Speeches 1981

January 1981

                                       ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II

                            TO THE TRIBUNAL OF THE ROMAN ROTA

Samedi, 24 January 1981

Monsignor Dean,
most reverend prelate auditors, dear officials of the Sacred Roman Rota.

1. I am happy to be able to meet you today on the occasion of the inauguration of the new judicial year of this tribunal. I heartily thank his excellency the dean for the lofty words addressed to me and for the wise methodological proposals he formulated. I greet all of you with paternal affection, while expressing my heartfelt appreciation for your work, so delicate and so necessary, which is an integral and skilled part of the pastoral office of the Church.

The specific competence of the Sacred Roman Rota on matrimonial causes touches very closely on the very topical theme of the family, which was the object of study by the recent Synod of Bishops. I intend to talk to you now about the juridical protection of the family in the judicial activity of ecclesiastical tribunals.

2. With deep evangelical spirit the Second Vatican Council accustomed us to looking at men and women, to understanding them in all their problems and to helping them resolve the existential problems in the light of truth revealed to us by Christ and with the grace that the divine mysteries of salvation offer to us.

Among those problems, which today most trouble the hearts of people and affect the human environment, both familial and social, in which they live and work—and is preeminent and inviolable—is that of conjugal love, which links two human beings of distinct sexes, making them a community of life and love, uniting them in matrimony.

As Vatican II emphasizes from matrimony springs the family, in which “different generations meet and help each other to increase in wisdom and to reconcile the rights of persons with other requirements of social life, constitutes the basis of society” (GS 52). In truth, adds the Council: “The well-being of the person and of human and Christian society is intimately connected with the healthy state of the community of marriage and the family” (GS 47). But with the same Council we must recognize that: “The dignity of this institution, however, is not in evidence to the same degree everywhere, being obscured by polygamy, the plague of divorce, free love, and other deformities. And married love is often demeaned by selfishness, pleasure seeking, and wrongful practices against having children” (GS 47). Also because of the grave difficulties which, at times with violence, spring from profound changes in today’s society, the institution of marriage reveals its irreplaceable value and the family still remains “a school for a richer humanity” (GS 52). Before the grave evils that today torment nearly everywhere this great good which is the family, the formulation of a universally recognized charter of family rights has been suggested, in order to assure this institution its just protection—this is also in the interests of all of society.

3. The Church, on its own part and in the area of its competence, has always sought to protect the family even with an appropriate legislation, besides favoring it and helping it with various pastoral initiatives. I have already cited the recent Synod of Bishops. It is well known how, since the beginnings of its magisterium, the Church—confirmed by the word of the Gospel (cf. Mt Mt 19,5 Mt 5,32)—has always taught and confirmed explicitly the precept of Jesus on the unity and indissolubility of marriage, without which there can never be a secure family, the healthy and truly vital cell of society. Against the Greco-Roman and Judaic praxis, which even facilitated divorce, the apostle Paul already declared: “To the married I give this command—not I but the Lord —that the wife should not separate from her husband . . . and that the husband should not divorce his wife” (1 Cor 7:10–11). The preaching of the fathers followed, in which, in light of the spread of divorce, they affirmed with insistence that matrimony is indissoluble by divine will.

Therefore, respect for the laws willed by God for the coming together of man and woman and for the continuance of their union was a new element that Christianity introduced to the institution of marriage. In matrimony, the Second Vatican Council said later: “The covenant, or irrevocable personal consent, of marriage sets up an intimate sharing of married life and love as instituted by the Creator and regulated by God’s laws. Thus, the human action in which spouses give themselves to each other and accept each other results in an institution which is stable by divine ordinance and also in the eyes of society” (GS 48).

This doctrine immediately guided the ministry, the conduct of Christian couples, marriage ethics, and juridical discipline. The catechetical-pastoral action of the Church—supported and confirmed by the witness of Christian families—introduced modifications even in the Roman legislation, which under the Justinian Code no longer allowed divorce sine causa and gradually agreed with the Christian institution of marriage. It was a great victory for society because the Church, having affirmed through the family the dignity of women and of marriage contributed to saving the best of the Greco-Roman culture.

