Speeches 1990 - Cathedral of Christ the King, Moshi


APOSTOLIC JOURNEY TO TANZANIA, BURUNDI,

RWANDA, AND THE IVORY COAST

FAREWELL CEREMONY

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II

ďKilimanjaro International AirportĒ, Moshi (Tanzania)

Wednesday, 5 September 1990




Mr Prime Minister and First Vice President,
Your Eminence,
Brother Bishops,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. Now that my Pastoral Visit to Tanzania has come to an end, I cordially wish to thank everyone for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality extended to me since the first moment of my arrival. My special gratitude goes to His Excellency the President and to all the members of Government for their kindness and help at every stage of my journey. I am deeply grateful to my Brother Bishops and their collaborators for making my pilgrimage to the Church in Tanzania a truly joyful and fruitful spiritual experience. Nor can I fail to thank those who took part in the various events, those who maintained order and security, as well as those who enabled me to reach all the people of this vast land through the communications media.

Above all, I give thanks to God who made it possible for the Successor of Peter to visit your country: "Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven" (Ep 1,3). I thank him for the vitality of the Catholic community in your midst; for the grace he has given us in the Eucharist we have celebrated together; for the inspiration he has surely given you to work ever harder to meet the challenges facing this young Church and this young Nation.

2. My visit to Tanzania has indeed been a happy event. But as my pilgrimage now takes me to other countries, I cannot forget that other aspect of Africa where "millions of men, women and children are threatened with never enjoying good health, with never being able to live with dignity from their work, with never receiving the education which will develop their minds, with seeing their environment become hostile and sterile, with losing the wealth of their ancient patrimony, all the while being deprived of the positive supports of science and technology" (Ioannis Pauli PP. II Uagadugi, in aedibus Consilii compendiariis litteris CEAO nuncupati, ad civiles Auctoritates habita X elapso anno a Summi Pontificis allocutione de gravi aquarum penuria in Sahelia, 4, die 29ian. 1990: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, XIII, 1 (1990) 305).

I implore Godís gifts of comfort, strength and peace upon those who suffer or are in need on this continent. In the name of our common humanity I appeal to the more developed nations of the earth to inaugurate a new era of solidarity with Africa, based on justice and respect. Let the world not forget the urgent needs of the peoples of Africa!

3. As I take leave of Tanzania, I urge all its citizens to cherish the peace, unity and fraternity under God which have enabled them to forge a society worthy of their dignity as persons created in his image and likeness. I pray that you will always recognize that your highest aspirations and greatest good are to be found in peace and harmony, both among yourselves and in your relations with neighbouring States.

May the people of Tanzania always remain united to one another as true brothers and sisters, regardless of ethnic origin or differences of culture and religion. The unity of which I speak is unity for the common good, for the full development of society, for the protection and promotion of the dignity and rights of every human person, from the greatest to the least. It is also a unity that looks beyond national borders in order to promote the welfare of all humanity.

During my visit I have tried to emphasize the importance of the family for human solidarity. It is the Catholic Churchís conviction that the family is an irreplaceable school for social virtues such as respect, justice, dialogue and love, and the most effective means for humanizing and personalizing society (Ioannis Pauli PP. II Familiaris Consortio FC 42-48). I urge you to protect and promote family life as the great source of strength and moral character for the life of your nation.

Dear friends, although I leave Tanzanian soil, I assure you that your country and all its people will always remain indelibly etched on my heart and mind.

Kwa Watanzania wote, nasema: Asanteni sana!
(To all Tanzanians I say: thank you very much!)
Mungu aibariki na kuilinda Tanzania.
(May God bless and protect Tanzania).
Kwa heri ya kuonana!
(Goodbye, till next time).



ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II

TO THE PARTICIPANTS IN THE MEETING

ORGANIZED BY THE INTERNATIONAL CENTER

FOR RELATIVISTIC ASTROPHYSICS

Castel Gandolfo

Friday, 14 September 1990




Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends,

1. I extend a cordial welcome to the participants in the meeting organized by the International Center for Relativistic Astrophysics on the theme of "Relativistic Gravitational Experiments in Space". Your initiative, which brings together distinguished scientists from the European Space Agency, the Italian Space Agency, Stanford University, the University of Rome and the Specola Vaticana reflects the kind of cooperation and solidarity needed for the advancement of knowledge in a world that has become increasingly complex and interdependent.

