Speeches 2001 - ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER

Living as members of the one Church, yet respectful of different ritual traditions, you have a great opportunity to take part as it were in an important "ecclesial workshop" aimed at building unity in diversity. This is the best way to respond to the many and complex pastoral challenges of the present time. In this search, I invite you who are members of the Synod of Bishops of the Greek Catholic Ukrainian Church and you who are Bishops of the Ukrainian Episcopal Conference to make your distinctive contributions in close and active cooperation. With one heart, proclaim the Gospel of Christ, overcoming every temptation to division and disagreement. Let the only "competition" between you, dear Brother Bishops, be in vying in esteem for one another (cf. Rom Rm 12,10) and in striving for holiness.

Foster communion between yourselves and with your priests in a climate of affection, concern and respectful and fraternal dialogue. Success in the work of evangelization depends in large part upon the quality of these relationships.

4. In the last ten years, your Churches have known an extraordinary flourishing of vocations to the priestly and religious life. This calls for special care in the spiritual, intellectual and pastoral formation of those called to the priesthood or the consecrated life. It is necessary first of all to ensure that future priests have a deep spirituality, a rigorous philosophical and theological preparation, and a solid introduction to pastoral life, anchored in the enduring values of the Catholic tradition but attentive to the signs of the times. An essential condition for achieving these goals is the presence in seminaries and houses of formation of first-rate educators and highly trained teachers, who can ensure a solid intellectual and spiritual foundation for the priests of tomorrow. The same care needs to be given to the formation of members of Institutes of consecrated life, especially Religious women.

Another fundamental task for your Churches is a comprehensive, competent and up-to-date catechesis of adults and young people. In this regard, you will find great help in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which is a providential means of presenting the Catholic faith in an ordered and complete way to those near and far. It should be remembered, however, that catechetical instruction is only one element in the much wider process of Christian initiation, which includes, alongside proclamation of the truths of the faith, education in personal and liturgical prayer, the experience of fraternal communion and training for service in the Church. Only an integral Christian formation can lead to the specific goal of catechesis, which "is to develop, with Godís help, an as yet initial faith, and to advance in fullness and to nourish day by day the Christian life of the faithful, young and old", so that the Lordís disciples can learn "to think like him, to judge like him, to act in conformity with his commandments, and to hope as he invites us to" (Catechesi Tradendae, CTR 20).

5. In recent years, which have been marked by rapid and profound social change in Ukraine as elsewhere, the family has been passing through a severe crisis, as we see in the large number of divorces and the widespread practice of abortion. Let the family therefore be one of your pastoral priorities. In particular, be concerned to lead Christian families to a powerful experience of God and to a full awareness of the Creatorís plan for marriage so that, renewing the spiritual fabric of their life together, they can help improve the quality of society as a whole.

Pastoral care of the young is linked to the evangelization of the family. The models of hedonistic and materialistic life often presented by the mass media, the crisis of values affecting the family, the illusion of an easy life without effort, the problems of unemployment and uncertainty about the future often create serious disorientation in young people, making them susceptible to ephemeral visions of life stripped of values or to worrying forms of escapism. Energy and resources must be invested in their human and Christian formation. In this regard, I was pleased to learn that you plan to establish an Institute of Social Sciences, which will provide a deeper understanding of the Churchís social teaching. This is an initiative which seems very timely, and I am therefore glad to offer my encouragement and blessing.

5. Venerable Brothers, before you there stretches an important time which will determine the "quality" of the Churchís presence in Ukraine in the next millennium. During the Communist persecution, relations between the Greek Catholic Church and the Latin Catholic Church were exemplary, and this provided the solid basis for the subsequent flourishing of the Church. Treasuring that experience, you must now continue to work together in order to carry out the demanding task of the new evangelization. May your Churches, as is already happening in various pastoral situations, be successful in finding structured forms of cooperation and mutual assistance in the field of catechesis, in Catholic centres of learning, in the mass media, and in the vast and complex sector of human development. In every circumstance, let Catholics be one in heart and open to dialogue and mutual solidarity.

The Synod of the Greek Catholic Ukrainian Church embraces many faithful in the diaspora, and this presents new pastoral challenges. To respond to these, it is again essential to be united. There must be effective unity, first of all among the Bishops and priests, in the light of the teaching of the Second Vatican Council which invites Bishops to consider priests as "brothers and friends" (Presbyterorum Ordinis, PO 7). Then this unity will go on to embrace consecrated men and women and committed lay people, for the spiritual welfare of the entire mystical Body of Christ.