4. In the present social context, the Church must again today make a pristine effort—doctrinal and pastoral, of behavior and praxis, as well as legislative and judicial.

The welfare of the human person and the family, in which one realizes the great part of one’s dignity as well as the good of society itself, demands that the Church today, even more than in the recent past, encircle the matrimonial and familial institution with particular protection.

The pastoral effort sought also by the recent Synod of Bishops could turn out to be almost in vain if it were not accompanied by a corresponding legislative and judicial action. To the comfort of all pastors, we can say that the new canonical codification is making provision with wise juridical norms to translate everything that has emerged from the last Ecumenical Council in favor of matrimony and the family. The voices heard in the recent Synod of Bishops concerning the alarming increase of matrimonial cases in the ecclesiastical tribunals will certainly be weighed by those in charge of revising the Code of Canon Law. It is likewise certain that pastors, by way of response to the requests of the aforesaid Synod, will know how with increasing pastoral commitment to promote adequate preparation of engaged couples for the celebration of matrimony. The stability of the marriage bond and the happy continuance of the family community depend, indeed, not a little on the preparation by the betrothed for their marriage. But it is also true that the preparation for matrimony itself could be negatively influenced by declarations or judgments of matrimonial nullity if these would be too easily obtained. If among the evils of divorce exists the danger of making the celebration of matrimony less serious and demanding to the point that today among many young people it has lost its due consideration, we must also fear that judgments of declaration of matrimonial nullity, if they were to multiply as easy and hasty pronouncements, would add to the same existential and psychological perspective. “Hence the ecclesiastical judge,” my venerated predecessor Pius XII warned, “must not be hasty to declare the nullity of marriage, but should rather make every effort to validate that which has been invalidly contracted, especially when this is made advisable by the circumstances of the particular case” (October 3, 1941, supra pp. 13–14). In the explanation of this warning he had stated: “As regards declarations of nullity of marriages, everyone knows that the Church is rather wary and disinclined to favor them. Indeed, if the tranquillity, stability, and security of human intercourse in general demand that contracts be not lightly set aside, this is still more true of a contract of such importance as marriage, whose firmness and stability are necessary for the common welfare of human society as well as for the private good of the parties and the children, and whose sacramental dignity forbids that it be lightly exposed to the danger of profanation” (October 3, 1941, supra p. 13). The Supreme Tribunal of the Apostolic Signatura, with its wise and prudent work of vigilance, is contributing laudably to avert this danger. It seems to me that the judicial action of the Tribunal of the Sacred Roman Rota is equally effective. To the vigilance of the former and the healthy jurisprudence of the latter must correspond equally wise and responsible work in the lower courts.

5. The attention and prompt readiness of the diocesan and regional tribunals to follow the directives of the Holy See, the constant jurisprudence of the Rota, and the faithful application of the norms—both the substantive and the procedural—already codified, without having recourse to presumed or probable innovations or to interpretations that do not correspond objectively to the canonical norm and not supported by any dependable jurisprudence contribute to the necessary protection of the family. Indeed, any innovation of law, substantive or procedural, that does not correspond to the jurisprudence or practice of the tribunals and dicasteries of the Holy See, is reckless. We must be convinced that a serene, attentive, thought-out, complete, and exhaustive examination of marriage cases demands full conformity to the correct doctrine of the Church, to canon law, and to sound canonical jurisprudence, which has come to maturity above all through the contribution of the Sacred Roman Rota. All this must be considered, as Paul VI of venerable memory has already said to you, as “wise means” and "is like a main line train track whose axis is the search for objective truth and whose terminus is the proper administration of justice” (January 28, 1978, supra p. 145).

In this search, all the ministers of the ecclesiastical tribunal—each one respecting his/her own role and that of others—must have particular, constant, and conscientious regard for the formation of free and valid matrimonial consent, always joined with equally constant and conscientious solicitude for the protection of the sacrament of matrimony. Both attention to the problems of the person and attention to the laws— divine and natural law or the positive law of the Church which are the foundation for the valid celebration and the continuation of marriage—contribute to gaining knowledge of objective truth, namely of the existence of a validly contracted matrimonial bond or its nonexistence. Canonical justice—which, in the beautiful expression of St. Gregory the Great, we meaningfully call priestly—emerges from the totality of all the procedural proofs, evaluated conscientiously in the light of the Church’s doctrine and law and with the support of the most dependable jurisprudence. The welfare of the family demands this. Keep in mind that every defense of the legitimate family is always in favor of the person, while one-sided concern for the individual can be harmful for the same human person, besides harming matrimony and the family, which are goods of both the person and society. It is in this perspective that the dispositions of the existing Code regarding matrimony should be seen.