The Church has often expressed her esteem for science and for those men and women who devote their lives to the study of the heavens and the earth, "the world and all that is in it" (Ps 11). Your present meeting honours one such scientist, William Fairbank, whose creative research and diversity of interests made him a pioneer in many of the areas of science which you are currently discussing. It is fitting that you honour the memory of this dedicated man of science by continuing to seek answers to some of the questions which he raised in the fields of gravity and the extremely delicate space experiments on gravity required in order to test crucial predictions of Einsteinís theory of space and time.

Your meeting also provides an example of international cooperation among scientists on behalf of the authentic progress of the human family. The participation of the Vatican Observatory in this meeting bears witness to the Churchís deep conviction that scientific research, undertaken in a spirit of humility and reverence for the truth, leads to a deeper appreciation of the Creatorís wisdom and, consequently, to a greater respect for the inalienable dignity and freedom of every person. Religion and science ought to collaborate closely in promoting the fundamental human values of peace, mutual understanding and effective solidarity among all peoples.

2. On the occasion of the three hundredth anniversary of the publication of Isaac Newtonís Philosophiae Naturalis Principia Mathematica, I had occasion to refer to the relationship between the academic community of the natural sciences and the faith community which is the Church. These two very different but important institutions have had and continue to have a major influence on the development of ideas and values and on the course of human action. Both are committed - each according to its proper nature, methods and goals - to pursuing the same truth and to understanding the same universe. Today I wish to express once again my belief that our mutual concern for the full truth about the origins and destiny of the universe and of humanity can be both a foundation and stimulus for a more dynamic dialogue between religion and the natural sciences.

Indeed, both science and religion stand to benefit from an interactive relationship in which each discipline, while retaining its own autonomy and integrity, nonetheless remains open to the discoveries and insights of the other.

Our times, marked as they are by a fragmentation of knowledge and a separation between truth and values, have great need of such dialogue, based on critical openness and aimed at overcoming unilateral or partial views of reality. In the search for a truly adequate account of man and his place in the cosmos, "the Church and the scientific community will inevitably interact: their options do not include isolation" (Ioannis Pauli PP. II Epistula Moderatori speculae Vaticanae missa, die 1 iun. 1988: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, XI, 2 (1988) 1716). On the one hand, Christians must have an enlightened vision of the world in which they are called to live their faith. Today this vision is deeply shaped by science. They must therefore look at the findings of science critically and with depth, not with shallowness or bias. On the other hand, scientists need a framework in which to give meaning and value to their lives and their world, and the reflective depth of theological wisdom can help them attain that framework. It also allows them to avoid an absolutizing of their results beyond their reasonable and proper limits (Cfr. ibid).

3. On the occasion of your meeting, I wish to assure you once more of the Churchís encouragement and her gratitude for your efforts to seek the good of mankind through knowledge of the natural world. As you build upon the legacy which you have received from those who have gone before you, may you come to know the liberating power of truth (Cfr. Io Jn 8,32) and draw nearer to Him whose voice is heard in the discourse of creatures (Cfr. Gaudium et Spes GS 36). Assuring you of my best wishes for the success of your work, I invoke Godís abundant blessings upon you and all your loved ones.



ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II

TO THE BISHOPS OF THE PHILIPPINES

ON THEIR AD LIMINA VISIT

Tuesday, 18 September 1990



Your Eminence,
Dear Brother Bishops,

1. I am happy that your visit to Rome gives us the occasion to meet in the spirit of ecclesial unity and love which must always be a characteristic of those who have been called to shepherd the Lordís Church, taking the place of the Apostles (Cfr. Lumen Gentium LG 20). As pastors of the Church in the Philippines, your presence is a sign of the apostolic faith which lives in the hearts of that portion of Godís beloved people which has been entrusted to your ministry. In you I greet the priests, religious and laity of your Dioceses, commending them to the prayerful intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary whose protection Filipinos have always invoked in the dramatic as well as the ordinary circumstances of their earthly pilgrimage.

On this occasion I would refer you to the words I spoke to a previous group of Bishops from your country on their ad Limina visit in April of this year. I was concerned to point out that in the specific circumstances of Filipino society, faced with many serious economic, political and social problems, you, the Bishops, have a special charge to draw attention to the moral and religious dimensions of the questions which concern the well-being of your people. It is your task to preach the word of God in all its purity and power. You are witnesses of Jesus Christ and of the truths and values of his kingdom. Yours therefore is an eminently spiritual and moral leadership which aims above all at educating and challenging the consciences of your fellow-citizens to responsibility before God and before their brothers and sisters. Without a conversion of conscience to the commandments of God and the truths of the Beatitudes there can be no progress in the ways of justice, peace and human development. And in particular there can be no true Christian holiness of life and selfless service of others.