6. This deep experience of communion within the Catholic Church will doubtless stimulate appropriate forms of fraternal cooperation with our Orthodox brethren, so that together we can respond to contemporary manís quest for truth and joy, which Jesus Christ alone can fully satisfy. Ecumenical dialogue must therefore be an indispensable priority for believers and for the Churches in Ukraine. The division of Christians into different confessions represents one of the greatest challenges of our time. We have a long way to go to reach full reconciliation and visible communion among Christís disciples, but the experience of the past helps us to look to the future with confidence.

The thirst for unity has become more intense since the Second Vatican Council, and today awareness of the need for courageous understanding and closer cooperation is growing in all Christians. As the Successor of Peter, I encourage and exhort you today, dear Brother Bishops, to pursue this path and I assure you of the Holy Seeís support for your generous efforts. The Pope is with you in your daily task of serving the faithful and his prayer accompanies you. With these heartfelt sentiments, I entrust you, your Churches, and the plans and hopes of the People of God in Ukraine to the Mother of God in heaven, and I cordially impart my blessing.





MEETING WITH REPRESENTATIVES OF THE ALL-UKRAINIAN

COUNCIL OF CHURCHES AND RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS

ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER

Sunday 24 June 2001

Kyiv (National Philharmonic)

Illustrious Representatives of the All-Ukrainian Council

of Churches and Religious Organizations

1. I am very grateful to those who have made possible todayís meeting, which gives me the opportunity in the course of my visit to know more familiarly the representatives of the different Churches and Religious Organizations present in Ukraine. I extend cordial and respectful greetings to all of you. I express my heartfelt appreciation of the Pan-Ukrainian Councilís service to the safeguarding and promotion of spiritual and religious values, which are indispensable for the building of a genuinely free and democratic society. Your excellent Organization contributes in no small measure to creating the conditions for an ever greater understanding between the members of the different Churches and Religious Organizations, in a spirit of mutual respect and in the constant search for a sincere and fruitful dialogue. I must also mention your praiseworthy efforts in favour of peace between individuals and between peoples.

2. Your existence and your daily endeavours testify in a concrete way to the fact that the religious element is an essential part of the personal identity of everyone, no matter the race, people or culture to which they belong. Religion, when practised with a humble and sincere heart, makes a specific and irreplaceable contribution to the promotion of a just and fraternal society.

How could a State that wishes to be really democratic fail to have full respect for the religious freedom of its citizens? There is no true democracy where one of the fundamental freedoms of the person is trampled on. During the long and sorrowful period of dictatorships, Ukraine too experienced the devastating effects of atheistic oppression which represses man and subjects him to a regime of slavery. Now you face the urgent challenge of rebuilding the social and moral fabric of the nation. Through your activities you are called to make an essential contribution to this work of social renewal, by showing that only in a climate of respect for religious freedom is it possible to build a society which is fully human.

3. In the first place I greet you, dear Brothers united by common faith in Christ who died and rose again. The violent Communist persecution did not succeed in eliminating the yearning for Christ and his Gospel from the spirit of the Ukrainian people, because this faith is part of its history and its very life. In fact, in speaking of religious freedom in this land of yours, our thoughts go back spontaneously to the glorious beginnings of Christianity, which for over a thousand years has marked its cultural and social identity. It was with the baptism of Prince Volodymyr and the people of Rusí in the year 988 that the presence of the faith and Christian life began on the banks of the Dnieper. From here the Gospel then reached the different peoples living in the Eastern part of the European continent. I recalled this fact in my Apostolic Letter Euntes in Mundum, on the occasion of the Millennium of the Baptism of the Rusí of Kyiv, and I emphasized how this event led to a great missionary expansion: "towards the West as far as the Carpathians, from the southern banks of the Dnieper as far as Novgorod and from the northern banks of the Volga ... as far as the shores of the Pacific Ocean and beyond" (No. 4; cf. also the Message Magnum Baptismi Donum, 1).

At a time when there was still full communion between Rome and Constantinople, Saint Volodymyr, preceded by the example of Princess Olga, dedicated himself to safeguarding the spiritual identity of the people, and at the same time to fostering the insertion of Rusí within the totality of the other Churches. The process of inculturation of the faith, which has marked the history of these peoples down to today, was carried out through the untiring work of the missionaries who came from Constantinople.

