Speeches 1983 - Saturday, 30 April 1983
Monday, 2 May 1983
My dear Friends,
You have come to Rome to be present at yesterday’s solemn and meaningful ceremony in which Cardinal Michael Michai Kitbunchu took possession of this titular Church of San Lorenzo in Panisperna.
On this occasion you have wished to meet the Pope, and indeed I am greatly pleased to spend this all-too-brief moment with you. I greet each one of you: the bishops, priests, religious and lay men and women who are here. You represent the whole Church in Thailand. At the tomb of Saint Peter you manifest the vibrant spiritual life and evangelical commitment of all your brothers and sisters in the household of God.
When you return to your homeland you will take with you the memories of this visit. May it be for each one of you a pressing invitation “to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called”, as Saint Paul urges us (Ep 4,1). May the ministers of the Lord among you lead God’s people to knowledge and holiness with all solicitude and generosity and spiritual joy. May the laity, by their secular activity, aid one another to greater holiness of life, so that the world may be filled with the spirit of Christ and may more effectively attain its destiny in justice, in love and in peace (Cfr. Lumen Gentium LG 36).
My brothers and sisters, I thank you for your courteous visit. I ask you to pray for the Church and for the many needs of the human family. Pray for me. On my part, I commend you all to the love of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the intercession of Mary, whom we honour in a special way in this month of May.
I invoke peace, harmony and well-being upon your country and its rulers. Cod bless Thailand.
Friday, 6 May 1983
My dear Brothers in the Priesthood of Jesus Christ,
I am happy to welcome all of you who are part of the Institute for Continuing Theological Education of the North American College. The weeks you have spent in Rome have given you the opportunity to renew yourselves in the study of theology and related disciplines, so as to be led with greater vigour to serve God’s People in your own dioceses or in the individual apostolates undertaken by your religious communities.
There is one important facet of your priestly service upon which I would like to reflect with you today. You have had the good fortune to witness the solemn opening of the Extraordinary Holy Year of the Redemption. A central theme of this year is reconciliation with God and the ecclesial community through penance and conversion. We seek this reconciliation in various ways, but essential to the process is a renewed awakening among the faithful of an appreciation for the Sacrament of Penance. It is about this matter that I wish to address myself to you today. It is to this sacrament that I wish to call your special attention.
We know that divine mercy is experienced by our people in numerous ways, both as individuals and as members of the community of salvation. But pastoral sensitivity also teaches us that this experience of divine mercy reaches its highest intensity - and finds its most eloquent expression - at that moment when the individual penitent kneels before the minister of the Sacrament of Penance and asks Christ’s forgiveness and absolution of his sins.
My brothers, so much of our identity as men of God is associated in the minds of the faithful with our role as sacramental reconcilers. Much of the respect, the deference and the genuine affection our people show towards us is linked with our power to forgive sins in the name of Christ. We would be less than faithful to the essence of our priestly vocation by not seizing each possible opportunity to offer to our people the healing and reconciling power of Christ’s mercy in the Sacrament of Penance.
I ask you today to accept the challenge of proclaiming the mercy and love of God as experienced through the Sacrament of Penance. I invite you to preach it with renewed fervor and insistence; to teach it, by exhorting your people to ever greater conversion, and, above all, to lead the way by practicing it yourselves.
May you be sustained in your efforts by the intercession of Mary, whose motherly prayers always draw us closer to her Son; and may you be confirmed in the grace of Christ the Redeemer, whose love of his priestly servants is the unending source of our life and of our ministry.
I gives me great pleasure today to welcome your group to the Vatican. You have expressed a desire to meet the Pope, and I am happy that this has been possible.
As members of the National Assembly of Korea, you are active participants in the complex institutional processes by which the citizens of your country exercise their civil liberties in the achievements of the common good. Yours is a vocation of service to the social and political life of your fellow-citizens. This is a noble task which undoubtedly makes great demands upon your gifts and talents. It is your attitude of service to the common good that makes you promoters of order and peace. It is your intelligent and competent commitment to the promotion and safeguarding of the conditions required for the protection of the fundamental rights of the human person in public life which ennobles your parliamentary activity.
