Pursuing his reflection on the establishment of the Vatican City State, Card. Bertone spoke of the "aim for which it exists, and it exists, despite its small size." "The aim is to be, as Card. Lajolo has recently said, ‘a territorial shield’ by which the ‘independence of the Pope from every political power and his total freedom from external influences in the guidance of the universal Church is ensured with a stable and internationally incontestable guarantee’." Then the Cardinal recalled the events in which the Vatican State has played a special historical and spiritual role over the last 80 years. During the Second World War, "the Holy See could maintain its diplomatic relations with warring countries and the Allies who found refuge within the Vatican City State, precisely because its territorial sovereignty was recognised," he said. From his own territory, the Pontiff could pursue his intense charitable work of assistance in Europe, providing material assistance to people and re-establishing contacts between those who had been separated by the war".