6. The Synod’s message to Christian families highlighted the great good that the family, above all the Christian family, constitutes and realizes for the human person. The family “helps its members become protagonists of the history of salvation and together living signs of the plan God has for the world” (SYNOD OF BISHOPS, message, October 25, 1980, no. 8). For judicial activity to be also an activity of the Church, one must keep in mind this reality of marriage—which is not only natural but also supernatural—and of the family, which has its origin in marriage. Nature and grace show us, even if in different ways and degrees, a divine plan for marriage and the family, which must always be attended to, safeguarded, and, according to the specific tasks of each Church activity, favored so that it be received by human society as widely as possible.

The Church, therefore, also with its law and the exercise of its judicial authority can and must safeguard the values of marriage and the family to promote human persons and foster their dignity.

Like legislative activity, the judicial action of Church marriage courts ought to help human persons in the pursuit of objective truth, and thus to affirm the truth so that they may be able to know, live, and realize the plan of love assigned to them by God.

The invitation that Vatican II addressed to all, particularly those “who have influence in communities and social bodies,” therefore involves responsibly the ministers of ecclesiastical tribunals for marriage cases as well, since these, too, in serving truth and administering justice well, collaborate for the welfare “of marriage and the family” (GS 52).

Therefore to you, Monsignor Dean, to the prelate auditors, and the officials of the Sacred Roman Rota, I offer my cordial wishes for a serene and profitable work, pursued in the light of today’s considerations.

As I happily reiterate my appreciation for the precious and untiring activity of this tribunal, from my heart I impart to all of you my special apostolic blessing, as a request for the favor of divine assistance on your delicate task and a sign of my constant good will.




Saturday, 17 January 1981

Mr Ambassador,

It is with pleasure that I accept the Letters which accredit you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ghana to the Holy See. I sincerely appreciate the good wishes that you have conveyed from His Excellency Dr Hilla Limann and I ask that you assure him of my own cordial sentiments of respect.

With our meeting today I vividly recall the warm welcome that was given to me by the President, Government officials and the people of Ghana during my pastoral visit to your country this past year. The atmosphere of joyful celebration which marked that occasion impressed me as being a reflection of the profound sense of hospitality that characterizes your people.

My visit, as y?u know, allowed me to participate directly in the centenary observance of the implanting of the Catholic faith in Ghana. Since 1880 the seeds of the faith have taken root and continued to grow in ways that have benefitted not only the universal Church, but also the whole nation of Ghana. For this reason I appreciate the reference in your address to the contribution of the Church's evangelical spirit in the development of your country, and I would assure you that the Church wishes to collaborate fully with the civil authorities in promoting the dignity and well-being of all the people.

Our meeting takes place as we begin a New Year, as we take another step closer to the beginning of the third millennium. What a unique opportunity is given to each people, nation and continent in this present generation! As I mentioned in my Encyclical Dives in Misericordia, the possibilities of technological advancement, of intellectual and cultural exchange, of great progress in the social sciences are multiple and challenging. Yet in the very opportunity for attaining such benefits, there also lie tensions and threats to stifle that progress and even to endanger human existence itself.

And these dangers are not limited to the external forces of arms and weapons, but they include as well the materialistic mentality of accepting a "primacy of things over persons"[1].

Your people, ?r Ambassador, enjoy a remarkable history of giving witness to the value of the human person.

As we approach the year two thousand, can we not ask whether in the Providence of God this respect for the human person, so much a part of the life of your people, may be the most lasting benefit that the world community will receive from any single nation or continent? I repeat the conviction that I expressed last year in Accra: "Africa is called to bring fresh ideals and insights to a world that shows signs of fatigue and selfishness. I am convinced that you Africans can do this".

