Speeches 1984


APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO KOREA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA,

SOLOMON ISLANDS AND THAILAND

ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II

TO THE KOREAN INTELLECTUALS AND ARTISTS


Sogang Catholic University Auditorium (Korea)

Saturday, 5 May 1984




Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Friends,

it is with great pleasure that I come to meet you this evening. As prominent educators, scientists, artists, writers and lawyers, you are in the forefront of manís worthy efforts to understand and fulfill himself in an ever broadening horizon of new knowledge, new form, and new vision. You have the noble and difficult mission both of handing on the best of manís achievements and also of pioneering new frontiers of culture. Be assured that the Church highly esteems your vocation and mission.

1. We are all aware that man can only be truly man through his culture, through his freedom to grow integrally and with all his specific capabilities. And man who rightly seeks such growth is also endowed with supreme dignity and freedom, as befits a being created in the image of God and redeemed by Christ.

That is why as Christians you are called to an even higher mission to evangelize human culture itself. And I am truly heartened to learn that there are so many Catholic lay men and women in every field of cultural endeavor in Korea. Yours is indeed a difficult task but a splendid one. This is your apostolate.

The Second Vatican Council gave new impetus to the dialogue between faith and culture. For it had become evident that a dramatic distance threatened to develop between the Church and the various cultural movements developing around the world. While the modern world was fascinated with its own conquests and achievements in science and technology, it has at times lost its bearings and given credence to ideologies and ethical criteria out of harmony with the Gospel.

That is why the Council wished to commit the whole Church to listening to modern man in order to understand him, and to looking for a new form of dialogue that would enable the originality of the Gospel message to penetrate contemporary minds and hearts.

Acutely aware of the vital importance of this task, I for my part have long been keenly interested in the dialogue between the Church and the world of culture. Early last year I instituted a Pontifical Council for Culture, eliciting the collaboration of eminent men and women in all pertinent fields. I am firmly convinced that this dialogue between the Church and culture is of great importance for the future of mankind.

2. There are two main and complementary aspects of the question that correspond to the two dimensions in which the Church acts. One is the dimension of the evangelization of cultures and the other is that of the defence of man and his cultural advancement.

The Church must become all things to all peoples. There is a long and important process of inculturation ahead of us in order that the Gospel may penetrate the very soul of living cultures. By promoting this process, the Church responds to peoplesí deep aspirations and helps them come to the sphere of faith itself. This the first Christians of Korea, your ancestors, saw very clearly. Having come to know Christ through an earnest quest for the fullness of humanity, they then made exemplary efforts to incarnate the Gospel into the thought patterns and affective climate of the people.

Following the example of his willingness to adopt an attitude of exchange and of understanding with the cultural identity of the people, we must now also work to bring various cultures themselves closer together. And this we must do in order that single cultures may then more fully enrich others, and so that universal values may become the heritage of all.In this regard your role as bridgebuilders between cultures is of vital importance. But your contribution will be the more valid the deeper you are rooted in your own identity as Koreans, and the more you are also conscious of bringing the saving word of the Gospel into this dialogue. For we believe that the Gospel must penetrate, uplift and purify all cultures.

But, of course, the enrichment works the other way too. The age-old experience of so many peoples, the progress of science and technology, the evolution of social institutions, the unfolding of the arts: these are all ways in which the nature of man becomes more fully revealed. They open up new avenues towards truth and deepen for us the understanding of Godís mysteries. Advances in the cosmic sciences, life sciences, communications, medicine, mass-education, psychology, means of production, electronic data processing - all this can help bring about a deeper appreciation of man. Indeed, these splendid achievements of the human race are a sign of Godís greatness and the flowering of his own mysterious design. Through them a door is opened on Godís creation, and on the meaning of his gift of redemption. In this context we can see so clearly how dangerous is any dichotomy between the Gospel and authentic cultures. We all do well to recall those important words of Paul VI: "The split between the Gospel and culture is without a doubt the drama of our time, just as it was of other times" (Pauli VI, Evangelii Nuntiandi EN 20).

3. We should justly welcome and admire the God-given power and beauty of man at work. Yet precisely because the power that he wields is so very great, man is also in great need of a lucid sense of discernment. This power produces wonders; it can also destroy the one who uses it unwisely.