On the other hand, your faith in Christ and your Catholic understanding of the meaning of life can in no way detract from the effectiveness of your political service. Rather, the Gospel of the Shepherd of Peace which you profess constitutes a singular contribution to the common task of ‘furthering a just and lasting brotherhood among individuals and among nations.
As Parliamentarians you are qualified representatives of the beloved Korean people. I therefore wish to avail myself of your visit here today to ask you to take my personal greetings to President Chun Doo Hwan and the other authorities of the Republic, and to all its citizens. I pray to God that he may bless the Korean nation with peace and abundant progress in every field of life.
It is with great warmth and joy that today I welcome you and your honoured delegation to this city in which the Apostles Peter and Paul crowned their testimony.
In your person I greet a Church which traces its origins to the preaching of the Apostle Thomas and to his witness to Jesus Christ. The apostolic fraternity unites us to the same mystery of Jesus Christ, whom the apostles followed and listened to. After his Resurrection from the dead, they confessed him before the world.
“My Lord and my God” (Jn 20,28), exclaimed the Apostle Thomas, indicating for all time a confession of faith in Christ, proclaiming his divinity, his salvific Lordship, his bodily Resurrection – so real that it could be seen and touched (Cfr. ibid. 20, 27). It is in this faith that comes through the Apostles even unto our time that we meet here today.
Our two Churches proclaim together this faith through the Nicene-Constantinople formula: “Credo in unum Dominum Iesum Christum, Filium Dei Unigenitum”.
The development of history, in its complexity, has led our Churches to live separately for long ages, in mutual lack of knowledge and even, at times, in opposition.
A lack of knowledge of one another’s cultural and religious language, as well as of historical, geographic and political factors, has unfortunately brought about a reciprocally harmful estrangement which has progressively deepened not only diversities, but also divergences, sometimes leading to confusion between the one and ‘the other, thus making the burden and its consequences yet more heavy.
The deepening of theological studies and, above all, our direct contacts are clarifying the horizon and making us now see with a greater light the profound communion that already exists between the two Churches.
I see in my mind’s eye the tribune of delegated observers of the various Churches to the II Vatican Council. Among them were the representatives of the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, for whom the Catholic Church again expresses its profound and permanent gratitude. Their silent but attentive presence, at a time when the Catholic Church was in the process of outlining her policy in regard to other Christians, was a living appeal to fraternal respect, to objective research into the communion of faith actually existing, to the serene identification of the real divergences and of the instruments for confronting and resolving them. I believe that the deliberations of the Council owe much to this physical and spiritual presence.
The Council not only recalled a fraternal attitude towards other Christians, but also showed the foundation of common faith and doctrine. In regard to the Churches of the East, the Council asserted that they have “true sacraments, above all, by apostolic succession, the priesthood and the Eucharist, whereby they are still joined to us in a very close relationship”, adding in consequence that “through the Eucharist in each of these Churches, the Church of God is built up and grows” (Unitatis Redintegratio UR 15).
It is in this rediscovered communion of faith and sacraments, which goes beyond every contingent interpretation or non-comprehension, that the II Vatican Council has established further relations between the Catholic Church and the Oriental Churches.
Study and direct contacts have made it possible to see anew a reality which the dust of time had almost buried and which dimmed eyes could no longer see.
Blessed be the Lord who warms the heart of man and enlightens his mind to understand at the proper time his will and also gives the strength to accomplish it.
Our encounter today is certainly blessed by the Lord, because we wish to be attentive to his will which directs that his disciples be one, so that the world may believe (Cfr. Io Jn 17,22).
Jesus Christ died upon the Cross “to gather into one all the dispersed children of God” (Ibid. 11, 52).
To his prayer and to his salvific work we want to remain faithful. And it is my hope that the spirit of this our fraternal and abiding meeting will be spread to the faithful of the Catholic Church and the Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church, particularly where they are living side by side. May there grow mutual understanding. May there grow mutual respect and love, and let them be expressed in fraternal and constructive collaboration, according to the concrete possibilities of place, whether in the social field, the cultural climate or above all, in the pastoral sphere, in order to testify before our neighbours that Jesus Christ is our God and our only Lord.
Ecumenism on the local level has decisive importance for the general promotion of the unity of all Christians.
