Speeches 2002 - Monday, 29 April 2002

This is a very diversified social sector, where the challenges may be many and the opportunities for evangelization abound.

2. The increase in human mobility and the process of globalization have had a notable effect on the flow of migrants and tourists and on the activity of the people who work at sea. Opportunities for meeting are multiplied. However, along with the the remarkable advantages that derive from this phenomenon, one must also observe the negative, which include painful separations and complex, difficult situations. I am thinking, for example, of the sailors who are obliged to live long periods far from their families; of the stressful pace of work to which all sea people are subjected, interrupted only by brief calls at ports; of the many migrants who cross the seas and oceans in search of better living conditions and who often encounter harsh realities, different by far from those advertised by the media.

Nor can we forget those special offers to tourists of "artificial paradises" where, for mere commercial purposes, peoples and local cultures are exploited for the benefit of a tourism which in some cases does not even respect the most basic human rights of the local people.

3. It is important not to leave those who belong to the great family of the sea without spiritual support. They should be given an opportunity to meet God and to discover the true sense of life in him. It is the mission of believers to witness that men and women everywhere are called to live a "new humanity", reconciled with God (cf. Eph Ep 2,15).

If they have the support of trained pastoral workers, tourists will better appreciate their holiday or cruises, because they will not just be pleasure trips. They will indeed enjoy their free time and well-deserved period of rest, but at the same time they will be helped to dialogue with the people and civilizations they come into contact with, and spend time in reflection and prayer. It is also important not to deprive migrants of a brotherly welcome and adequate religious assistance, to make them feel that their problems are understood and that they are being welcomed by societies that respect their cultural identity. Clandestine immigrants who risk much on board ships of fortune, must not be left to themselves.

In every situation, it will be necessary to guarantee more just conditions of work that respect individual and family needs, and at the same time, efforts should be made to offer them adequate opportunities to cultivate their faith and religious lilfe. This means promoting the pastoral care that is attentive to the variety of conditions and forms of apostolic presence that correspond to the variety of personal needs.

4. Your plenary meeting intends to focus better on these aspects, taking into account the need for a global approach to this complex human and social reality. Pastoral workers should act in collaboration and fraternal communion in order to face the great challenges posed by this unusual missionary "worksite".

To this end, it is useful to recall the norms already in force that were issued in the Apostolic Letter Stella Maris (Star of the Sea), and in the Instruction De pastorali migratorum cura (On the pastoral care of migrants), of which an updated edition is being prepared, as well as the indications of the document Guidelines for the Pastoral Care of Tourism (ORE 10 April 2002, insert). We should be conscious of the urgent need to provide a good formation for the lay faithful who are called to work in this apostolic sector and, by means of a constant updating, to inspire a renewed awareness of the problems of human mobility in Christian communities.

As I express the wish that your plenary meeting will contribute to greater understanding of these different social and pastoral situations, I encourage you to move forward with every valid initiative for the evangelization of this complex sector.

I entrust the work of your meeting to the motherly protection of Mary, Star of the Sea, whom I ask to guide you to the port of a world of greater solidarity, which is more fraternal and more united. With these sentiments, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing to you all.



MESSAGE OF JOHN PAUL II

TO THE GUANELLI YOUTH MOVEMENT




Dearest Young "Guanellians",

1. I send you a cordial greeting as you gather in Como from different Italian regions to take part in the [Italian] National Meeting of the Guanelli Youth Movement. This important event extends and deepens the experience you shared in 2000 with your peers from around the world at the unforgettable World Youth Day in Tor Vergata. Besides, your meeting these days is a step in the journey that gets you ready for the upcoming World Youth Day in Toronto, to which I certainly invite you.

2. Your convention in Como involves you in making you more familiar with the experience of two true disciples of the Lord: Bl. Don Luigi Guanella and Bl. Sr Clare Bosatta. Do not hesitate to learn in their school of holiness, and learn from their dedication to the last and the forsaken, guided by full and steadfast trust in Providence.

Fr Guanella and Sr Clare were so taken with Christ's charity that they lived deeply solidarity with the suffering of the poor whom they saw bearing the face of the Lord (cf. Mt Mt 25,31-46). This message of sensitivity and attention to others is more than ever necessary in the contemporary world; it often risks drowning in selfishness and indifference and has a profound need of generous witnesses to the ideal of love and concern for others, especially our more harshly tested brothers and sisters.