I ask Almighty God to bless your mission to the Holy See with happiness and success. I extend my cordial good wishes to your beloved country and pray that its people will live in full serenity, advancing the cause of justice, peace and brotherhood in the world.

[1] No. 11.




Thursday, 15 January 1981

1. I AM VERY HAPPY to receive this morning the participants in so important an event as the first Congress for the Family of Africa and of Europe, which you are attending here in Rome at the Faculty of Medicine of the Catholic University of the Sacred Heart. I greet you all with heartfelt affection and I express to you my esteem and appreciation.

Your Congress comes soon after the recent Synod of Bishops, which set out to specify “the role of the Christian family in the modern world in accordance with the eternal plan concerning life and love”[1].

With regard to respect for human life, which has been the principal subject for your consideration, the Synod “openly confirmed the validity and clear truth of the prophetic message contained in the Encyclical Humanae Vitae, a message profound in meaning and pertinent to modern conditions”, while at the same time it made an appeal that the “biblical and ‘personalistic’ reasons for the teaching be continually clarified with the aim of making the whole of the Church’s teaching clear to all people of good will and better understood day by day”[2].

I find it truly encouraging to see you here for this congress, following on a similar one for the family of the Americas. You are a group of experts in various fields and from different walks of life: bishops and theologians, philosophers and medical experts, as well as many religious and laity who are working “in the field”; and you have come together to seek the best manner of placing the enriching teaching of Christ at the service of couples who wish to live out the authentic vision of the human person and of human sexuality.

A special word of thanks is due to Sister Doctor Anna Cappella, who in the midst of so many other duties, has had to bear the greatest responsibility for the organization of this impressive Congress. I know also that many of the delegates present, especially those from almost twenty African countries, have been chosen and sponsored in various ways by their Episcopal Conferences and ecclesiastical authorities. I appreciate the sacrifices that this has involved and I wish to thank your bishops for this sign that they give of the priority of the family apostolate in their pastoral activity.

2. I have carefully studied the content of the programme of your Congress. I wish to recall for you the words that I addressed recently to the members of the College of Cardinals concerning the very questions that you are considering. These words sum up my own pastoral programme concerning the family: a theme which must receive priority today, if the Church is to render an authentic service to our tormented world; and I repeat them to you today, as the representatives of the families of Africa and of Europe: “In the face of contempt for the supreme value of life, which goes so far as to ratify the suppression of the human being in the mother’s womb; in the face of the disintegration of family unity, the only guarantee for the complete formation of children and young people; in the face of the devaluation of clear and pure love, unbridled hedonism, the spread of pornography, it is necessary to recall emphatically the holiness of marriage, the value ot the family and the inviolability of human life. I will never tire of carrying out this mission, which I consider cannot be deferred”[3].

This is the message that I have taught clearly on the occasion of my pastoral visits to the nations of Africa and Europe. It is the message that I direct to each of you, who come from various parts of these two continents, but are united by your desire to follow the authentic teaching of Christ concerning the family and concerning human life. Your contribution to the development of your own culture, your own society and your own nation depends greatly on the manner in which you live your vocation as families and to the extent that you help other families to do likewise. I stressed this point in addressing the families of Kenya, when I said: “The strength and vitality of any country will only be as great as the strength and vitality of the family within that country. For this reason Christian couples have an irreplaceable role in today’s vorld. The generous love and fidelity of husband and wife offer stability and hope to a world torn by hatred and division. By their lifelong perseverance in life-giving love they show the unbreakable and sacred character of the sacramental marriage bond. At the same time, it is the Christian family that most simply and most profoundly promotes the dignity and worth of human life from the moment of its conception”[4].

3. It is only in this broad context of God’s design for the family and for the creation of new life that one can consider the more specific question of the regulation of births. The wisdom of the Creator has enriched human sexuality with great values and a special dignity[5]. The vocation of Christian couples is to realize these values in their lives.

Perhaps the most urgent need today is to develop an authentic philosophy of life and of the transmission of life, considered precisely as “procreation”, that is, as discovering and collaborating with the design of God the Creator.

The design of the Creator has provided the human organism with structures and functions to assist couples in arriving at responsible parenthood. “In fact, as experience bears witness, not every conjugal act is followed by new life. God has wisely disposed natural laws and rhythms of fecundity which, of themselves, cause a separation in the succession of births”[6].