That is why we can never, never forget that the Gospel impels us to love man in himself, for his own sake, as the living image of God himself. Godís mercy and love, revealed to us in his Son made man for us, impels us to proclaim that man merits respect, honor, and love for his own sake, and that he must be valued in his full dignity. No man may ever be made into a tool; contempt and abuse of one single man is contempt and abuse for the Creator himself.

Because he lacks authentic "wisdom" in the use of his capabilities, man is threatened in his biological existence by irreparable pollution, by genetic manipulation, by the suppression of unborn life. His moral being can be made the prey of nihilistic hedonism, indiscriminate consumerism, and the erosion of a sense of values. And in our day, on a scale hitherto unknown, unjust economic systems exploit whole populations, political and ideological policies victimize the very soul of entire peoples, with the result that they are forced into uniform apathy or an attitude of total distrust of others.

4. As Christians we cannot remain silent in the face of so many threats to manís dignity, to peace, to genuine progress. Our faith obliges us to resist whatever prevents individuals, groups and entire peoples from being their true selves according to their deeper calling.

Our Christian faith obliges us above all to go beyond mere condemnation: it leads us to build, to love! I made a point of proclaiming before all the nations assembled at UNESCO what I wish now to repeat to you because of its relevance: "Man must be affirmed for himself, and not for any other motive or reason: solely for himself! What is more, man must be loved because he is man; love must be claimed for man by reason of the particular dignity he possesses. The body of the affirmations concerning man belongs to the very substance of Christís message and of the mission of the Church . . ." (Ioannis Pauli PP. II, Allocutio ad eos qui conventui consilii ab exsecutione internationalis organismi compendiariis litteris Unesco nuncupati affuere habita, 10, die 2 iunii 1980: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, III/1 [1980] 1643).

Similarly, in concluding the Encyclical "Redemptor Hominis", I wrote that "man is and always becomes the Ďwayí of the Churchís daily life" (Ioannis Pauli PP. II, Redemptor Hominis RH 21). Yes, man is "the way of the Church", for without this loving respect for man and for his dignity, how could anyone proclaim the words of truth and life?

5. Yours, then, is a twofold mission: to evangelize culture and to defend man. The Gospel itself is a leaven of culture to the extent that it meets man in his ways of thinking, behaving, working, resting, that is, in his cultural dimension. On the other hand, your faith will give you confidence in man, created in Godís image and redeemed by Christ, whom you will defend and love for his own sake. And because your faith includes a profound realization of manís limitations and of his sinfulness, you will face the challenge of evangelizing culture with realism and the necessary compassion.

In a word, you are called to help the Church become a creator of culture in her relation to the modern world. It is indeed a great mission, specifically entrusted to you as men and women of culture, by which you are to bear witness before the world to the Good News of the Gospel.

I am not unaware of the peculiar challenges in this regard facing you in todayís Korea. As you educate the young, pursue and transmit scientific knowledge, create works of art that express the soul of the times, write words of man about man, seek relations among people - you are being offered both a responsibility and an opportunity: indeed, you have a very great vocation and calling. And this at a moment in your history when the heritage of the past is being questioned and even unjustly repudiated, when unassimilated new currents are creating confusion, when differences between the generations are becoming acute, when the social and political climate sometimes impedes a clear ethical view of realities, when private interests and personal well-being become a paramount imperative, and when accepted norms and values sometimes seem to be empty forms.

But the more arduous the task, the more urgent and worthwhile it is to take up this challenge, so that all may live in the Risen Lord And yes, yours is a resilient people, full of vitality, optimism, creativeness, character and heart - a people that has always shown a deep religious character and profound humanity. I am confident that you will continue to be a people of high culture, open to God and open to all of mankind! At the summit of all your wisdom is the great revelation of God: "And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us".

And may Jesus Christ, this Word made flesh, guide you in your work! May the Blessed Mother who bore the Word, the Wisdom of God, be close to you today and always.



APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO KOREA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA,

SOLOMON ISLANDS AND THAILAND

ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II

BEFORE DECLARING THE ACT OF

ENTRUSTMENT OF KOREA TO MARY

Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception - Seoul (Korea)

Sunday, 6 May 1984




We are gathered here this morning in this Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the mother, as it were, of all the churches in this land, to renew once more the age-old prayer of the faithful throughout the world, a prayer very dear to the Korean Christians from the earliest days: "O Mother of God, we entrust ourselves to your protection".