This is a high and demanding ideal, but do not think that it is beyond your reach. Does not the secret of the "spiritual success" of Luigi and Clare consist in simplicity of life, supported by a solid spirituality made up of diligent prayer and constant reference to the Eucharist?

Dear friends, may I speak to you frankly on this topic: without prayer it is not possible to succeed in the work of becoming holy! Prayer opens us to the Other, to Jesus Christ; it forms us to see people and situations in the perspective of his love. In prayer, we strive to create within us the new man, created according to the heart of Christ.

3. Draw your strength from the sacramental grace of the Eucharist, that enables you to remain firmly anchored to God's will. Eucharistic devotion must shape your whole life, guide your decisions and inspire in you ideals of solidarity. It must help you live in communion with your brothers and sisters, starting with those who live beside you and reaching out to embrace in spirit every human being.

In this regard, I learned with pleasure that every first Saturday of the month you meet in the shrine of the Sacred Heart of this city for nocturnal adoration of the Eucharist. I congratulate you on this beautiful initiative that you also intend to practise together during this meeting. It is a strong witness in opposition to the current of the common mentality, because it proposes a unique "discoteque of silence", where you meet Jesus "heart to heart" and make the Eucharist the main inspiration in your basic life choices.

May Jesus in the Eucharist be increasingly at the centre of your personal and community life, in accordance with the personal intuition of Bl. Don Luigi Guanella: "He wants to speak to you, heart to heart".

I want to reaffirm to you what I entrusted to the young people at the Tor Vergata meeting: "Let the Eucharist mould your life and the life of the families you will form. Let it guide all life's choices. May the Eucharist ... inspire in you ideals of solidarity, and may it lead you to live in communion with your brothers and sisters in every part of the world" (Mass for the Conclusion of World Youth Day 2000, 20 August 2000, n. 6; ORE 23 August 2000, p. 2).

4. The encounter with Jesus in prayer and in the Eucharist will bring new light to your lives and inspire you to be his witnesses among your peers. In this connection, I invite you to be Gospel missionaries in your daily activities. Take Jesus' word, a word of life and hope, to everyone, to those in difficulty who are in danger of losing the meaning and sense of worth of their own existence.

On this important occasion, I would like to renew to you the appeal I made to all the young people at Tor Vergata: accept the commitment to be morning watchmen at the dawn of the new millennium. This is a primary commitment, which keeps its validity and urgency as we begin this century with unfortunate dark clouds of violence and fear gathering on the horizon. Today, more than ever, we need people who live holy lives, watchmen who proclaim to the world a new dawn of hope, brotherhood and peace.

5. Dear friends, members of the Guanelli Youth Movement, persevere in the way you have begun with enthusiasm and generosity, in close communion with the ecclesial community. For everyone try to be "the salt of the earth and the light of the world" (cf. Mt Mt 5,13-14): at school and at university, in the world of work and in sports, in the family and among your friends.

I entrust you to the motherly protection of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the faithful disciple of her Son Jesus and the example for all believers of unreserved submission to God's grace. I also invoke upon you the heavenly intercession of Bl. Luigi Guanella and Bl. Clare Bosatta, so that they may be with you during these days of meetings and throughout your spiritual journey.

With these reflections, I assure you of my closeness in prayer and I warmly bless you, along with the priests and leaders of your movement and all your friends.

From the Vatican, 20 April 2002

IOANNES PAULUS II



ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II

TO THE BISHOPS FROM NIGERIA

ON THEIR "AD LIMINA" VISIT

Tuesday, 30 April 2002



Dear Brothers in the Episcopacy,

1. It is a great joy for me to welcome you, the second group of Nigerian Bishops, on the occasion of your visit ad Limina Apostolorum: "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ" (Rm 1,7). The ancient practice of "coming to see Peter" is reminiscent of the Apostle Paulís visit to Jerusalem, to spend time with Cephas (cf. Gal Ga 1,18) whom the Lord had constituted the "rock" upon which he would build his Church. In the fraternal embrace of Peter and Paul the early Christian community recognized Paulís Gentile converts as true brothers and sisters in the faith, and in Paulís account of the abundant outpouring of grace upon these new believers the entire community found ever greater reason to praise Godís boundless mercy (cf. Acts 15:16ff). In like manner, our coming together today reaffirms the communion of your vibrant and growing particular Churches with the Successor of Peter and with the Church Universal, and together we give thanks for the life and witness of the priests, religious and laity of your land, who serve the Lord with faithfulness and gladness.