The plan of the Creator is impressed not only on the human spirit. How sad it is to note that the spirit of so many men and women has drifted away from this divine plan! For so many men and women of our time new life is looked on as a threat and something to be feared; others, intoxicated with the technical possibilities offered by scientific progress, wish to manipulate the process of the transmission of life and, following only the subjective criteria of personal satisfaction, are prepared even to destroy newly conceived life.

The Christian vision and attitude must be quite different: inspired by objective moral standards based on an authentic and allembracing vision of the human person, the Christian stands in awe of all the laws that God has impressed on the body and spirit of man. Your task as Christian experts is to discover, understand better and treasure these laws, and to assist couples and all men and women of good will to appreciate the life-giving faculty which God has given them in trust, to be used according to his design.

Seen in this profound context of God’s design for marriage and of the vocation to married life, your task will never be reduced to a question of presenting one or other biological method, much less to any watering down of the challenging call of the infinite God. Rather your task is, in view of the situation of each couple, to see which method or combination of methods best helps them to respond as they ought to the demands of God’s call.

Your task then is above all to lead the men and women of our time to that true communion of life, love and grace which is the rich ideal of Christian marriage, appreciating the essential inseparability of the unitive and procreative aspects of the conjugal act.

In his Encyclical Humanae Vitae, referred to so often during the recent Synod as “a prophetic Encyclical”, Paul VI noted that he believed “that people of our day are particularly capable of grasping the deeply reasonable and human character of this principle”[7].

It is our task, as apostles of human life, to assist the men and women of our time to arrive at this authentic vision through a solid and consistent catechesis of life.

Upon all of you in your efforts I invoke the grace and strength of our Lord Jesus Christ.

[1] Ioannis Pauli PP. II Homilia in Xystino sacello habita VI exuente Synodo Episcoporum, 3, die 25 oct. 1980: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, III, 2 (1980) 967.

[2] Idem. 8, l.c., p. 970.

[3] Eiusdem Allocutio ad Sacrum Cardinalium Collegium, 13, die 22 dec. 1980: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, III, 2 (1980) 1774.

[4] Eiusdem Homilia Nairobiae, in magnis hortis v. d. Uhuru Park, habita, 7, die 7 maii 1980: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, III, 2 (1980) 1201.

[5] Cfr. Gaudium et Spes, 49.

[6] Pauli VI Humanae Vitae, 11.

[7] Ibid., 12.
February 1981


(FEBRUARY 16-27, 1981)





Wednesday, 25 February 1981

Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. How can I express my feelings at this unique meeting, in Hiroshima, with the distinguished representatives of science, culture and higher learning? First of all, I would like to say that I feel very honored to be among a group of such highly qualified men and women, who devote their energies to the business of government and to research, intellectual reflection and teaching. I am very grateful to the City and Prefecture of Hiroshima for welcoming me here today. I thank you sincerely for your cordial and benevolent welcome.

I would like to offer a particular greeting to the representatives of the University of the United Nations, represented here by its Rector, Mr Soedjatmoko, the Vice-Rectors, members of the Council, and the principal collaborators of the University. Y?ur institution, which by its statutes is linked to the United Nations Organization and to UNESCO, is a completely original creation, founded to promote the lofty aims of the United Nations at the levels of research, advanced training and the dissemination of knowledge ; it was deliberately established as a global and worldwide institution. My predecessor Paul VI and I have on more than one occasion expressed our esteem for this noble enterprise and our hopes for its future. It seeks to place science and research at the service of the great humanitarian ideals of peace, development, the improvement of food resources, the proper use of natural resources and cooperation between the nations.

2. Ladies and gentlemen, we have gathered here today at Hiroshima : and I would like you to know that I am deeply convinced that we have been given an historic occasion for reflecting together on the responsibility of science and technology at this period, marked as it is by so much hope and s? many anxieties. At Hiroshima, the facts speak for themselves, in a way that is dramatic, unforgettable and unique. In the face of an unforgettable tragedy, which touches us all as human beings, how can we fail to express our brotherhood and our deep sympathy at the frightful wound inflicted on the cities of Japan that bear the names of Hiroshima and Nagasaki?