4. Ukraine, land blessed by God, Christianity is an inseparable part of your civil, cultural and religious identity! You have fulfilled and continue to fulfil an important mission within the great family of Slav peoples and in Eastern Europe. Draw from the common Christian roots the living sap which will continue to flow through the branches of your ecclesial communities in the third millennium.

Christians of Ukraine, may God help you to look back together to the noble origins of your nation. May he help you to rediscover together the solid grounds for a respectful and courageous ecumenical journey, a journey of coming closer and of mutual understanding, favoured by good will on the part of everyone. May the day of restored communion among all the disciples of Christ come soon, that communion for which the Lord ardently prayed before his return to the Father (cf. Jn Jn 17,20-21).

5. I now greet you, the Representatives of the other Religions and Religious Organizations, who work in close cooperation with Christians in Ukraine. This is a typical quality of your land which, on account of its particular position and make-up, is a natural bridge not only between East and West, but also between the peoples who have been here together for several centuries. These are people who differ as regards historical origin, cultural tradition and religious belief. I wish to recall the significant presence of the Jews, who form a community which is solidly rooted in Ukrainian society and culture. They too suffered injustices and persecutions for having remained faithful to the religion of their ancestors. Who can ever forget the immense tribute of blood which they paid to the fanaticism of an ideology propounding the superiority of one race over others? Here, in Kyiv, at Babyn Yar, during the Nazi occupation countless people, including over 100,000 Jews, were killed within a few days. This is one of the most atrocious of the many crimes which the history of the last century unhappily has had to record.

May the memory of this episode of murderous frenzy be a salutary warning to all. What atrocities is man capable of, when he fools himself into thinking that he can do without God! The desire to set himself up in opposition to God and to combat every form of religion showed itself in an overbearing way also in atheistic and Communist totalitarianism. In this city, this memory lives on in the monuments to the victims of Holodomar, to those killed at Bykivnia, to those who died in the Afghanistan war, to mention but a few. May the memory of such painful experiences help humanity today, especially the younger generation, to reject every form of violence and to grow in respect for human dignity, by safeguarding the fundamental rights rooted in it, not least the right to religious freedom.

6. To the memory of the massacre of the Jews, I wish to add that of the crimes committed by the political power against the Muslim community in Ukraine. I am thinking in particular of the Tartars deported from the Crimea to the Asiatic Republics of the Soviet Union, who now wish to return to their land of origin. In this regard, allow me to express the hope that through open, patient and persevering dialogue suitable solutions will be found, always in a climate of sincere tolerance and practical cooperation for the common good.

In this patient work of protecting man and the true good of society, believers have a particular role to play. Together they can give clear witness to the priority of the spirit with respect to material things, however necessary. Together they can bear witness that a vision of the world founded on God is the guarantee also of the inalienable value of the human person. If God is removed from the world, nothing truly human remains. By not looking to heaven, the creature loses sight of the goal of his journey on earth. At the root of every authentic humanism there is always the humble and trusting acknowledgement of the primacy of God.

7. Dear Friends! Allow me to greet you in this way at the end of this family gathering. For all of you, for your Churches and Religious Organizations in Ukraine, I express once more my esteem and affection. Your mission at this historic beginning of the millennium is a great one. Continue without ceasing in your common search for an increased sharing of the values of religion lived in freedom and of tolerance lived in justice. This is the most significant contribution that you can make to the overall progress of Ukrainian society.

The Bishop of Rome, who during these days has become a pilgrim of hope to Kyiv and Lviv, embraces the faithful of every city and village of the beloved Ukrainian land. He assures you and everyone of a remembrance in his prayers, that the Almighty may shower you with his graces. May God, the tender and merciful Father, bless you who are present here, your Churches and Religious Organizations. May he bless and protect the beloved Ukrainian people. Today and for ever!



MESSAGE OF JOHN PAUL II

TO THE SECRETARY-GENERAL

OF THE UNITED NATIONS ORGANIZATION


To His Excellency Mr Kofi Annan
Secretary-General of the United Nations Organization

The holding of a Special Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations in New York on 25-27 June to examine the various aspects of the HIV/AIDS problem is a most opportune initiative. To you and to all the delegations present I send my best wishes, in the hope that your deliberations will mark a decisive step in the struggle against the disease.