I have already shared with the first group of Nigerian Bishops certain thoughts and concerns that your Reports prompted, regarding the specific situation of the Church in your country. Now, I offer some further points of reflection for you who exercise in your local communities "the office of teaching, sanctifying and governing" (Christus Dominus CD 11).

2. I share your pastoral concern for the peaceful development of your peoples, not only in terms of material advancement, but especially in genuine political freedom, ethnic harmony and respect for the rights of all citizens. The question before you at this time is: how can the Gospel be incarnated in these emerging circumstances? How can the Church and individual Christians best deal with the pressing issues which they must face if they are to build a better future for themselves and their children?

An answer to these questions can be found in the very goals which, five years ago, you set for yourselves in the National Pastoral Plan for Nigeria. In this far-reaching programme drafted by your Episcopal Commission on Mission, two broad areas summarize the thrust of what you see as the pastoral mission of the Church in Nigeria in the Third Christian Millennium: the new evangelization and the Churchís responsibilities in civil society. It is within this twofold context that you were able to place virtually all of your pastoral objectives aimed at transforming humanity from within, at renewing the innocence of peopleís hearts and, as recommended by the Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, at building up the Church as family. It is this latter element which holds a vital key to the first two: as the Synod Fathers acknowledged, the Church as Godís family "is an expression of the Churchís nature particularly appropriate for Africa. For this image emphasizes care for others, solidarity, warmth in human relationships, acceptance, dialogue and trust" (Ecclesia in Africa ). In fact, when proclamation and catechesis succeed in building up the Church as family, the whole of society benefits: harmony between different ethnic groups is given a stronger foundation, ethnocentrism is avoided and reconciliation encouraged, greater solidarity and a sharing of resources among people, and life in society becomes ever more imbued with an awareness of the obligations which flow from respect for the God-given dignity of every human being.

3. The Churchís mission in Nigeria, as everywhere, stems from her very nature as the sacrament of union with God and of the unity of all the members of the human family (cf. Lumen Gentium LG 1). Just as in a family peace and harmony must be constantly built up, so too in the Church differences are not to be seen as a reason for conflict or tension, but as a source of strength and unity in legitimate diversity. Are not peace, harmony, unity, generosity and cooperation hallmarks of a strong, healthy family? These then must be the distinguishing characteristics of all relationships within the Church. "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father" (Mt 5,16).

In like manner, honesty and openness to dialogue is a necessary Christian attitude both inside the community as well as outside, with other believers and with men and women of good will. An erroneous or incomplete understanding of inculturation or ecumenism, however, must not compromise the duty to evangelize, which is an essential element of the Catholic identity. The Church, while showing great respect and esteem for the non-Christian religions professed by many Africans, cannot fail to sense the urgency of bringing the Good News to millions who have not yet heard Christís saving message. As Pope Paul VI wrote in Evangelii Nuntiandi: "The Church holds that these multitudes have the right to know the riches of the mystery of Christ (cf. Eph Ep 3,8) ó riches in which we believe that the whole of humanity can find, in unsuspected fulness, everything that it is gropingly searching for concerning God, man and his destiny, life and death, and truth" (No. 53).

4. Moreover, evangelization and integral human development ó the development of every person and of the whole person ó are intimately linked. The Second Vatican Council, in its Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, put it well: "Pursuing the saving purpose which is proper to her, the Church not only communicates divine life to people but in some way casts the reflected light of that life over the entire earth, most of all by its healing and elevating impact on the dignity of the person, by the way in which it strengthens the seams of human society and imbues everyday activity with a deeper meaning and importance. Thus through her individual members and her whole community, the Church believes she can contribute greatly towards making the family of man and its history more human" (Gaudium et Spes GS 40). In fact, it is in the Incarnation of the Word of God that human history finds its true meaning; it is Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of mankind, who is the foundation of restored human dignity. For this reason, to proclaim Jesus Christ means to reveal to people their inalienable dignity: "Since it has been entrusted to the Church to reveal the mystery of God, who is the ultimate goal of man, she opens up to man at the same time the meaning of his own existence, that is, the innermost truth about himself" (ibid., 41).