That wound affected the whole of the human family. Hiroshima and Nagasaki : few events in history have had such an effect on man's conscience. The representatives of the world of science were not the ones least affected by the moral crisis caused throughout the world by the explosion of the first atomic bomb. The human mind had in fact made a terrible discovery. We realized with horror that nuclear energy would henceforth be available as a weapon of devastation ; then we learned that this terrible weapon had in fact been used, for the first time, for military purposes. And then there arose the question that will never leave us again: Will this weapon, perfected and multiplied beyond measure, be used tomorrow? If s?, would it not probably destroy the human family, its members and all the achievements of civilization?

3. Ladies and gentlemen, you who devote your lives to the modern sciences, y?u are the first to be able to evaluate the disaster that a nuclear war would inflict on the human family. ?nd I know that, ever since the explosion of the first atomic bomb, many of you have been anxiously wondering about the responsibility of modern science and of the technology that is the fruit of that science.

In a number of countries, associations of scholars and research-w?rkers express the anxiety of the scientific world in the face of an irresponsible use of science, which too often does grievous damage to the balance of nature, or brings with it the ruin and oppression of man by man. One thinks in the first place of physics, chemistry, biology and the genetical sciences, of which you rightly condemn those applications or experimentations which are detrimental to humanity. But one also has in mind the social sciences and the human behavioral sciences when they are utilized to manipulate people, to crush their minds, souls, dignity and freedom.

Criticism of science and technology is sometimes so severe that it comes close to condemning science itself. On the contrary, science and technology are a wonderful product of a God-given human creativity, since they have provided us with wonderful possibilities, and we all gratefully benefit from them. But we know that this potential is not a neutral one : it can be used either for man's progress or for his degradation. Like you, I have lived through this period, which I would call the "post-Hiroshima period", and I share your anxieties. And today I feel inspired to say this to you : surely the time has come for our society, and especially for the world of science, to realize that the future of humanity depends, as never before, on our collective moral choices.

4. In the past, it was possible to destroy a village, a town, a region, even a country. Now, it is the whole planet that has come under threat. This fact should finally compel everyone to face a basic moral consideration: from now on, it is only through a conscious choice and through a deliberate policy that humanity can survive.

The moral and political choice that faces us is that of putting all the resources of mind, science and culture at the service of peace and of the building up of a new society, a society that will succeed in eliminating the causes of fratricidal wars by generously pursuing the total progress of each individual and of all humanity. Of c?urse individuals and societies are always exposed to the passions of greed and hate ; but, as far as within us lies, let us try effectively to correct the social situations and structures that cause injustice and conflict. We shall build peace by building a more humane world. In the light of this hope, the scientific, cultural and university world has an eminent part to play. Peace is one of the loftiest achievements of culture, and for this reason it deserves all our intellectual and spiritual energy.

5. As scholars and researchers, you represent an international community, with a task that can be decisive for the future of humanity. But on one condition : that you succeed in defending and serving man's true culture as a precious possession. Your role is a noble one, when you work towards man's growth in his being and not just in his possessions or his knowledge or his power. It is in the depths of his being that man's true culture lies.

I tried to express this fundamental aspect of our civilization in an address that I gave to UNESCO on June 2, 1980: "culture is a specific way of man's 'existing' and 'being'... Culture is that through which man, as man, becomes more man, 'is' more, has more access to 'being'. The fundamental distinction between what man is and what he has, between being and having, has its foundation there too ... All man's 'having' is important for culture, is a factor creative of culture, only to the extent to which man, through his 'having', can at the same time 'be' more fully as a man, become more fully a man in all the dimensions of his existence, in everything that characterizes his humanity".

This concept of culture is based upon a total view of man, body and spirit, person and community, a rational being and one ennobled by love : "Yes ! the future of man depends on culture ! Yes ! the peace of the world depends on the primacy of the Spirit! Yes ! the peaceful future of mankind depends on love!"[1]. In truth, our future, our very survival are linked to the image that we will make of man.

6. Our future on this planet, exposed as it is to nuclear annihilation, depends upon one single factor: humanity must make a moral about-face. At the present moment of history, there must be a general mobilization of all men and women of good will. Humanity is being called up?n to take a major step forward, a step forward in civilization and wisdom.