The HIV/AIDS epidemic is undoubtedly one of the major catastrophes of our time, especially in Africa. It is not only a health problem, since the disease has tragic consequences for the social, economic and political life of peoples.

I welcome the efforts presently being made at the national, regional and international level to face this challenge through the implementation of a plan of action aimed at prevention and treatment of the disease. Your announcement that a World "AIDS and Health" Fund will be set up in the near future gives hope to all. It is my sincere wish that the initial favourable reactions will quickly find practical expression in effective support.

The daunting spread of HIV/AIDS is one aspect of a social context marked by a serious crisis of values. In this area, as in others, the international community cannot ignore its moral responsibility.

On the contrary, in the fight against the epidemic, the international community should draw its inspiration from a constructive vision of human dignity and focus its attention on young people, by helping them to attain responsible emotional maturity.

The Catholic Church, through her Magisterium and her commitment to the victims of HIV/AIDS, continues to affirm the sacred value of life. Her efforts with regard to prevention and assistance to those affected, often in cooperation with the institutions of the United Nations, are in keeping with her mission of love and service to the lives of all, from conception to natural death.

Two current problems: transmission from mother to child and lack of access to medical care
I am particularly concerned about two problems, which I am sure will be treated with serious attention during the debates of the Special Session.

The transmission of HIV/AIDS from mother to child is an extremely distressing problem. While in developed countries there has been success in noticeably reducing the number of children born with the virus, thanks to suitable treatment, in developing countries, particularly in Africa, those who come into the world with the disease are very numerous and this is a cause of great suffering for families and the community.

When we add to this gloomy picture the distress of the orphans of parents who have died from AIDS, we are faced with a situation to which the international community cannot fail to respond.

The second problem is that of access of AIDS patients to medical care, and as far as possible, to anti-retroviral treatment. We know that the prices of these medicines are excessively high, sometimes even exorbitant, in relation to the resources of the citizens of the poorest countries. The problem includes various economic and legal aspects, among which are certain interpretations of the right to intellectual property.


In this regard, it seems appropriate to recall what the Second Vatican Council emphasized regarding the common destination of the world's goods, which I mentioned in my Encyclical Centesimus Annus: "Of its nature private property also has a social function which is based on the law of the common purpose of goods" (Gaudium et Spes GS 7,1 cf. Centesimus Annus CA 30). On account of this social mortgage, included in international law by the affirmation, among other things, of every individual's right to health, I ask the rich countries to respond to the needs of HIV/AIDS patients in poorer countries with all available means, so that those men and women afflicted in body and soul will be able to have access to the medicines they need to treat themselves.

I cannot end this message without thanking the scientists and researchers of the whole world for their efforts to find treatments for this terrible illness. My gratitude also goes to health-care professionals and volunteers for the love and competence which they demonstrate in the human, religious and medical assistance they give to their brothers and sisters.

Upon all engaged in the struggle against HIV/AIDS, particularly those living with the disease and their families, as well as upon all taking part in the Special Session, I invoke the blessings of Almighty God.



MEETING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE

ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER

Lviv (Sykhiv Square)

Tuesday, 26 June 2001




1. "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (Jn 6,68).

Dear young people of Ukraine, the Apostle Peter spoke these words to Jesus, who had presented himself to the crowds as the bread come down from heaven to give life to men (cf. Jn Jn 6,58). Today I have the joy of repeating these words in your presence, indeed of repeating them in your name and together with you.

Today Christ asks you the same question that he asked the Apostles: "Will you also go away?". And you, young people of Ukraine, how do you reply? I am sure that with me you too will make your own the words of Peter: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life".

Seeing so many of you, and so enthusiastic, my thoughts go back to the World Youth Day which took place in Rome in August last year and at which many of you were present. There I invited the young people of the whole world to open a great "school of faith", a place in which to search for and examine more deeply the reasons for following Christ the Saviour . Today we are experiencing a significant moment of the "school of faith" here in your land, where the proclamation of the Gospel arrived more than a thousand years ago.

Once again, at the beginning of the third millennium, Christ asks you: "Who do you say that I am?" (Mt 16,15). Dear young people, the Pope has come among you to encourage you to answer: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God" (Mt 16,16); "You have the words of eternal life" (Jn 6,68).

