good of the people of Europe by individuals and pressure groups pursuing anti-life and anti-family agendas, the Holy Father said the European model of civilization should not be allowed to dismantle itself by individualism and utilitarianism.

“It is important that Europe does not let its model of civilization come apart piece by piece. The original enthusiasm must not be stifled by individualism or utilitarianism. The immense intellectual, cultural, economic riches of the continent will continue to bear fruit so long as they are nourished by a transcendental view of human beings, which is the greatest treasure of European heritage,” he said.

Benedict XVI assured the new head of delegation that the Holy See “follows the activities of European institutions with great respect and attention, and hopes that, with their work and creativity, they may honour Europe which, more than a continent, is a 'spiritual home'.”

“The Church,” he concluded, “wishes to 'accompany' the construction of the European Union. For this reason, she allows herself to remind you of the fundamental and constitutive values of European society, so that they can be promoted for the good of all.”

The full text of Pope Benedict XVI's address to Yves Gazzo, new head of the delegation of the Commission of European Communities to the Holy See, is available here.