A lack of civilization, an ignorance of man's true values, brings the risk that humanity will be destroyed. We must become wiser. Pope Paul VI, in his Encyclical entitled "The Development of Peoples"[2], several times stressed the urgent need to have recourse to the wise in order to guide the new society in its development. In particular, he said that "if further development calls for the work of more and more technicians, even more necessary is the deep thought and reflection of wise men in search of a new humanism which will enable modern man to find himself anew by embracing the higher values of love and friendship, of prayer and contemplation".

Above all, in this country of Japan, renowned for its creativity, both cultural and technological, a country with so many scientists, scholars, writers and religious thinkers, I take the liberty of making a very special appeal. I wish to address myself to the wise men and women of Japan, and through them to the wise men and women of the whole world, in order to encourage them to pursue ever more effectively the task of social and moral reconstruction, which our world so ardently awaits. Work together to defend and promote, among all the people of your nation and of the world the idea of a just world, a world made to man's scale, a world that enables human beings to fulfill their capacities, a world that sustains them in their material, moral and spiritual needs.

7. Men and women dedicated to research and culture : your work has taken on a completely new importance in this age marked by the rise of science and technology. What an achievement for our time, what intellectual and moral power, what a responsibility towards society and humanity! Shall we be able to join in placing this scientific and cultural heritage at the service of the true progress of humanity, for the building of a world of justice and dignity for all?

The task is enormous; some will call it an utopian one. But how can we fail to sustain the trust of modern men, against all the temptations to fatalism, to paralyzing passivity and to moral dejection? We must say to the people of today : d? not d?ubt, your future is in your own hands. The building of a more just humanity or a more united international community is not just a dream or a vain ideal. It is a moral imperative, a sacred duty, one that the intellectual and spiritual genius of man can face, through a fresh mobilization of everybody's talents and energies, through putting to work all the technical and cultural resources of man.

8. The people of our time possess, in the first place, tremendous scientific and technological resources. And we are convinced that these resources could be far more effectively used for the development and growth of peoples ; let us envisage the progress made in agriculture, biology, medicine, the social communications media applied to education ; then there are the social and economic sciences, and the science of planning, all of which could combine to direct in a more humane and effective way the process of industrialization and urbanization, and promote the new models of international cooperation.

If all the rich nations of the world wanted to, they could call in an impressive number of specialists for the tasks of development. All of this obviously presupposes political choices, and, more fundamentally, moral options. The moment is approaching when priorities will have to be redefined. For example, it has been estimated that about a half of the world's research-workers are at present employed for military purposes. Can the human family morally go on much longer in this direction?

There is also the question of the economic resources needed for giving a decisive impulse to the integral advancement of the human family.

Here too we are faced with choices. Can we remain passive when we are told that humanity spends immensely more money on arms than on development, and when we learn that one soldier's equipment costs many times more than a child's education?

9. Science and technology have always formed part of man's culture, but today we are witnessing the speedily increasing growth of a technology which seems to have destroyed its equilibrium with the dimensions of culture by acting as an element of division. Such is the great problem facing modern society.

Science and technology are the most dynamic factors of the development of society today, but their intrinsic limitations do not make them capable, by themselves, of providing a power that will bind culture together. H?w then can a culture absorb science and technology, with their dynamism, without losing its own identity?

There are three temptations to be avoided in this regard. The first is the temptation to pursue technological development for its own sake, the sort of development that has for its only norm that of its own growth and affirmation, as if it were a matter of an independent reality in between nature and a reality that is properly human, imposing on man the inevitable realization of his ever new possibilities, as if one should always do what is technically possible.

The second temptation is that of subjecting technological development to economic usefulness in accordance with the logic of profit or nonstop economic expansion, thus creating advantages for some while leaving others in poverty, with no care for the true common good of humanity, making technology into an instrument at the service of the ideology of "having".

Thirdly, there is also the temptation to subject technological development to the pursuit or maintenance of power, as happens when it is used for military purposes, and whenever people are manipulated in order that they may be dominated.