2. Yes, dear young people, Christ has the "words of eternal life". His words last for ever and above all they open for us the gates of eternal life.When God speaks, his words give life, they call things into existence, they direct our journey, they restore disappointed and broken hearts and pour fresh hope into them.

Reading the Bible, we discover right from the first page that God speaks to us. He speaks to us as he gives life to creation: the heavens, the earth, light, water, living things, man and woman, everything exists by his word. His word gives meaning to all things, rescuing them from chaos. For this reason nature is an immense book in which we can see with ever fresh wonder the traces of divine Beauty.

Even more than in creation, God speaks in the story of humanity. He reveals his presence in world events, by beginning time after time a dialogue with men and women created in his image, in order to establish with each one of them a communion of life and love. History becomes a journey in which the Creator and the individual come to know each other, a dialogue of which the ultimate purpose is to lead us our of the slavery of sin to the freedom of love.

3. Dear young people, when lived in this way, history becomes a path to freedom. Do you wish to travel this path? Do you too wish to be part of this adventure? The future of Ukraine and of the Church in this country depends also on your reply. You are not alone on this journey. You are part of a great people of believers who look back to an ancient Patriarch, Abraham. He listened to the call of the Lord and set out, becoming our "father in faith", because he believed and trusted the Lord who promised him land and descendants.

From Abrahamís faith came the chosen people, who under the guidance of Moses undertook the exodus from slavery in Egypt to the freedom of the Promised Land. At the centre of the exodus is the Sinai covenant, based on the ten words of God: the "Decalogue", the "Ten Commandments". These are "words of eternal life", because they are always valid, and because they give life to those who observe them.

4. Dear friends! One day a young man, who was very rich, asked Jesus: "Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?" (Mt 19,16). And Jesus replied: "If you would enter life, keep the commandments" (Mt 19,17). Christ did not come to abolish the first covenant but to bring it to fulfilment. The Ten Commandments have permanent value, because they are the fundamental law of humanity, written in the conscience of every person.They are the first step to freedom and eternal life, because by observing them man places himself in the right relationship with God and neighbour. They "make explicit the response of love that man is called to give to his God" (Catechism of the Catholic Church CEC 2083). This law is written naturally in the heart of every human person and is to be faithfully accepted and carried out. It should become the rule of our daily life.

In todayís world we see profound and rapid social changes and many moral points of reference have become shaky, throwing people into confusion and sometimes despair. The Decalogue is like a compass in a stormy sea which enables us to keep on course and reach land. This is why today I wish to present the commandments of the Decalogue to you anew, young people of Ukraine, in a symbolic way, so that they will be your "compass", the solid point of reference for building your present and your future.

5. "You shall love the Lord your God." We must give God the first place in our lives. For this reason the first three commandments are concerned with our relationship with him. He rightly deserves to be loved with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our strength (cf. Dt Dt 6,5). God is one, and he is not to be exchanged for false gods. To you too, dear young people, he says: "I am the Lord your God, I wish to lead you into the fullness of life: do not put something else in my place".

The pressure is strong today to replace the true God with false gods and deceptive aims. Material things are todayís idols. If they are sought and used as means and instruments of good, they are a help to us. However, they should never occupy the first place in manís heart, even less in the heart of young people, who are called to fly high, towards the most beautiful and most noble ideals!

The name of God is Father, Love, Faithfulness, Mercy. How can we fail to desire that everyone should know and love him? His day Ė the Sabbath, which for us Christians became Sunday, the day of the Lordís Resurrection Ė is an anticipation of the Promised Land. How can we fail not to make it holy by taking part in the Eucharist, the festive meeting of the Christian community?

6. "Love your neighbour." The other seven commandments refer to our relations with our neighbours. They show us the path which enables us to establish relationships with other human beings marked by respect and love, based on truth and justice.

Those who put this divine law into practice often find themselves going against the current. Young people of Ukraine, Christ asks you to go against the current! He asks you to be defenders of his law and to put it into practice in proper behaviour in daily life. This ancient and ever valid law finds its perfect fulfilment in the Gospel. It is love that animates our lives, and it is to true, free and profound love that faithful observance of the ten commandments leads. With this divine law solidly rooted in your hearts, do not be afraid: you will fulfil yourselves and contribute to the building of a world marked by greater solidarity and justice.