When in 1837 Bishop Imbert was given the grace of finally succeeding in entering the land on a feast of Mary, he asked the Holy See to have Mary under the title of her Immaculate Conception as the Patroness of the land. This desire was later fulfilled by his successor, Bishop Ferrťol, who in 1846, in the midst of a fierce persecution, quietly consecrated the people and Church of this land to the Blessed Mother, as Co-Patroness with Saint Joseph, at the small village of Surichíigol, near Kongju.

And no sooner had the Church gained freedom of worship than this Cathedral was built here on Chongíhyon, as the visible symbol of the Catholic faith in this land, hallowed by the blood of the Martyrs, and solemnly dedicated by Bishop Mutel to the Immaculate Conception, on May 29, 1898.

Many, too, are the remarkable occurrences in the destiny of the Korean people that coincided with the feasts of Mary, recent among them the Liberation on August 15, 1945.

And so today, in this most beautiful Month of Mary, on this most auspicious day of the entire history of the Church in Korea, when the best of her sons and daughters are to be elevated to the honors of the altar, I, John Paul II entrust anew the entire people and Church of this land to the loving protection of the Blessed Mother, Mother of Jesus and Mother of us all.
Act of entrustment


Mother of all individuals and all peoples, you know all the pains and hopes of everyone. As Mother you know the struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, which is taking place in the world and within our own hearts.

You bore Jesus, the Son of Man and the Son of God, in whom the people of Korea, in wondrous joy, but also through much suffering, have found "the way, the truth, and the life".

O Mother of mercy, we now entrust to your loving heart the entire people and the Church of this land. Keep us from all injustice, division, violence, and war.

Keep us from temptation and from the bondage of sin and evil.

Be with us! Help us to overcome doubt with belief, selfishness with service, pride with meekness, hatred with love. Help us to live the Gospel with the "foolishness" of the Cross, bearing witness to Jesus who died on it, so that we may rise with your Son unto true life with the Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

O Mother of Christ, comfort and give strength to all those who suffer: the poor, the lonely, the sick, the unloved, the downtrodden, the forgotten.

Bless us! Pray for us, together with Saint Joseph, and unite us all in love. Give peace to our divided land, and the light of hope to all. Show us the blessed fruit of thy womb, Jesus! Amen.



APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO KOREA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA,

SOLOMON ISLANDS AND THAILAND

ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II

TO THE SPIRITUAL LEADERS

OF OTHER NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS


Chapel of the Nunciature of Seoul (Korea)

Sunday, 6 May 1984




Dear Friends,

in preparing to come to Korea I looked forward with particular expectation to this meeting with you, spiritual leaders in this venerable land.

You are aware that the chief reason for my visit is the responsibility that has been entrusted to me of guiding and confirming the faith of the followers of Jesus Christ who are members of the Catholic Church. But I wanted also to express to you my high esteem of the millennia of precious cultural heritage and admirable traditions of which you are the guardians and living witnesses. Thank you for giving me this opportunity by your presence today.

1. The Catholic Church is endeavouring to engage in friendly dialogue with all the great religions that have guided mankind throughout history. This we shall continue to do, so that our mutual understanding and collaboration may increase, and so that the spiritual and moral values we uphold may continue to offer wisdom and inner strength to the men and women of our time.

In fact, religions today have a more than ever vital role to play in a society in rapid evolution such as Korea. In a sense, just as the individual must find his true self by transcending himself and strive to achieve harmony with the universe and with others, so too must a society, a culture, the community of human beings, seek to foster the spiritual values that are its soul. And this imperative is all the more urgent, the deeper the changes that affect life today.

2. In this regard, the world looks to Korea with particular interest. For the Korean people throughout history have sought, in the great ethical and religious visions of Buddhism and Confucianism, the path to the renewal of self and to the consolidation of the whole people in virtue and in nobility of purpose. The profound reverence for life and nature, the quest for truth and harmony, self-abnegation and compassion, the ceaseless striving to transcend - these are among the noble hallmarks of your spiritual tradition that have led, and will continue to lead, the nation and the people through turbulent times to the haven of peace.

Our diversity in religious and ethical beliefs calls upon all of us to foster genuine fraternal dialogue and to give special consideration to what human beings have in common and to what promotes fellowship among them (Cf. Nostra Aetate NAE 1). Such concerted effort will certainly create a climate of peace in which justice and compassion can flourish.