Unity is a distinctive note of the Christian community. Division in its various expressions tarnishes it, sometimes compromises it. The II Vatican Council pointed out that this damages the most holy cause of preaching the Gospel to every creature (Cfr. Unitatis Redintegratio UR 1). As much before all those who do not yet know the name of Jesus Christ, as among those nations traditionally Christian but which are facing a crisis of identity and are in danger of rejecting the Christian faith, or at least of minimizing it, there emerges the urgency of a growing commitment to the guest for unity.
I wish to assure Your Holiness, on the part of the Catholic Church, that no effort will be spared to give due attention to all that needs to be done. We shall make use of theological research, examine areas of pastoral concern and engage in theological conversations and dialogue. Above all we will have recourse to prayer, for we are certain that unity, just like salvation itself, is a gift of God and therefore “depends not upon man’s will or exertion, but upon God’s mercy” (Rm 9,16).
The Catholic Church is thus disposed to intense ecumenical collaboration in the search for perfect unity, in order to render common testimony to our one Lord, and in order to serve together the people of our time, proclaiming to them that Jesus Christ our Saviour is the life of he world.
Your Holiness, with these sentiments, I greet you with reverence and fraternal love. Blessed be God who has made this meeting possible. May he grant that, overcoming every remaining difficulty, we shall meet one day in full unity in the concelebration of he Eucharist.
“To him be glory in the Church in Christ Jesus to all generations, for ever and ever. Amen” (Ep 3,21).
I extend a very cordial welcome to you as we meet today in the Vatican. I have vivid recollections of my own welcome to the United States of America, especially the warm reception given to me in your nations’ capital.
I am pleased that you should wish to meet me during your official visit to Europe. This clearly manifests your sentiments of respect, which I assure you are mutual, as well as your desire to engage in constructive dialogue regarding matters of interest and concern to you and to the Holy See.
You are men and women who exercise leadership in the United States and who influence the social, political and economic policies of America. And so, as you perform this important role, I would invite you to keep before your eyes a global vision of the events and happenings of our times. I would encourage you to reflect constantly on the moral implications and consequences of your actions and on your influence on the world community. Maintain a keen awareness of the dignity of the human person and be courageous in upholding the inalienable rights which flow from that dignity: the inalienable rights of every human person - every man, woman and child. In this way, you will be serving not only your fellow citizens, but you will be protecting and strengthening the bonds that unite the entire human family.
May you be strong in your resolve to pursue the path of truth and righteousness, no matter what the cost. And be assured that I accompany you in this endeavour with my blessing and my prayers for you and for all your fellow Americans.
Monday, 27 June 1983
My brothers and sisters,
I am pleased to welcome you today and to tell you of my joy in celebrating with you the unity that joins us together as the Body of Christ. I extend my greetings to Cardinal Nsubuga who has led your pilgrimage to Rome and who labours with so much dedication on behalf of the Church. To him and to each of you I express my gratitude for your presence here.
This is the Jubilee Year of Redemption and you are observing this Extraordinary Holy Year by coming to Rome to benefit from the spiritual treasures that our Blessed Lord offers you at this time through the Church. I pray that you may be profoundly touched in meeting Christ along your pilgrim journey. During your stay in Rome may your faith in Jesus be deepened and your love for the Church confirmed. As you return home I urge you to bring the Good News of Christ’s love to your compatriots, especially those who at this moment of history carry such a heavy cross of suffering. Before them may your witness to the faith, like that of the Ugandan Martyrs, be courageous and strong, testifying to the meaning of life that you have found in Christ, the Redeemer.
Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,
I am happy to extend warm greetings to the pilgrims from Nigeria who, led by their Bishops, have come to Rome during this Jubilee Year of the Redemption. On the occasion of my pastoral visit to your country, you accorded me a very cordial and friendly welcome, receiving me in your midst as the Pastor of the universal Church and as a brother in Christ the Lord. This Holy Year Pilgrimage is now another sign of your loyal union with the Successor of Peter and with the Catholic Church throughout the world; and it is a symbol of your desire to deepen your faith in Jesus Christ, the Redeemer of the world. As you visit the tombs of Peter and Paul, and as you journey to Lourdes and to the Holy Land, I pray that the Holy Spirit will strengthen you in holiness, truth and joy. And may God pour wt his abundant blessings upon you, your families and loved ones, and upon all the people of Nigeria.
Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,
1. In this hour of collegial unity, I welcome you with deep affection in our Lord Jesus Christ. In you I greet the whole ecclesial community in Australia and express my admiration for what God has accomplished in your land over the past decades. I express the gratitude of the universal Church for the profound attachment of your people to the Catholic Faith, to the Church, and, in particular, to the Eucharist. I evoke with reverence and praise the many charitable activities performed in the name of Jesus Christ by a vital part of his Church. I tank you and your people and all who have gone before you for everything you have done to consolidate the Church of God in your midst. Two mighty instruments of the apostolate and of God’s grace have been the parish and the Catholic school in Australia. Please God these providential institutions will remain strong and effective for generations to come. In these and in many other ways, the Bishops have worked tirelessly, together with the priests, Religious and laity, to spread the Kingdom of God and to proclaim the Lordship of Jesus Christ. In so many different situations the Bishops of Australia have shown themselves to be true pastors of their people. Among such situations one may mention the great efforts being made to help the many families suffering from the present grave problem of unemployment. These efforts I praise and encourage. At the same time, we have to remember that it is not material help alone that is needed: it is spiritual solidarity with the deprived that counts for far more. In this respect I would also add a word of praise for what is being done to meet the needs and special problems of the descendants of the first inhabitants of your vast Continent. May the special programmes already in hand be quickly brought to fruition.
2. There is one special aspect of your pastoral mission that I would like to reflect on with you today. It is the preaching of the Gospel, which according to the Second Vatican Council occupies a pre-eminent place among the principal duties of Bishops (Cfr. Lumen Gentium LG 25). This role is principal and pre-eminent precisely because Jesus said to his Apostles: “Go, therefore, make disciples of all nations . . . and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you” (Mt 28,20). As Bishops we are called upon to proclaim Christ: to preach Jesus Christ as Lord; to proclaim him as the fullness of Revelation; to proclaim his word as light and strength for our people; to proclaim the need to accept Jesus Christ - the need for every individual to give the personal response of faith to the Father who reveals himself in his Incarnate Word.
Today we commemorate together the command of Jesus to the Apostles: to preach the Gospel. At the same time we recall his unfailing promise (Ibid.). We are in effect emphasizing the profound meaning of our Episcopal ministry - what we are called to do, who we are meant to be. We are celebrating our identity as Bishops of the Church of God, united in a collegial act of confidence, joy and fresh resolve. We cannot emphasize too strongly the pastoral responsibility of Bishops to be heralds of the Gospel, authentic teachers of the faith and “stewards of the mysteries of God” (1Co 4,1).
On my part I am grateful to you for everything you have done and will continue to do in this regard. In particular I would mention your efforts to bring to your people the teachings of Familiaris Consortio, which is in effect the application of the word of God as it touches the Christian family. In the past you have made concerted efforts to proclaim the dignity of life and to expose the evil of abortion: other ethical problems which call for your constant vigilance are current trends in genetical experimentation, and also the question of the care of the old and respect for their life. You must never cease to point out that any legislation that permits abuses in these matters is not a solution to the problems of society and is an affront to the dignity of the human person.
Through your Committee for Education, you have addressed the vital issues of handing on the faith. For these and for so many Other efforts on behalf of the Gospel, I thank you, Venerable Brothers, with all my heart.
3. In reflecting on our ministry at the service of God’s word, we are struck by the awesome responsibility that has been given to us: to see to it that the faith is rightly transmitted to our people. Hence our main endeavour is to proclaim the word of God, which is at the basis of all faith. In the words of Saint Paul: “Faith comes from what is heard, and what is heard comes by the preaching of Christ” (Rm 10,17). The Lord Jesus, who commissioned us to teach and preach, calls us to present his word in all its fullness, and to emphasize its power to save humanity. The Gospel is indeed “the power of God for salvation to every one who has faith” (Ibid. 1, 16). And because the Gospel contains the saving power of God, we must present the Gospel in all its implications and with all its demands. We must transmit it to future generations in all its purity.
In this context we see the capital importance of the Church’s mission and of our own Episcopal mission to evangelize. There is no doubt about it: the Church finds her identity in evangelizing - and so do we Bishops find ours. Each of us is called to be a living sign of the Jesus who says: “I must proclaim the Good News of the Kingdom of God . . . because this is what I was sent to do” (Lc 4,43).