7. Dear young people, your country is going through a difficult and complex transition from the totalitarian regime which oppressed it for so many years to a society at last free and democratic. Freedom however needs strong, responsible and mature consciences. Freedom is demanding, and in a sense is more costly than slavery!

For this reason, as I embrace you like a father, I say to you: choose the narrow path that the Lord is showing you through his commandments. They are words of truth and life. The path that often seems wide and easy later shows itself to be deceptive and false. Do not go from the slavery of the Communist regime to the slavery of consumerism, another form of materialism which, without explicitly rejecting God, actually does deny him by excluding him from life.

Without God you will not be able to do anything good. With his help, however, you will be able to face all the challenges of the present moment. You will succeed in making demanding choices, against the current, as for example the decision to stay confidently in your own country, without giving in to the illusions of an easy life abroad. You are needed here, young people, ready to make your contribution to improving the social, cultural, economic and political situation of your own country. Here the talents in which you are rich are needed for the future of your land, which has such a glorious history behind it.

The future of Ukraine depends in large part on you and the responsibilities that you will undertake.God will not fail to bless your efforts, if you commit your lives to generous service to family and society, placing the common good before private interests. Ukraine needs men and women dedicated to serving society, having as their aim the promotion of the rights and well-being of all, especially the weakest and most deprived. This is the logic of the Gospel, but it is also the logic that makes the civil community grow. True civilization, in fact, is measured not by economic progress alone but also and mainly by the human, moral and spiritual progress of a people.

8. Dear young people! I thank God who has given me the joy of meeting you! Before leaving you, I wish to add a final word: love the Church! She is your family and the spiritual building of which you are called to be the living stones. She has a particularly fascinating appearance here on account of the different traditions which enrich her. In a spirit of brotherhood, go on your way and grow in unity as you are today, so that the different traditions will not be a reason for division but rather an encouragement towards mutual knowledge and esteem.

May the Virgin Mary, who is so greatly venerated here in the land of Ukraine, accompany you on this journey. Love her and listen to her. She will teach you to make a sincere and generous gift of yourselves to God and to others. She will inspire you to seek in Christ the fullness of life and joy. In this way you will be in the Church the new generation of saints of your land, faithful to God and man, apostles of the Gospel, above all among your own contemporaries.

Let your spiritual food be the Eucharistic Bread, Christ himself! Strengthened by him in the Eucharist, you will remain always in his love and you will bear much fruit. And if the path will sometimes be steep, if the path of faithfulness to the Gospel will appear too demanding, because it will certainly require sacrifice and courageous decisions, remember our meeting. In this way you will be able to relive the enthusiasm of the profession of faith that we have made together today: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life." Repeat it and do not fear! Christ will be your strength and your joy.

Thank you, dear friends! The Pope loves you and sees you as the sentinels of a new dawn of hope. He praises God for your generosity, while he prays for you with affection and with all his heart he blesses you.

The Holy Father then greeted the young people from Russia and Poland:

I am pleased to greet the young people who have come from Russia. Dear friends, thank you for your presence! When you go back home, take your relatives and friends my greeting and witness to the joy of the meeting with your fidelity to Christ. Bring my blessing to everyone.

Dear young friends, you are here, with the community of your peers, to meet the Pope and hear what he has to tell you. So I would like to say what I said to the whole Church at the end of the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000: Duc in altum! Put out into the deep! Do not give into despair which can be caused by the crisis of social relations, by your own failures in the search for the meaning of daily life or by any other conditioning of the contemporary world. Never lose sight of Christ! Fix his Face in your mind - the Face of the Son of God incarnate, the Teacher, the Healer, the suffering Servant of the Lord, of the risen Lord. See in his eyes how he loves you! Do not be afraid of this love! Do not be afraid to respond to it with sincere young love! May this love shape your world, your personality and your human relations! With Christ, put out into the deep of your own humanity! Never lose hope! Fidelity to his call will bear blessed fruit in your lives.

Dear young people! Remember the martyrs. Remember what a high price your grandparents and parents paid to keep their fidelity to Christ and to the Church. May their faith, hope and charity bear fruit in your hearts.

I ask you to take my greetings to your families, your schools, your workplaces. Take them to your peers. I carry you all in my heart and embrace you with my prayer. I pray God that you will be the generation to lay solid foundations under the building of the faith of the generations in the third millennium. God bless you!




Speeches 2001 - ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER