Speeches 1973

September 1973




Monday, 10 September 1973

It is with the greatest pleasure that we welcome you, the Board Members and Executives of "Reuters News Agency", and we are indeed honoured to receive you on the occasion of your meeting here in Rome.

We are well aware how great is the influence and renown of the News Agency which you represent. We know that it not only provides the press of Great Britain, Australia, and New Zealand with an objective and accurate service of world wide news but also makes this service available to the press, radio and television of almost every country in the world.

Such an important function arouses our greatest interest, for we are convinced that the integral development and above all the spiritual development of man requires information that is full, consistent, accurate and true. Your function then, distinguished gentlemen, carries with it a great responsibility because it is destined to render man more capable of acting in conformity with his own dignity and of assuming an active role in the economic, political, cultural and religious life of his community. By the speedy and accurate dissemination of news you not only assist men in exercising their right to information about affairs which affect them (Cfr. Inter Mirifica IM 5) but you are also active in aiding men to help one another.

Since your are fully aware of the special nature of our religious mission, permit us to invite you to study, with your well known competency, the particular problem, complex as we know, of the diffusion of information regarding the religious life of man and of the Church. At the same time, we wish to express our gratitude for all that your agency and the individual publishing companies and newspapers which you direct, have already done to this end.

We cordially extend to each of you our best wishes for the success of your meeting in the Eternal City and we assure you of our prayers while we invoke upon yourselves, your work, and your families an abundance of divine graces and blessings.




Thursday, 27 September 1973

It is a pleasure for us to meet today those taking part in the Special World Conference on Futures Research and to thank the President for his kind words. We extend to all of you warm greetings.

We are aware of the general theme of the Conference: the study of man and his future, with special reference to the problems affecting man in his specific nature, problems which for this very reason are difficult and delicate ones. As scholars and qualified sociologists, you are in a position to offer the coming generations authoritative perspectives of development, and to contribute to the improvement of human life. Having previously examined the various aspects of manís future-economic, demographic, cultural, technological and so on, this time you have addressed yourselves to the values which man, as a rational being, bears within himself and which he strives to bring to full realization.

In this field the Church, as the bearer of a transcendent and revealed doctrine, certainly has something to say. She already possesses a science concerning future and final realities, the science of eschatology, and she continually urges her children to study the sublime truths which it embodies, so that they may prepare themselves for the final and decisive meeting with the Creator. Eschatology, however, is concerned with a future that lies beyond space and time. Your own studies are concentrated on the development of this present world. Yet there is no contradiction between the two forms of research, and indeed the Church is herself deeply aware of the problems of the temporal and earthly future. By reason of her experience stretching back two thousand years she too is an expert on mankind, and it is her wish to be present in this branch of research. She cannot of course offer technical solutions to problems, but when it is a question of man as the bearer of spiritual and moral values she willingly encourages those men of science who work for manís development in the future. We praise you, therefore, for your commitment to the search for a future that is better and more human.

This search involves certain sectors of special interest. In the first place, there is the human personality; it would seem essential today to take account of that personality, not in opposition to, but in coordination with technical progress. This will contribute towards a fuller and harmonious development of man, who must be helped to achieve the fullness of his psychological and spiritual potentialities, as an individual, and in the context of the family.

Then there are nations, especially developing nations: they must be respected and given effective aid for their full flowering, and this in order also to safeguard that other transcendental human value-peace. Finally there is the problem of the defence of the human environment, which today is more and more endangered. The earth which the Creator gave in trust to man must be fit to live in, a worthy home for the whole of human society.

We know that these points which we have passed in rapid review are already part of your programme of research. We wish you well in your work, which is both forward-looking and courageous. You are pioneers, blazing a trail for future generations. We do not doubt that your commitment will be fruitful and appreciated, and we invoke upon your labours the abundant favours of Almighty God.

*Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XI, p.896-897;

ORa n.41 p.2.




Saturday, 29 September 1973

We are very pleased to welcome today the President and members of the Union Saint-Jean-Baptiste from the United States. Your society is well known for its charitable work, especially for the contribution it has made over the last seventy-three years to Catholic education in the New England States.

The generous scholarships which you provide for students in seminaries and in Catholic colleges are a valuable aid to the work of the Church. Truly you are doing your duty both as good citizens and as good Catholics, since, as the Second Vatican Council points out, "the future of society and of the Church herself is clearly bound up with the development of young people who engage in higher studies" (Gravissimum Educationis GE 10).

Your particular concern for the promotion of French culture and civilization helps also to provide that appropriate degree of cultural enrichment which all citizens must have an opportunity to acquire (Ibid. 6).

In the work which you do directly for the local churches, by defraying the expenses of construction of different parochial buildings, you are giving expression to your underlying concern to help and cooperate with your pastors, as the early Christians did in the times of the Apostles (Cfr. Phil Ph 4,14 ss.). It is our prayer that the Lord will bless your endeavors with his continued assistance.