Precisely because people have been endowed with this extraordinary dignity they should not be reduced to living in sub-human social, economic, cultural or political conditions. This is the theological basis of the struggle for the defence of justice and social peace, for the promotion, liberation and integral human development of all people and of every individual. Thus, the Fathers of the Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops rightly observed that "integral development implies respect for human dignity and this can only be achieved in justice and peace" (Ecclesia in Africa ).

5. This connection between evangelization and human development explains the Churchís presence in the social sphere, in the arena of public and social life. Following the example of her Lord, she exercises her prophetic role on behalf of all people, especially the poor, the suffering, the defenceless; she becomes the voice of the voiceless, insisting that the dignity of the human person should always be at the centre of local, national and international programmes. She "challenges the consciences of Heads of State and those responsible for the public domain to guarantee ever more the liberation and development of their peoples" (ibid., 70).

Proclamation of the Good News, therefore, involves the promotion of initiatives that contribute to the development and ennoblement of people in their spiritual and material existence. It also denounces and combats all that degrades or destroys the human person. "The condemnation of evils and injustices is also part of that ministry of evangelization in the social field which is an aspect of the Churchís prophetic role. But it should be made clear that proclamation is always more important than condemnation" (Sollicitudo Rei Socialis SRS 41). Therefore, as Shepherds and Pastors of souls we are charged with preaching the Gospel in a positive way, always, in season and out of season (cf. 2Tm 4,2), in order to build up the Family of God which is the Church, in charity and in truth, and to serve the whole family of man as it aspires to greater justice, freedom and peace.

6. Brothers, these are some reflections which your visit to the tombs of the Apostles brings to mind and which I wanted to add to the comments already made to the first group of Nigerian Bishops. I am confident that your pilgrimage will give you renewed strength for your ministry, that you may never grow weary of preaching Godís word, celebrating the sacraments, guiding the flock given over to your care, and seeking out those who have strayed or who have not yet heard the Lordís voice. The Church in Nigeria remains ever close to my heart: I pray that the joy of the Lordís Resurrection and the Spiritís gifts of wisdom and courage will become ever more visible in the lives of your people, that they may truly be "generous sons and daughters of the Church which is the Family of the Father, the Brotherhood of the Son and the Image of the Trinity" (Ecclesia in Africa ). Commending you, and the priests, religious and laity to the loving protection of Mary, Queen of Africa, and to the intercession of your own Blessed Cyprian Michael Iwene Tansi, I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of grace and communion in our Lord Jesus Christ.



May 2002



TO THE MEMBERS OF THE PONTIFICAL COUNCIL

FOR HEALTH PASTORAL CARE

Thursday, 2 May 2002



Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. I am particularly pleased to have this meeting during the Plenary Assembly of the Pontifical Council for Health Pastoral Care that offers you the occasion to examine and draft a new plan of work for the next five years.

I greet the President of the Council, Archbishop Javier Lozano BarragŠn and thank him for his cordial words expressing your sentiments of esteem. I greet the Cardinals and my Brothers in the Episcopate, the members, consultors and experts of the Council, the Secretary and the Undersecretary as well as the other officials, priests, religious and lay people. I thank you all for the precious help you give me in such a critical area of our Gospel witness.

2. The great amount of work that your Council has accomplished in the 17 years since its foundation confirms how necessary it is that among the offices of the Holy See there should be one that is specifically designated to manifest "the Church's concern for the sick, assisting those who serve the sick and the suffering, so that the apostolate of mercy on which they rely may respond ever better to the new needs" (Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus, art. 152).
Let us thank the Lord for the wide range and variety of pastoral activities carried out in the field of health care around the world with the stimulus and support of your Council. I encourage you to continue in that direction with zeal and confidence, so that you can offer to the people of our time the Gospel of hope and mercy.

3. Taking a cue from the Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte, at your meeting you plan to reflect on the best way to reveal the suffering and glorious face of Christ enlightening the world of health care, suffering and illness with the Gospel, sanctifying the sick and health-care workers and promoting the coordination of pastoral health care of sick persons in the Church.
During this Easter season, we contemplate Jesus' glorious face after meditating, especially in Holy Week, on his sorrowful face. It is in these two dimensions that we find the core of the Gospel and of the Church's pastoral ministry.