2. An enlightened and committed living of the faith by the Filipino laity is all the more urgent when standards and values that are essential to Christian living are being undermined by the practical materialism sweeping society. The family in particular suffers the onslaught of a "new" culture which speaks the language of progress, liberation, modernity, but which bears the seeds of a social, moral and religious subjectivism which deprives manyó youth especiallyó of the noble ideals and sense of responsibility needed to direct behavior to goodness and truth. Certain trends which are also penetrating some sectors of Philippine society are in contrast with the great values of traditional Filipino culture. Your pastoral mission therefore goes to the heart of Philippine society, seeking to strengthen its cohesion with the life-giving truth of the Gospel and leading it to ever greater heights of nobility and humaneness through your constant appeal to moral responsibility and effective solidarity with all, especially the poor and the suffering.

Catholic lay men and women, especially parents, educators and those active in public life and in the communications media, must be helped and encouraged in their efforts to bring the social and moral teaching of the Church into play in meeting the challenges of the present moment of Philippine history. The Church in your country is charged with presenting a supremely valid message of reconciliation and integral development to society, and with effectively serving the spiritual and other needs of the peoples to which she is sent. The Church, in fact, has been sent. That is her nature. She is not another structure of humanitarian concern or political organization, but the very "mystery" of the Fatherís love made incarnate in Jesus Christ and always present through the work of the Holy Spirit. Of this "mystery" you are stewards and ambassadors (Cfr. 1Co 4,1 2Co 5,20).

3. The Church has been sent to announce the Good News of redemption in Jesus Christ to all the nations of the earth (Cfr. Matth. Mt 28,19). In my recent Letter to the Fifth Plenary Meeting of Asian Bishopsí Conferences I recalled that "on the eve of the Third Christian Millennium, an ever greater commitment to evangelization is imperative for all the local Churches in Asia. ... Today, Christian lay people in ever greater numbers wish to share in this mission and to do so with ever greater commitment. ... In conformity with their specific ministry, priests should be particularly active in the Christian formation of lay people, whose irreplaceable vocation is the sanctification of the world in all its temporal realities" (Ioannis Pauli PP. II Epistula occasione oblata V Congressus Plenarii Episcoporum Asiae, 4 et 5, die 23 iun. 1990: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, XIII, 1 [1990] 1659 ss). In this great enterprise, in which the Church cannot fail her divine Lord, the Bishops have a unique role and primary responsibility. To you, together with your priests, applies the counsel expressed in the above mentioned Letter, that "freed from many administrative tasks undertaken to meet supplementary needs, the clergy can be models of a deep spirituality, witnesses to the transcendent values expressed in prayer and contemplation, and ever attentive to the presence of God in the lives of those whom they serve" (Ibid. 5: l. c., pp. 1660 s).

4. In the Liturgy of the Hours of the Twenty-fourth Sunday we read a part of Saint Augustineís reflection on his own position as a member of the Church called to shepherd other members of the Church: "I, besides being a Christian, and for this having to render an account of my life, am a leader also, and for this shall render to God an account of my ministry" (S. Augustini Sermo 46, 2). As Bishops, ours is a service of love, made up of innumerable acts of selfless dedication to others, for which we are constantly called to give account before our own conscience and before the Lord of heaven and earth. It is a ministry of solicitude for all Christís brothers and sisters, indeed, for the whole world, before which we must stand as authentic witnesses of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, crucified and risen. Our hope and confidence lie not in ourselves, but in him who called us to this task. He gives the increase (Cfr. 1Co 3,7).

Dear Brothers, with affection in the Lord I wish to encourage you to be faithful, wise and vigilant guides. Be assured of my remembrance of you and your people before the Lord, just as I commend my ministry to your prayers. May your present visit to Rome give you added incentive and support in the great responsibilities which are yours in the one country in Asia where the majority of the people are sons and daughters of the Church. This is your special grace, and also your special challenge. I am confident that such initiatives as the National Catechetical Year which you are now celebrating and the forthcoming Second Plenary Council of the Church in the Philippines will constitute a special grace for all the faithful, bringing a deeper understanding of their membership in the Body of Christ and a more vital decision to take an active part in the Churchís mission. May Godís abundant blessings be with you all.



ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II

TO THE SECRETARY GENERAL AND THE MEMBERS

OF THE WORLD COMMITTEE OF SCOUTING

Thursday, 20 September 1990



Dear Friends,

I am pleased to welcome this distinguished group which includes the Secretary General and Members of the World Committee of Scouting, representatives of the International Catholic Conference of Scouting and of AGESCI (Italian Catholic Scouts and Guides) the many instances in which my predecessors have praised the noble aims of your movement and its achievements on a world-wide scale since Lord Baden-Powell founded it just over eighty years ago, I assure you of my own personal appreciation of Scouting as a magnificent educational experience and form of social and religious commitment. I am happy to know that today over sixteen million young people of all races, religions and cultures on every continent take part in Scouting activities within the structure of your movement.

In the changing political and social circumstances of the present moment, you are finding new opportunities for a renewed presence of your organization in the countries of Central and Eastern Europe. You are also making notable progress in Asia, Africa and Latin America, while Scouting continues to attract many young people in countries in which it has traditionally been strong. In congratulating you for the dedication and dynamism with which you serve this cause, I wish to encourage you to continue to uphold the high ideals and challenging programmes of personal development, friendship, brotherhood and service which make your movement so appealing to youth.

Scouting is above all an education. The members of the movement experience it as a growth into personal maturity and social responsibility. They learn to assume their place in life with a high degree of commitment to the common good. They learn to care for the less fortunate. They develop a fervent desire to build a culture of goodwill; they learn openness and harmony in human relationships, respect for the environment, acceptance of duties, including the most fundamental of all duties love of the Creator and obedience to his will.

Scouting is a movement capable of helping millions of young men and women to work for a civilization of "being", in contrast to the civilization of "having" which is producing in so many societies such alarming manifestations of selfishness, frustration and despair, and even of violence as a way of life. The true value of your movement lies in transmitting a humanism expressed in right judgment, strength of character, refinement of spirit, and perseverance in the pursuit of truth and goodness. The success of the Scouting method certainly has much to do with the way young people are led to discover for themselves and live these qualities through activities suitable to their age. The spontaneous and open style of Scouting activities, within a framework of self-discipline and a clear code of behaviour, makes these activities particularly attractive to the naturally enthusiastic and generous nature of youth.

Concern for Christian values was an essential part of the original programme of Scouting devised by Baden-Powell. It is precisely this openness to the religious dimension of life that gives body and direction to the human and ethical values which the movement seeks to transmit and of which Scout and Guide leaders are called to be exemplary witnesses. It is true that the Church has a special interest in the well-being of Catholic Scouts and Guides, particularly through the activity of the International Catholic Conference. But I would assure you that she holds the entire Scouting movement in high esteem, and is confident that cooperation and exchange between all its component organizations is an important part of the further strengthening and success of the movement as a valid educational experience.

Dear friends, I renew my sentiments of esteem and my encouragement in your regard. You and the members of your movement may well be proud of the great Scouting traditions of personal excellence and selfgiving in the service of God and neighbour which you have inherited. I invoke Godís blessings upon you as you strive to address the many questions facing your organization today and meet the challenges of maintaining the high ideals of Scouting.



October 1990

ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II

TO THE BISHOPS OF KOREA

ON THEIR AD LIMINA VISIT

Tuesday, 16 October 1990



Your Eminence,
Dear Brother Bishops,

1. Your presence here as the Pastors of the Church in Korea on your ad Limina visit is a cause of great satisfaction and comfort for me to whom has been entrusted a special "solicitude for all the Churches" (2Co 11,28). It is almost exactly a year since I visited Seoul for the Forty-fourth International Eucharistic Congress, a time of joyful communion in faith and ecclesial unity for the Church in Korea, indeed for the whole "communion of saints" which has its deepest source in Christ and its fullest sacramental expression in the Eucharist: "Because there is one bread, we who are many are one body" (1Co 10,17). I cannot forget the faith and devotion of your people, and I am happy to learn that the Eucharistic Congress has borne abundant fruits of Christian life and holiness among the faithful.