3. We Catholics have just celebrated the Jubilee Year of the Redemption. In that period of grace we have endeavoured to live the gift of reconciliation granted us in Christ and have made efforts to reconcile ourselves with God and with our fellow man. Would it not be a good thing indeed, if also between believers of different traditions and between religions themselves a similar meeting of minds and hearts could be realized by our common good will and our duty to serve the human familyís well-being?

When the Catholic Church proclaims Jesus Christ and enters into dialogue with believers of other religions, she does so in order to bear witness to his love for all people of all times - a love that was manifested on the Cross for the reconciliation and salvation of the world. It is in this spirit that the Church seeks to promote deeper fellowship with all peoples and religions.

4. May I address a particular greeting to the members of the Buddhist tradition as they prepare to celebrate the festivity of the Coming of the Lord Buddha? May your rejoicing be complete and your joy fulfilled.

I renew to you my sincere sentiments of esteem and good will. May we all be enlightened for the wise accomplishment of the grave responsibilities that are ours. Thank you.



APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO KOREA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA,

SOLOMON ISLANDS AND THAILAND

ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II

TO THE LEADERS

OF OTHER CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES


Chapel of the Nunciature of Seoul (Korea)

Sunday, 6 May 1984




Dear Friends, dear fellow Christians,

what more fitting way is there for us to begin this encounter in the Lord than to listen with prayerful hearts to the appeal of the Apostle Paul to the Christians of Ephesus? It is still so apt for us today:

"I plead with you, then, as a prisoner for the Lord, to live a life worthy of the calling you have received, with perfect humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another lovingly. Make every effort to preserve the unity which has the Spirit as its origin and peace as its binding force. There is but one body and one Spirit, just as there is but one hope given all of you by your call. There is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all, and works through all, and is in all" (Ep 1-6).

1. Yes, "one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all". It is in this one Lord Jesus Christ that I have the joy of greeting you today. And our joy is truly mutual, since in this same year of 1984 many of you, especially Presbyterians and Methodists, are celebrating the centenary of the founding of your ecclesial communities in Korea.

How wonderful it is that in this land your predecessors in the faith should also have come to know the Lord Jesus Christ through the written word, through a Korean version of the Bible zealously spread by the laity before the first missionaries ever came to instruct and baptize in his name!

The contribution to the Korean people of your first missionaries, Dr Allen, Dr Underwood and Dr Appenzeller, and their successors, constitutes an important part of the history of this land.

Pioneering work in modern medicine and education, the advancement of women, the inculcation of democratic ideals, identification with the destiny of the people Ė all these bear witness to the virtues of your proud past. But again, this would not have been possible without the eager reception given to the Christian faith by the Korean people themselves. Nor have your communities been spared persecution, particularly in the North, but they have been found faithful in the eyes of the Lord.

2. And today, after turbulent times for all the Christian communities, it is indeed heartening to know that an ecumenical version of the Bible in Korean is now widely accepted, wherein "one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of us all" are proclaimed. Again, the fact that people from different ecclesial communities have worked together, among many other things, to publish an important work of theology is surely an encouraging sign of growing collaboration between Christians. Beautiful too is the growing friendship and close collaboration between the Universities of Yonse, Ewha and Sogang.

3. But more than all else, it is to be ardently hoped that all of us, respecting the convictions and consciences of each other, should earnestly strive to be fully one in faith and love, according to the will of Christ, as he is one with the Father, so that the world may believe (Cf. Io Jn 17,21). May all of us realize that the credibility of Christís mission depends on the unity of his disciples.

Through the power of his Resurrection may be Lord Jesus make us one. "To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen" (2 Petr. 3, 18).



APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO KOREA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA,

SOLOMON ISLANDS AND THAILAND

ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II

TO THE YOUNG PEOPLE


"Changchungdong" Sport Palace - Seoul (Korea)

Sunday, 6 May 1984




Dear young people of Seoul, dear young people of Korea,

1. I am so happy to meet you and to embrace you in the love of Jesus Christ our Lord.

I am happy to meet you precisely because you are young. For to be young means being able to appreciate sincerity. It means searching for the path to a life that is worthwhile. To be young is to be attracted to truth, justice, freedom, peace, beauty and goodness. To be young means being eager to live, but to live joyfully, meaningfully: to live a life worth living.

To be young means to be full of ideals and hopes. It also means to experience loneliness, and the fear that these precious hopes may not be fulfilled. And the more you love life, the greater your hopes, the greater too sometimes are your fears. Because what is at stake is too important to be lost: the one life that God gave you, which no one else can live for you. To be a young Christian is all this and more: it means to be alive in Christ!