It is also our pleasure to extend a cordial greeting to a group of pilgrims from South Africa who are about to visit the Holy Land, and also to members of the Congress of the United States on their way home from Nairobi. We thank you for wishing to visit us. It is our hope that your stay in Rome will be an inspiring occasion and one that will long remain in your memories.

Upon all of you we invoke the abundant graces and blessings of Almighty God.



Sunday, 30 September 1973

We are happy to welcome Your Holiness today, at the beginning of your first journey to countries in this part of the world. You come to us from Asia, the cradle of ancient religions and human traditions which are rightly held in deep veneration.

The Catholic Church sincerely respects those ways of conduct and those teachings of other religions which mirror the ray of eternal truth enlightening all men (Cfr. Nostra Aetate NAE 2). Since the Second Vatican Council our Secretariat for Non-Christians has been specially charged with fostering relations with followers of other religions. The beneficial effects of our greater contact and cooperation can serve to strengthen the brotherhood of all the human race.

We remember with joy our own visit to Asia and the Southern Hemisphere three years ago, and the wonderful welcome we received in all the different countries, both those which are predominantly Christian and those which mainly profess other great religions, We trust that Your Holinessís visit here and to other countries will be for you an occasion of spiritual satisfaction, and that it will contribute to the furtherance of mutual love and respect among the adherents of different creeds. We earnestly pray that all men may live peaceably with one another (Cfr. Rom Rm 12,18) and may ever seek the true and living God.

We thank you for your most courteous gesture in coming to see us, and we assure you that you will be in our thoughts as you continue your travels.

October 1973




Monday, 8 October 1973

Mr Ambassador,

It is with great pleasure that we welcome Your Excellency and receive the Letters accrediting you as the first Ambassador of Australia to the Holy See.

The establishment of diplomatic relations between your country and the Holy See is a source of satisfaction to us. A new and important channel of communication is opened up on matters of common interest both within and beyond your frontiers. These official links reflect the shared conviction that men must work together in the spiritual as well as in the political and economic order if justice, peace and genuine progress are to he achieved.

Your Excellency pointed out that in recent years Australia has increased the number of her diplomatic relations with other States. We cannot but welcome this as a manifestation of your countryís desire to contribute towards greater understanding among all men. The Holy See for its part is fully conscious of the role it is increasingly called upon to fulfil in matters touching the spiritual interests of mankind and especially the promotion of peace at all levels. It is only by strengthening understanding and cooperation that we can hope to achieve this common task successfully.

This moment recalls to our mind very pleasant memories of the visit which we paid to your country in 1970. We remember with profound gratitude the warm welcome which was then extended to us. May we ask you, Mr Ambassador, to convey to the civil authorities of Australia the expression of our cordial esteem. Be assured that we invoke Godís abundant blessings upon the beloved Australian people.

To Your Excellency we extend our heartfelt good wishes for the successful accomplishment of your mission.

*AAS 65 (1973), p.554-555;

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XI, p.949-950;

LíAttivitŗ della Santa Sede 1973, p.346-347;

ORa n.43 p.2.





Monday, 8 October 1973

We are pleased to extend a cordial greeting to the delegates of the International Fund of Monuments from New York. We thank you for wishing to pay us this visit.

As the name of your organization implies, your concern is the preservation and restoration of ancient monumentís, that inheritance of past cultures which we hold in trust. We are aware that you have worked in Ethiopia, and that at present you are conducting projects in Bologna, on Easter Island and particularly in Venice. The mention of Venice reminds us vividly of our own visit to that beautiful city. On that occasion we remarked that its treasures and buildings belolng not only to Venice but to all men: they are part of the cultural patrimony of mankind.

With these thoughts in mind we wish to express our appreciation of the work that you are doing. Through your efforts you are not only working to preserve things of beauty, the products of manís genius; you are also helping to raise menís hearts and minds above their everyday preoccupations to the contemplation of the very author of beauty.

As we extend our encouragement, we invoke upon you the abundant blessings of Almighty God.




Saturday, 13 October 1973

We are happy to greet today the group of sick and handicapped pilgrims from England who have come to Rome thanks to the assistance provided by the Across Trust.

We thank you for this visit. We are glad to have this opportunity of reminding you how much you can do for Godís Church: by accepting your sufferings, you can be a powerful source of grace for many-for people whom you may never meet in this world. This is part of Godís loving providence, and you should be encouraged by this thought to unite yourselves more and more each day with the mysterious divine will. It is our hope also that this visit to Rome will be a special occasion of grace and joy for all of you.

At the same time we are pleased to express our satisfaction at the work being carried out by the Trust, in making possible visits to Lourdes for those who otherwise would never be able to make the journey. This is indeed a worthy undertaking, and a practical manifestation of Christian love and concern for others.

While we assure you of our prayers, we cordially impart to each one of you, as well as to your families and friends at home, our special Apostolic Blessing.

November 1973



Thursday, 29 November 1973

Venerable Sir,

We are happy today to welcome you here in our home. We greet you as the son of an illustrious and hard-working people, and also as the leader of a spiritual movement which exalts freedom and peace, and which is dedicated to a new life style, made up of respect, harmony and art.