Your ad Limina visit is an expression and celebration of the special bond of communion that binds us together in the College of Bishops, as successors of the Apostles. It is my ardent hope that by revisiting the tombs of the Holy Martyrs Peter and Paul, and going back as it were to the origins of our apostolic faith, you may be filled with renewed vigor in serving the particular Churches which Divine Providence has entrusted to your care. From the time the faith first entered Koreaó in such an extraordinary and evangelical wayó down to the present situation of intense vitality within the ecclesial community, the provident love of God has been guiding the Churchís steps in your land. The great signs of holiness and martyrdom are there for all to see, to admire and to imitate. In the lives of the Korean Martyrs you are witnesses to the fruitfulness of trials undergone for Christís sake and, in particular, of religious persecution. With humble and joyful hearts may you always praise God for the outpouring of grace that you daily experience through your ministry.

2. The statistics which you provided in preparing this ad Limina visit speak loudly of the growth and vitality of the Catholic community in your country. In the five years that have elapsed since your last visit the numbers of priests, of men and women religious, of seminarians and catechists have all increased notably. It is particularly encouraging that your four major seminaries are full and that others may soon be opened. And still, this significant growth cannot keep pace with the increase of the Catholic population. In Saint Paulís terms, you are a healthy, fruitful new branch on the tree that is the Church (Cfr. Rom. Rm 11,17). What Saint Paul writes to the Romans should find an echo in the hearts of your faithful: "remember it is not you that support the root, but the root that supports you... you stand fast only through faith. So do not become proud, but stand in awe" (Ibid. 11, 18. 20). May you always be builders of Christís peace among yourselves, in the Church and in the world.

3. I have an especially vivid recollection of my visit to the Parish of Nonhyondong where many priests gathered for Eucharistic Adoration and where we meditated together on the need for the prayer of adoration and for the pastoral charity that flows from the Eucharist, the center and root of all priestly life (Cfr. Presbyterorum Ordinis PO 14). The theme of the priesthood is before our eyes in these days of the Synod of Bishops dedicated to questions of priestly formation. The manner in which the one priesthood of Jesus Christ is lived and exercised by the priests of Korea is among the questions confronting your ministry as Bishops, and in this area also I wish to encourage you to be wise stewards of Godís grace. Every vocation to the priesthood or to the consecrated life is a sublime gift of God, both to the individual concerned and to the Church, particular and universal. It is a grace which must be prayed for, fostered and whole-heartedly supported by the entire ecclesial community. The communityís task is to make it possible for those called to respond to this grace with a free and generous offering of themselves to Christ and to the Church. In the case of the priesthood, it is also for the Bishop personally to exercise an authoritative role in judging the call received and the degree of preparation and commitment gained on the way to Ordination.

I ask you take my prayerful encouragement to the beloved priests and seminarians of Korea. I renew the wish I expressed at Nonhyondong that they be close to the members of the flock, sharing their joys and sorrows, readily available to all, in a simple lifestyle stemming from true poverty of spirit (Cfr. Ioannis Pauli PP. II Homilia in loco v.d. "Nonhyondong Parish", 3, die 7 oct. 1989: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, XII, 2 [1989] 785 s) .

To be worthy and effective ministers of the Gospel, Bishops and priests must have an attitude of willing detachment from self and from the world. The priestís calling implies a likeness to Christ not only through imitating the Lordís example but, even more so, it implies a call, through the Sacrament of Orders, to become one with Christ in his "emptying of self, taking the form of a servant... humbling himself and becoming obedient unto death" (Cfr. Phil. Ph 2,6-8). The ministry of the word, of sacrament and of pastoral charity cannot be separated from this interior kenosis which must always be a mark of the Christian life in union with Christ. The thirst for advancement in the spiritual life and for greater love and solidarity in human affairs, so felt by your people, can only be satisfied if sacred ministers are truly men of God, fervent in prayer and deeply moved by zeal for the Fatherís house (Cfr. Io. Jn 2,17).

4. It is in fact the whole Christian community which is called to exemplify the selfgiving offering of Christ to the Father. The Final Statement of the Fifth Plenary Assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishopsí Conferences held in Bandung last July speaks of the Churchís mission in Asia in terms of service: service of the Lord and of needy humanity. This too is the path of the Church in Korea, which is faced with the task of reaching out more and more to the less fortunate members of society, in particular to workers and the poor. This outreach, in turn, greatly depends on how you pursue the difficult and delicate question of fostering a deep, penetrating but always respectful meeting between the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ and the traditional ethos of a people formed in other religious and cultural molds.