2. You have chosen as the theme of this meeting: "God - I - People". These are important words. But for you they are more than words. They pose questions filled with hope and anguish. They are the great challenges and aspirations on which the outcome of your lives depends. That is why you want to speak about these subjects, inquire about them, pray about them, and do something about them - alone, with others, with God.

As typical young people, you have important questions about life: life at home, in school, in the wider context of adult society. There are many things in your own lives that trouble you: why must school be a place of such pitiless competition? Why is there such a difference between what you are told at home and what you hear at school? Why do your seniors seem so unwilling to understand and accept you, your ideas and your wishes? What are you to think of all the dishonesty, contradictions, and injustices around you - all of which are presented to you as being inevitable in the social context? Why must life be such an uphill struggle against built-in obstacles, especially for those of you who are already working so hard in your young years? What can you do about peace in your own country and in todayís world, so full of violence and hatred?

You have questions too about the Church. Is she close enough to you? Can she really inspire you to live by the Gospel, to care more for the weak and the poor, to grow out of every form of selfishness, and to treat every human being as a brother or a sister?

You are asking these questions because you are really concerned. And you believe that what you hope for can be achieved. That is why you are the hope of the future for all of us, and why I love you so much.

And sometimes you are misunderstood. Sometimes you run into a wall of incomprehension. Yet do not be discouraged. There is a path to take. Have courage. The Lord is with you on your path.

3. And because you want to be with the Lord, you have come with all your joys and anxieties, your fears and hopes, to Jesus Christ. Saint Peter said: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life" (Jn 6,68). Yes, Jesus Christ has words of eternal life for you, for all the young people of Korea, for the young people of the whole world.

This evening Jesus speaks to you in the words of Saint Paul to his young disciple Timothy: "Fight the good fight of the faith: take hold of the eternal life to which you were called" (1Tm 6,12). Most of you have already accepted Jesus in Baptism, and you have been strengthened for the "Good fight of the faith" in the Sacrament of Confirmation. But what is this "faith"?.

It is faith in "Christ Jesus who in his testimony before Pontius Pilate made the good confession" (Ibid. 6, 13). You remember the scene from Saint Johnís Gospel. Pilate wants to understand the charges brought against Jesus. He wants to know who Jesus is. And Jesus plainly confesses who he is: "For this I was born, and for this I have come into the world, to bear witness to the truth. Every one who is of the truth hears my voice" (Jn 18,37).

But what is the truth to which he bore witness? It is that God loves us, that he is Love itself; that whoever sees Jesus sees the Father (Cf. ibid. 14, 9). The truth is that God, the Father of Jesus, is also our Father: "The blessed and only Sovereign, the King of kings and Lord of lords, who alone has immortality and dwells in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see" (1Tm 6,15-16). This God, whom mankind and each one of us in his or her own way has sought, is made known to us and to the world by Jesus. Jesus confirmed the confession of his truth by giving his life for us on the Cross and by rising from the dead.

4. By accepting this truth, and by accepting your own share in Christís paschal Sacrifice, you do what Saint Paul encouraged Timothy to do: "Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called . . ." (1Tm 6,12). It is not easy. First of all you will have to struggle against disbelief: your own at times: and the disbelief of those who, like Pontius Pilate are not interested or have given up hope of ever finding the true meaning of their lives. Like Pilate they ask without hope, "What is truth?", and walk away without the answer.

Then you must fight against the temptation to water down the requirements of the Gospel, the temptation to falsify Jesusí message by weakening the personal and collective moral demands that he makes on those who follow him. To fight against this temptation is to "fight the good fight of the faith".

5. It is now up to you to ask yourselves how in practice you too are to "make the good confession" in your turn, here and now, "in the presence of God who gives life to all things, and of Jesus Christ" (Ibid. 6, 13), and in the presence of our contemporaries. In other words, where do "God and I and People" come in? What path am I going to follow?

In the reading we have listened to from the First Letter to Timothy, there are described two programmes of life, two possible attitudes in life. One of these is wrong and is to be rejected; the other one is the right path to a "life which is life indeed" (Ibid. 6, 19).