There spring spontaneously from our heart the everlasting words of Christ Our Lord: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God" (Mt 5,9). We are glad therefore to meet you and to express our esteem and solidarity for that love of mankind, of peace and of art which is your honourable and distinguishing characteristic. We likewise rejoice when we recognize venerable and wise voices from the great religious traditions of Asia echoing forth in you with new-found strength and youth. The Catholic Church has sincere respect and admiration for those traditions.

Peace! We entertain only thoughts of peace. You know how often the call to peace has gone out from here, expressed by our great predecessors, and how peace has become for us a constant preoccupation to which we dedicate ourself each day. We have instituted a Day of Peace to be celebrated each year with our Brothers and our sons and daughters in the Faith, and each year we invite all men of good will to associate themselves with us.

From this you will realize how sincere and how heartfelt is our greeting and our gratitude to you, a teacher and a messenger of peace. We therefore cordially reiterate the greeting and prayer of Saint Paul the Apostle: "The God of peace be with you all" (Rm 15,33). May the Lord direct the hearts and thoughts of all men along the path of peace.




Thursday 29, November 1973

Mr Ambassador,

We thank you very much for the kind words and the serious reflections and considerations with which you have presented the Letters accrediting you as the first Ambassador of New Zealand to the Holy See. We fully share the satisfaction you have expressed at the inauguration of diplomatic relations, and like yourself we enter upon them deeply aware of the mutual respect and esteem of which they are the indication.

It affords us pleasure that you should recall the journey of peace which in 1970 took us as far as the South Pacific. By making that journey we manifested, among other things, the immense importance which we attach to that whole region in the context of an emerging and increasingly interdependent world community. We regret that our itinerary did not permit us to visit your country with its young and dynamic people and its vigorous Catholic population. Recalling at this time a great figure in the Church and a staunch citizen of New Zealand, we evoke with reverence the memory of the late Cardinal McKeefry, beloved by us and by those he served.

We appreciate what you have said in recognition of the Holy Seeís active participation in the promotion of development and peace among peoples. Your Excellency has likewise spoken of the objectives which unite your Government and the Holy See in a common search for peace through the improvement of economic and social conditions, through disarmament and the defence of the environment. In this regard we esteem the idealism which inspires New Zealand and the valid contributions it continues to make. On its part, the Holy See, in the measure permitted by its nature and mission, willingly seeks to contribute to the solutions of the grave problems affecting the welfare and security of mankind.

Finally, Mr Ambassador, we express the hope that your task of representing your country to the Holy See will be rewarding for yourself and beneficial to all. We would ask you to convey our warm greetings and respectful good wishes to the civil authorities and all the people of New Zealand, upon whom we invoke abundant divine blessings and favours.

*AAS 65 (1973), p.662-663;

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XI, p.1159-1160;

LíAttivitŗ della Santa Sede 1973, p.416-417;

OR 30.11.1973, p.1;

ORa n.50 p.5.

December 1973




Monday 17, December 1973

Dear friends, dear sons in the Lord,

You are dear to us by these titles.

You are our co-workers in the Gospel, and all of us together are co-workers with Christ in the building up of his Kingdom of justice and love.

All of us are united in the doctrine that we profess and in the apostolic teaching which we have received in the Church and which we are charged to preach to this generation and to transmit in its fullness to the generations yet to come.

We are united in the Christian fellowship that knows but "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Ep 4,5). We are, moreover, sharers in the one ministerial priesthood which enables us to perform a life-giving, healing and uplifting ministry of service to our brethren throughout the world.

We are united in re-enacting for the Christian people the supreme immolation of Christís priesthood, as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior.

And we are united in prayer "with Mary the Mother of Jesus and with his brethren" (Act. 1, 14) in invoking the name of Jesus and proclaiming in his Holy Spirit the praises of his Father.

Yes, dear sons, you are close to us for many reasons and we are happy to be able to tell you this.

And today it is our hope to confirm you in your commitment to Christ Jesus, to encourage you to that fidelity which in the Acts of the Apostles characterized the early Christian community: "These remained faithful to the teaching of the apostles, to the brotherhood, to the breaking of bread and to the prayers" (Act. 2, 42).

We likewise hope that after these months of prayerful study and shared discussion in your Institute you will go out from Rome truly renewed, having acquired "a fresh, spiritual way of thinking" (Ep 4,23). May you be ever more effective ministers of the Gospel and, in every way, worthy servants of the Christian people, and of the world in need.

And so by virtue of special responsibility that is ours towards the universal Church as Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ, we call upon each of you "to preach the word, to stay with this task whether convenient or inconvenient" (2Tm 4,2). We rely on your help and on your wholehearted service to the People of God. In particular, we exhort you to lend the full measure of your collaboration so that the spiritual aims of the Holy Year may be achieved, and that renewal and reconciliation may permeate the world.

And with affection in Christ Jesus we bless you in his name.

Speeches 1973