10. As men and women dedicated to culture, you enjoy immense moral credibility for acting upon all the centers of decision-making, whether private or public, that are capable of influencing the politics of tomorrow.

Using all honest and effective means, make sure that a total vision of man and a generous idea of culture prevail. Work out persuasive arguments, so that everyone will be brought to understand that peace or the survival of the human race is henceforth linked indissolubly with progress, development and dignity f?r all people. You will succeed in y?ur task if you restate with conviction that "science and technology find their justification in the service that they render to man and to humanity" ; and that rational science must be linked with a series of spheres of knowledge open wide to spiritual values.

I urge all scientists, centers of research and universities to study more deeply the ethical problems of the technological society, a subject which is already engaging the attention of a number of modern thinkers. It is a question that is closely connected with the problems of the just sharing of resources, the use of techniques for peaceful purposes, the development of nations.

11. The construction of a new s?cial order presupposes, over and above the essential technological skills, a lofty inspiration, a courageous motivation, belief in man's future, in his dignity, in his destiny. It is man's heart and spirit that must be reached, beyond the divisions spawned by individual interests, selfishness and ideologies.

In a word, man must be loved for his own sake. This is the supreme value that all sincere humanists, generous thinkers and all the great religions want to promote.Love for man as such is at the center of the message of Jesus Christ and his Church : this relationship is indissoluble.

In my speech to UNESCO, I stressed the fundamental link between the Gospel and man in his very humanity : "This link is in fact a creator of culture in its very foundation ... Man must be affirmed for himself ... What is more, man must be l?ved because he is man ; love must be claimed for man by reason of the particular dignity he possesses. The whole of the affirmations concerning man belongs to the very substance of Christ's message and of the mission of the Church"[3].

All those who desire the defense and progress of man must therefore love man for his own sake; and for this it is essential to count upon the values of the spirit, which are alone capable of transforming hearts and deeply-rooted attitudes. All of us who bear in our hearts the treasure of a religious faith must share in the common work of man's development, and we must do it with clear-sightedness and courage. All Christians, all those who call upon God, all spiritual families should be invited to join in a common effort to sustain, spiritually and culturally, all those men and women who devote themselves to the total growth of man.

12. In this country, one could n?t fail to evoke the great spiritual and religious traditions of Asia, traditions that have so enriched the worldwide heritage of man. Nor could one fail to wish for closer dialogue and effective collaboration between all those who believe in man's spiritual calling, his search for the Absolute, for justice, for fraternity, and, as we express it in our own faith, his thirst for redemption and immortality.

Rational science and man's religious knowledge need to be linked together. You who devote yourselves to the sciences, are you not invited to study the link which must be established between scientific and technol?gical knowledge and man's moral knowledge? Knowledge and virtue were cultivated together by the ancients, in the East as well as in the West. Even today, I know well, many scholars, even though they d? not all profess one particular religion, are searching for an integration between their science and their desire to serve the whole man.

Through their intellectual honesty, their quest for what is true, their self-discipline as scholars, and through their objectivity and respect before the mysteries of the universe, these people make up a great spiritual family. All those who generously dedicate their knowledge to the progress of the people and all those who have faith in man's spiritual calling are invited to a common task to constitute a real science of the total advancement of man.

13. In a word, I believe that our generation is faced by a great moral challenge, one which consists in harmonizing the values of science with the values of conscience. Speaking to UNESCO on June 2, 1980, I made an appeal that I put before you again today conviction, which is at the same time a moral imperative, forces itself upon anyone who has become aware of the situation ... consciences must be mobilized !

The efforts of human consciences must be increased in proportion to the tension between good and evil to which people at the end of the twentieth century are subjected. We must convince ourselves of the priority of ethics over technology, of the primacy of the person over things, of the superiority of the spirit over matter[4]. The cause of man will be served if science forms an alliance with conscience. The man of science will really help humanity if he keeps 'the sense of man's transcendence over the world and of God's transcendence over man'[5]".

Ladies and gentlemen, it is for you to take up this noble challenge.

[1] AAS 72 (1980) pp. 738, 751.

[2] 26 March 1967, no. 20.

[3] No. 10.

[4] Cf. Redemptor Hominis, 16.

[5] Speech to the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, 10 November 1979, no.4.

Speeches 1981