I wrote in my Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte that Jesus "at the very moment when he identifies with our sin, "abandoned' by the Father, he "abandons' himself into the hands of the Father". In this way he lives "his profound unity with the Father, by its very nature a source of joy and happiness, and an agony that goes all the way to his final cry of abandonment" (n. 26).
In the suffering face of Good Friday is hidden the life of God, offered for the salvation of the world. Through the Crucified One, our contemplation must be open to the Risen One. Comforted by this experience the Church is ever ready to continue her journey to proclaim Christ to the world.

4. Your plenary assembly focuses on programmes that aim at enlightening the entire world of health care with the light of the sorrowful and glorious face of Christ. In this perspective, it is crucial to reflect more in depth on topics that are bound up with health care, sickness and suffering, guided by a concept of the human person and his destiny that is faithful to the saving plan of God.

The new frontiers opened up by progress in the sciences of life and the applications deriving from them, have put enormous power and responsibility in man's hands. If the culture of death prevails, if in the field of medicine and biomedical research those doing the research let themselves be conditioned by selfish and Promethean ambitions, it is inevitable that human dignity and life itself will be dangerously threatened. However, if work in the important health care sector is shaped by the culture of life, under the guidance of right conscience, the human being will find an effective response to his deepest longings.

The Pontifical Council will not fail to contribute to a new evangelization of suffering, that Christ takes on and transfigures in the triumph of the Resurrection. In this regard, the life of prayer and recourse to the Sacraments are essential, for without them the spiritual journey of the sick and of those who take care of them becomes difficult.

5. Today, the sector of health care and suffering face new and complex problems that demand a generous commitment from everyone. The dwindling number of women religious involved in this field, the difficult ministry of hospital chaplains, the problem of organizing a satisfactory and effective health care apostolate at the level of the local Churches and the approach to health-care personel who are not always in accord with the Christian vision, form a plethora of complex and problematical topics that you have certainly noticed.

Faithful to its mission, your Council will continue to show the pastoral concern of the Church for sick people, it will help all who care for the suffering, and particularly those who work in hospitals, always to respect the life and dignity of the human being. To achieve such objectives it will be useful to collaborate generously with the international organizations concerned with health care.

May the Lord, the Good Samaritan of suffering humanity, help you always. May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Health of the Sick, sustain you in your service and be your model of acceptance and love.
As I assure you of my prayers, I cordially impart to you my Apostolic Blessing.




TO THE NEW AMBASSADOR

OF THE KINGDOM OF MOROCCO

TO THE HOLY SEE

Friday, 3 May 2002

Mr Ambassador,


1. I am pleased to welcome you to the Vatican for the presentation of the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Morocco to the Holy See.

I warmly thank you for conveying to me the courteous message of His Majesty King Mohammed VI. I would be grateful if you would kindly express in return my cordial good wishes for his person, for Her Royal Highness Princess Lalla Salma, and for the prosperity of the Moroccan people.

As you recalled in your address, the already historic relations between the Kingdom of Morroco and the Holy See over the years have been developing harmoniously. I am happy about this and I pray the Almighty to support the efforts of all Moroccans to build a more fraternal and united nation.

2. At the beginning of the third millennium, the difficult and disquieting circumstances of the international situation strongly incite people of good will to reinforce the bonds of mutual confidence and the conviction that they must work together to foster dialogue and peace. As I have often taken the opportunity to recall, especially during the World Day of Prayer at Assisi last 24 January, it is the duty of national leaders and spiritual authorities to be unremitting in their efforts to remove the violence that all too often governs relations between persons and groups. To succeed, they must clearly denounce all false justifications of violence, especially in the name of religion, and continue to keep intact their attachment to dialogue and peace.

3. How is it possible not to recall at this time, as you yourself did, the tragic situation in the Middle East and the anxieties that beset us about the holy places, especially the Holy City of Jerusalem, for all believers of the monotheistic religions, the symbol of the peace that comes from God. The Holy See has made known its deep concern about the recent events; it does not cease to plead for the resumption of negotiations between the opposing parties, doing its utmost to end the armed conflict, which leads to a dead end and removes the vision of hope for the peoples living there. Only a courageous dialogue, motivated by the desire to build a possible future for all the inhabitants and communities who live in this land will be able to restore a just and lasting peace. As I have already said, neither the blind violence of terrorism nor the violence of war can produce a solution. May our constant efforts and the determined commitment of the international community succeed in convincing all parties to return to the negotiating table!