First there is the attitude of the "rich in this world" who are "haughty", who place all their trust in wealth and all that goes with it: privilege, power, influence. Then there is the attitude of those who place their trust in God, those who do good, those who are "rich in good deeds". It is not so much a question of having or not having wealth: what counts is the attitude of the heart and the good works that spring from it. Even the young and the materially poor can be "rich" in heart and "haughty" in spirit if they limit the horizons of their hopes and dreams to the selfish pursuit of power and material well-being.

The temptation is great indeed, as you well know, to follow this path. You experience it especially when you feel, "realistically", as you say, that in the end it is futile to struggle to be good and unselfish in a world so full of injustice, so cold and harsh, where there seems to be no room for the "meek" and the "poor of spirit" whom Jesus spoke about in the Beatitudes. But to struggle against this defeatism is to "fight the good fight of the faith".

And seeing your open young faces here this evening, I know that you want to live rightly. I am convinced that you will choose the path that Jesus teaches and that you will not give up. And as you struggle to create a better world you will guard against temptations to inconsistency in your own lives - the temptation to combat injustice with injustice, violence with violence or any other kind of evil with evil. Your weapons are of a different kind. They are truth, justice, peace and faith, and they are invincible. The power that you wield in the "good fight of the faith" is "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" (Cf. Eph Ep 6,10-17). Only the word of God points out the path to victory, and it passes through reconciliation and love.

6. It is important for you to realize that you do not stand alone. The whole Church stands with you in choosing to follow this path of our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ. You are the younger generation of the Church in Korea which is now giving thanks to the Blessed Trinity for the two hundred years of its mission in your homeland.

It is now your turn to embrace this heritage in its fullness and to pass it on to those to come. For this reason it is important for you to feel at home in the Church, to take your place in the Church, especially by becoming more and more involved in the life of your parish communities and in the works of the apostolate: "Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Mt 5,16).

Let the world know that you have chosen the path of truth goodness and compassion, honesty and love, pardon and reconciliation where necessary, and openness to all. Yes, the path of generosity, personal discipline and prayer. And when someone asks why you live this way, you will answer: "Because of my faith in Jesus Christ".

7. You will need strength, but God will give wou his grace. Grace is indeed the power of God that lights the path of your life towards "the life which is life indeed" (Mt 5,19). Dear young people: it is in union with Christ through prayer - with Christ your brother and your Saviour, Christ the Son of the eternal Father - that you will understand the full meaning of life and receive the grace to live it to the full, to be alive in Christ! "Grace be with you!" (Ibid. 5, 21).

And in this beautiful month of May, the Month of Youth and the Month of our Blessed Mother Mary, may she who is "full of grace" love you and keep you in her Son our Lord Jesus Christ, for ever and ever!



APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO KOREA, PAPUA NEW GUINEA,

SOLOMON ISLANDS AND THAILAND

FAREWELL CEREMONY

ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II


International Airport of Seoul-Kinpo (Korea)

Monday, 7 May 1984




As I now take leave of you and of your beautiful country, my heart is filled with gratitude, with joy and with hope.

1. I am deeply grateful for the moving warmth and kindness that I have received, for the very generous hospitality accorded me both by the Government and the Church, and by all the people of Korea. I express particular thanks to those who quietly made many unseen sacrifices so that this visit might bring gladness to others.

Above all I am grateful to God our Father that he has enabled me to make this pilgrimage to your land, that he has allowed me to raise its noble sons and daughters - Saint Andrew Kim and his 102 companion martyrs - to the honours of the altar.

2. I leave you also with great joy - joy most of all for having had the opportunity to join you in celebrating the Bicentennial and the Canonization. Surely, it has been a great experience, not only for the Catholic Church but for the entire Korean people who are honoured with such saintly forbears. It has indeed been a great joy for me to share in your happiness. Life would be sad and gray, it would lack cheer and luster, without such rejoicing, and without openness to the transcendent values represented by these events.

3. And this encounter of ours has given me much renewed hope. The youthful vitality, the edifying fervour, the readiness to make whatever effort and sacrifice necessary both to build a model nation and a true Christian community - all this inspires confidence and hope for a worthy tomorrow.

At the same time, however, all this moves me to remember with profound regret, sympathy, and sorrow those of your parents and children, brothers and sisters, friends and relatives in the North who could not share the joy of your celebration, and who are all waiting in pain and expectation to be reunited as one happy family.

Let my word of farewell therefore be an ardent prayer: may the merciful and good Lord grant all of you true happiness and peace, in a society of justice and fraternal love.

Thank you, and God bless you again!





Speeches 1984