4. In the whole process of evangelization there is that very remarkable aspect or “moment” of catechesis.The aim of catechesis is to mature the initial faith of believers and to bring them to a deeper and more systematic knowledge of the person and the message of our Lord Jesus Christ (Cfr. IOANNIS PAULI PP. II Catechesi Tradendae CTR 19-20). Such an aim deserves the full attention of all Bishops as pastors and teachers of God’s people, as “the catechists par excellence” (Ibid. 63). It is supremely significant that my Predecessor John XXIII, addressing the Bishops of the world on the opening day of the Second Vatican Council, clearly and succinctly spelled out the Council’s purpose, saying: “The greatest concern of the Ecumenical Council is this: that the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be more effectively guarded and taught” (IOANNIS XXIII Allocutio ad Episcopos totius orbis terrarum occasione oblata apritionis Concilii Oecumenici Vaticani II, die 11 oct. 1962). This was the greatest concern of the Council, and it should be our greatest concern as Bishops in the post-conciliar Church: “That the sacred deposit of Christian doctrine should be more effectively guarded and taught”.
This concern of ours expresses itself both in zealous support of improved catechetical methods and in constant vigilance to maintain the full content of revealed faith as proclaimed by the Church.
The content of catechesis is the content of evangelization and it necessitates a full Christian initiation, which is linked with the whole liturgical and sacramental activity of the Church. In communicating through catechesis the living mystery of God, the Church calls for an ever greater commitment to Christian living “in spirit and truth” (Jn 4,23). The Creeds of the Church, and in particular the Creed of the People of God, are sure points of reference for the content of catechesis. The perennial relevance of the Ten Commandments and the implications of the Our Father are for ever linked to an effective catechesis of the Christian people; they are indeed at the core of catechesis. The characteristics of genuine catechisms are those mentioned in Catechesi Tradendae: fidelity to the essential content of Revelation and up-to-date methodology which will be capable of educating the Christian generations of the future to a sturdy faith (Cfr. IOANNIS PAULI PP. II Catechesi Tradendae CTR 50).
5. It is precisely as teachers of the faith, as pastors who personally proclaim the Gospel in word and sacrament, that Bishops cooperate with the Holy Spirit in forming and evangelizing and catechizing people, endowed with the enthusiasm and dynamism of the Catholic laity. Much remains to be said about the laity and their shared responsibility for the proclamation of the Gospel. But it is very important to stress the fact that the proper actuation of the laity’s charism in this field is intimately linked to the Bishops’ personal, principal and pre-eminent role of preaching the Gospel. The effectiveness of all the different teaching roles within the ecclesial community depends on the effective exercise of the Bishops’ charism in union with the Successor of Peter.
Through the Bishops’ charism, the priests are strengthened in faith and confirmed in their own ministry of the word, as are the theologians in theirs. Through the Bishops, the genuine Catholic Faith is transmitted to parents, to be passed on to their children. Teachers and educators at all levels can receive the guarantee of their own faith only through the Bishops. All the laity bear witness to that purity of faith which the Bishops work strenuously to maintain.
In the pure and undiluted faith preached by the Bishops is found the full power of God’s word. This power of God’s word in the answer we give to all the forces of secularization and de-Christianization in the world. The power of God’s word is the contribution we make to the young people of today’s world: it gives them their greatest reason for hope. The power of God’s word is what we offer as an act of pastoral love to our people. To communicate the power of God’s word is the very reason we are Bishops; it is why we were sent.
Venerable and dear Brothers, I am close to you in this exacting but exhilarating mission that is yours. In expressing my own pastoral love for all those whom you serve and for all those who collaborate with you, I would like to quote what you yourselves commissioned to be written a few years ago in the document entitled “We Preach Jesus Christ as Lord”: “Our message is not an easy one, but it is a magnificent charge. The message we have been sent to proclaim is not human wisdom but the wisdom of God (Cfr. 1Co 1,24). No new knowledge acquired by men can transcend this wisdom or make it useless or unnecessary. No new culture or civilization can render it irrelevant or outmoded . . . Moreover, we must have every confidence that the Living Christ and his Spirit can enable the Church to present the Gospel to men of today as the living truth” (“We Preach Jesus Christ as Lord”, p. 6).