4. In promoting the dialogue which must go forward between the different religions and also between contemporary cultures, Mr Ambassador, your country can play an important role. Its geographical location and its history make it a meeting place and a bridge: on the one hand toward Western Europe and all the countries that border on the Mediterranean basin, already united by a long common history, and on the other, to sub-Saharan Africa, that the movement of immigration brings close to the Magreb. The authorities of your country are constantly called to pay attention to these new realities and to the specific situation of certain peoples, above all, their human dimension. This does not call into question the rich cultural identity of the nation, that is defined by hospitality.

As I wrote in my Message for Peace, "while it is certainly important to be able to appreciate the values of one's own culture, there is also a need to recognize that every culture, as a typically human and historically conditioned reality, necessarily has its limitations. In order to prevent the sense of belonging to one particular culture from turning into isolation, an effective antidote is a serene and unprejudiced knowledge of other cultures" (Message for World Day of Peace 2001, n. 7; ORE, 20/27 December 2000, p. 10). In this spirit, your country is honoured by a long tradition of religious tolerance and openness, and the faithful of several religions live there in reciprocal respect, without hindrance to their fundamental freedoms, showing that it is possible for believers of different traditions to live in peace on the same soil.

5. Mr Ambassador, permit me to address through you warm greetings to the Catholic community of Morocco and its pastors. I know that Catholics have their place in the life of the country and that they enjoy popular esteem. They desire to work with all their fellow citizens to build a world of justice and peace, at the service and for the development of the human person. They know that by witnessing in this way to the respect that is due to every human person, created in the image of God, they give glory to the Most High! I encourage them to witness more and more to the brotherly love that Christ teaches us, to tell everyone of the unfailing love of God for humanity.

6. At the time when you are beginning your mission to the Holy See, I offer you my best wishes for its success. Be sure that you will always be welcomed and understood by those who work with me.

Upon you, Your Excellency, and upon your family and on the Moroccan people and their leaders, I wholeheartedly invoke an abundance of Blessings from the Almighty.




TO THE MEMBERS OF THE INTERNATIONAL MOVEMENT

CURSILLOS DE CRISTIANDAD

Saturday, 4 May 2002



Dear Brothers and Sisters,

1. I am glad to meet you today: thank you for this visit! Your numerous and joyful presence attests to what I said to the Cursillistas from around the world, meeting in Rome for the Great Jubilee of the Year 2000: "The tiny seed planted in Spain more than 50 years ago has become a great tree laden with fruits of the Spirit" (Audience, Saturday, 29 July 2000, n. 1; ORE, 9/16 August 2000, p. 3). My most cordial welcome to you. I thank the two representatives who spoke on your behalf, and the spiritual directors and the leaders of the movement.

Today the Cursillos de Cristiandad are present in more than 60 countries on all continents, and in 800 dioceses. In recent years, that seed sprang up and grew in Italy, bearing abundant fruit of conversion and holiness of life, in accord with the pastoral orientations of the Italian Bishops' Conference.

2. I would now like to think back with you to two dates that were important and far-reaching. I refer first of all to the meeting with the members of the ecclesial movements and new communities in St Peter's Square, on the Vigil of Pentecost of 30 May 1998.

On that occasion, I recognized in these new ecclesial realities a providential response, raised up by the Holy Spirit for Christian formation and evangelization. At the same time, however, I urged people to grow in ecclesial consciousness and identity: "Today a new stage is unfolding before you: that of ecclesial maturity.... The Church expects from you the "mature' fruits of communion and commitment" (Prayer Vigil on the Eve of Pentecost, 30 May 1998, n. 6; ORE, 3 June 1998, p. 2).

The invitation is still valid and urgent, it is an authentic challenge that you should face with courage and determination. With this mandate to attain a more solid ecclesial maturity, I mention the request of the world Organism of the Cursillos de Cristiandad to the competent office of the Roman Curia for canonical recognition and the approval of its Statutes.

3. The second important event I would like to recall here is the Third World Ultreya, that was crowned by the Jubilee meeting of your members in St Peter's Square, which I have just mentioned. In this regard, I would like to repeat the exhortation that I made then to be courageous witnesses of the "diakonia (service) of truth", working tirelessly with the "force of communion" (nn. 3-4).


Speeches 2002 - Monday, 29 April 2002