The Church in Korea, like the Church throughout Asia, "was not sent to observe but to serveó to serve the Asian peoples in their quest for God and for a better human life; to serve... under the leading of the Spirit of Christ and in the manner of Christ himself who did not come to be served but to serve and to lay down his life as a ransom for all (Cfr. Marc. 10, 45)ó and to discern, in dialogue with Asian peoples and Asian realities, what deeds the Lord wills to be done so that all humankind may be gathered together in harmony as his family" (Final Statement of the Fifth Plenary Assembly of FABC, 6. 3). All of this demands that the Church in Korea be animated by a truly missionary spirit and express "an authentic discipleship", holding "the contemplative dimension, renunciation, detachment, humility, simplicity and silence in the highest regard" (Cfr. ibid. 9. 1 et 9. 2). I emphasize these aspects because you yourselves are fully aware of the force of attraction which a more worldly way of life can exercise over the ministers and servants of the Gospel when their "mission" is not clearly rooted in the "consecration" which stands at its foundation.

5. The theme of unity in its many dimensions is one with which you are familiar. During my visit to Seoul last year I noted that the "Korean nation is symbolic of a world divided and not yet able to become one in peace and justice" (Ioannis Pauli PP. II Homilia Seuli occasione oblata Stationis Orbis, 4, die 8 oct. 1989: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, XII, 2 [1989] 800). For forty years the life of your people has been profoundly affected by a tragic division which has split families and been the cause of many tensions in society. At present, you anxiously await a sign that global political changes and Korean initiatives themselves might lead in the direction of hoped-for reunification based on authentic justice, freedom and respect for inalienable human rights. As Bishops you follow closely these questions insofar as social, political and cultural realities are connected with important humanitarian, moral and religious concerns. It is your task to help the Catholic faithful to approach these questions with a conscience that is well formed in the ethical demands of the Gospel and the social teaching of the Church, in which love and mercy have a preeminent place.

You yourselves have noted your great need to provide a continuing formation of the laity in the truths of the faith and in the application of the Churchís moral teaching to the realities of life in a changing and increasingly complex society. In the task of applying the truths and values of the Gospel to temporal realities, the laity are the ones who have a specific call and competence, as is recognized in the teaching of the Council and in the law of the Church (Cfr. Lumen Gentium LG 31 Codex Iuris Canonici, CIC 255). The family, civil society, the development of culture, the world of economics and political engagement: these constitute the specific field of endeavour for Catholic lay men and women deeply imbued with the Gospel values of love, justice, freedom, truth and peace. The secular field is the natural and ordinary environment for their activity and technical expertise, and it is therefore the place where they ought to bear Christian witness and further the Churchís mission.

6. Speaking of the relationship between the Church and society, the Pastoral Constitution "Gaudium et Spes" offers a general synthesis of various roles in the life of the Church. "It is to the laity... that secular duties and activity properly belong. ... It is their task to cultivate a properly informed conscience and to impress the divine law on the affairs of the earthly city. For guidance and spiritual strength let them turn to the clergy; but let them realize that their pastors will not always be so expert as to have a ready answer to every problem... This is not the role of the clergy: it is rather up to laymen to shoulder their responsibilities under the guidance of Christian wisdom and with eager attention to the teaching authority of the Church" (Gaudium et Spes GS 43).

It is important for the ecclesial community to have a clear awareness of the distinction of roles. Priests and religious do not lose their rights as members of the civic community or their duty to work for the common good. But being endowed with a specific calling to ministry or religious consecration, they assume other duties which imply restrictions on engagement in purely temporal affairs or partisan politics. This does not mean that the pastors of the Church cannot denounce injustices where they exist or advocate more humane and ethical laws and policies. But their contribution to the progress of society lies more in forming consciences and motivating the laity in the pursuit of more just structures of socio-economic, political and cultural life. Thus society will be transformed "from within", as a consequence of the validity and effectiveness of an immanent Christian presence. Christís image of the "leaven which a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened" (Mt 13,33), is always relevant to the Churchís presence in society.

7. Dear Brother Bishops, these are some of the thoughts which your visit inspires. They are spoken with love and understanding. Their purpose is to enable me in some way to share with you in the joys and sorrows of your ministry. We are united in the conviction that the Lord, in his love, is calling the Church in Korea to meet the challenges of this hour by bearing credible witness to the values of the Kingdom of God through Christlike deeds. Be assured of my constant prayer for the Church in Korea, that all her members will respond courageously and generously to the hour of grace you are experiencing.

Take my encouragement and best wishes to the priests and religious, to the seminarians and catechists, to the catechumens and all who seek the truth of Christ, to the families and parish communities. "The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen" (1Co 16,23-24).


Speeches 1990 - Cathedral of Christ the King, Moshi