Dear Brothers: Praised be Jesus Christ, the living truth!
It is a great pleasure for me to greet you, the members of Serra International, who have come to Rome for your annual convention. I extend to each of you a very warm welcome and I am happy to have the occasion to encourage the works of your distinguished lay apostolate.
1. In the almost fifty years since its foundation, Serra International has striven to remain faithful to the call given to all lay people in the Church, the call to be sharers in the mission of Christ, “Priest, Prophet and King” and thus “to have an active part to play in the life and action of the Church” (Apostolicam Actuositatem AA 10).
Furthermore through the grace of baptism and confirmation, Serrans are drawn to accept the vocation common to all Christians, that of following the path to genuine holiness. “For this is the will of God: your sanctification” (1Th 4,3), Saint Paul tells us. We are called to be transformed into the glorious image of Christ himself (Cfr. 2Co 3,18).
2. By choosing as your Patron the great missionary, Father Junipero Serra, you express well a fundamental aim of your organization: the desire to bear witness in a special way to the working of God’s grace in your lives. The desire to be apostles for our times-just as Father Serra bore witness to Christ among the Indians in the eighteenth century-impels you as members of Serra to promote Catholic life, not only within your own families, but also among your peers in the business and professional world, offering to them through your personal lives of Christian virtue a concrete testimony to the love of God made manifest in Jesus Christ.
You find support and encouragement for this task in your regular meetings, which strengthen the bonds of friendship among you and nurture the ideals which bring you together.
3. Still further-and more specific to your pursuits as a world-wide body - is the Serran objective of promoting vocations to the ministerial priesthood and fostering respect for it, as well as for all religious vocations in the Church. The realization of this goal has been the principal focus of the programmes and projects of Serra International throughout the years. It has given impetus to the apostolic thrust of Serra Clubs round the world.
Especially praiseworthy is the primacy you have given to prayer for vocations. Through your frequent participation in the Eucharistic Sacrifice, you find not only a deep source of spiritual strength, but also the most effective means of imploring God’s grace to touch the hearts of young men and women, so that the seeds of vocations in the Church may take root and grow strong.
4. I need not dwell at length on the challenges - indeed the difficulties - of fostering and promoting vocations to the priesthood and religious life in our day. As Christians dedicated to supporting these vocations, in direct and indirect ways, you easily understand just how much must be done.
I would ask you to continue to perform this valuable service to the Church in collaboration with your local Bishops.
As the chief pastors of their Dioceses, one of the first duties of your Bishops is to be concerned that there is always a sufficient number of ecclesiastical vocations to attend to the spiritual needs of God’s people. In fulfilling this duty, however, the Bishops are well aware that they cannot work alone. They must draw together all the forces of their individual Dioceses into a unified effort. They will depend upon the cooperation and assistance of their brother priests, whose interest in this matter should always be outstanding; but they must also solicit the help of those who share in the common priesthood of believers and as such participate in the salvific mission of the Church in their own special way. The bishops know that lay people, precisely because they are conformed to the image of Christ at Baptism have the right and duty to labour actively at building up the Body of Christ.
It is for this reason that your Bishops are eager to accept your collaboration in such an important ecclesial activity. This is why they welcome your support in prayer, so that the efforts made in this regard may bear fruit and that their effects may endure.
I invite you then, my brothers of Serra International, to look to your Bishops for guidance and direction in pursuing the Serran ideals, since it is from them that the impulse and inspirations for the apostolate in your Dioceses derive. Offer the Bishops whatever assistance is possible in order to encourage young people to accept the call to service in the priesthood and religious life, for it is the Bishops who stand first among those who are called to serve God and his people.
And, above all, never lose heart. Have immense confidence in the power of Christ’s Paschal Mystery to raise up new vocations to the priesthood and religious life, despite the difficulties and obstacles of this or any age.
5. As you pursue this apostolic endeavour, I assure you of my prayers for its success, and I commend you to the maternal care of Mary, the Queen of the Apostles, who remains forever the perfect model for those who seek to be united with her Son and to cooperate in his saving work for all humanity.
In the love of Christ our Redeemer, I impart to you my Apostolic Blessing, which I very willingly extend to your families and loved ones at home.
Speeches 1983 - Saturday, 30 April 1983