Speeches 1977 - ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI TO THE MEMBERS OF THE SYMPOSIUM OF THE AMERICAN COMMITTEE ON ITALIAN MIGRATION
We are happy to extend a cordial welcome to the members of the Symposium of the American Committee on Italian Migration.
It was in response to the promptings of the American Hierarchy and as loyal and committed citizens of the United States that you have endeavored over the past quarter of a century to work for the application of the principles of the Gospel to the important field of immigration. You have been motivated by sentiments of understanding and compassion, and guided by criteria of justice and equity, fraternity and charity.
Some days ago, in honour of the Bicentennial of your nation, we wrote to the American Bishops and thanked them for their pastoral concern “for the condition of migrants, for the dignity of immigrants” (Lettera della domenica di Pentecoste, 6 giugno 1976). And today we express to you and to all your colleagues our gratitude for the worthy activities of your own apostolate.
We know the efforts you have expended in working to reunite members of families, and in proclaiming the sanctity of the family bond. We appreciate the educational initiatives you have made to alert public opinion to the inestimable value-consonant with your great American tradition-of welcoming immigrants to your land. We attest to the worth of social services rendered in the name of Christ to those who first are guests and later become full fellowcitizens of America, as was the case of your own forefathers.
And to you and to all those who are attentive to this area of life and who work to assist immigrants goes a great measure of the merit of their achievement. We are thinking of the civic and religious contribution-personal and collective-of Italian immigrants and of so many other ethnic groups that compose the fabric of your nation and constitute the unity of your people. This unity derived from diverse elements in aptly indicated in the very motto of the United States: E pluribus unum.
To all your fellow Americans who make up this “one nation under God” we renew our good wishes and the expression of our esteem and friendship.
And invoking upon yourselves grace and strength to continue in your apostolate of Christian fellowship and service, we impart to you and to your families our Apostolic Blessing.
Dear sons and daughters,
We are happy to welcome you today. In you we greet representatives of the entire Archdiocese of Lagos-an ecclesial community united with your Archbishop and with us in the oneness of Christ’s universal Church. In you we embrace all Nigeria, which we remember so well and love so much.
We speak frequently about your country and follow the events in your land with deep paternal interest and affection.
Our hope today is that your pilgrimage to Rome will confirm in your hearts a profound sense of your Christian vocation. We pray that you will be always aware of the mission that is yours as followers of Christ. This mission is to give witness to his love, and in his name to extend fellowship and service. With Saint Peter we exhort you “go on growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ” (2 Petr. 3, 18).
And we are confident that your contribution will be authentic and that, today and for ever, you will be faithful sons and daughters of the Catholic Church and loyal citizens of Nigeria.
To all of you and to your families we cordially impart our Apostolic Blessing.
We extend up the “a cordial welcome today to all of you who make Permanent Council of the International African Institute”. We are especially pleased that your meeting in Rome coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of your foundation.
During these years your Institute has dedicated itself to scientific research in the cultural and linguistic patrimony of Africa. In this regard you have striven to promote advances in ethnology, anthropology and linguistic sciences. We know, moreover, that among your aims is the encouragement of international cooperation for intellectual advancement and technical progress.
And on our part today we are happy to take particular note of your educational contributions and all your esteemed cultural activities, which can have a great practical effect on everyday life in Africa. We say this, motivated as we are by profound respect and esteem for Africa and all her peoples. This respect and esteem are anchored in deep love and extend not only to those with whom we are linked by the close bonds of faith in Christ, but to all the inhabitants of the entire continent, whom we consider beloved brothers and sisters.
During the years of our pontificate we have repeatedly spoken about human dignity and the connection between the Christian message and the need for integral human development. Not only have we characterized integral human development as being “the new name of peace” (PAULI PP. VI Populorum Progressio PP 87, AAS 59 (1967) 299), but on African soil itself we have spoken of it as an “indisputable exigency of justice” (PAUL PP. VI, Address to Parliament of Uganda: AAS 61 (1969) 582).
And so we rejoice with you today in what has already been accomplished, and we urge you to pursue in the years ahead your lofty goals at the service of Africa. Upon all of you and your families, and upon all the families of Africa we invoke the uplifting and sustaining blessings of God.
We are happy to have this occasion to welcome you who represent the Catholic charitable medical association SURVIVE. We are grateful for the efforts that you expend, in the name of Christ, for the relief and prevention of suffering: you have taken as your own the Lord’s concern for humanity in need. Moreover, we are pleased to bless the mobile medical unit that your generosity places at the service of the missions. May it be a sign to all of the Saviour’s love, and may he reward you and all your collaborators with his choicest graces.
We bid a warm welcome to our American visitors. We hope that your journey will not only be an interesting and enjoyable experience, but also an enriching one. Enriching in the fullest sense. We do not wish you merely the riches that pass, the riches that at times may even be an obstacle to true fulfilment. Our deepest, most human aspirations go beyond all that the temporal world can offer us. We grow to our full stature only when we enter into a right relationship with God and with others. These are the riches we pray God to give you. They cannot be lost or stolen, and they never pass away.
After the happy establishment of diplomatic relations, it is A with pleasure that we accept the Letters of Credence naming you the first Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Sri Lanka to the Holy See.
We are pleased to receive the cordial greetings that you convey to us from the President and the Prime Minister, both of whom welcomed us personally on the occasion of our unforgettable visit to your land. Most willingly we reciprocate at this time their kind sentiments.
We are likewise grateful for your words about our efforts on behalf of the human rights of the suffering and oppressed; we appreciate the support given to our call to take up the real weapons of peace.
In our last World Day of Peace Message we expressed the conviction that peace must indeed be armed, with the principle of brotherhood-a brotherhood that is founded and fostered in goodness and love. And this powerful weapon of peace was in fact the theme of our discourse six years ago in Colombo. It was the subject of what we considered “our special message to your noble Nation” (AAS 63 (1971) 81). Our confident wish at that time - and we repeat it today - was that you would always let your “brotherhood knit you together as one family in your social, economic and political life, without any distinction of caste, creed, colour or tongue” (AAS 63 (1971) 81).
Truly, our affection for all the people of Sri Lanka is very great. We pray that united in brotherhood you will go forward together towards ever greater human advancement and towards the full development of all God-given potential. On you and your countrymen we invoke the divine blessings of true and lasting peace.
*AAS 68 (1976), p.660.
Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XIV, p.834-835.
L’Attività della Santa Sede 1976, p.276-277.
L'Osservatore Romano 15.10.1976, p.1.
ORa n.44 p.2.
Dear Brothers in Christ,
it was with these words that Cardinal Bea greeted the Observers, when he met them at the beginning of the Second Vatican Council. He used this title of “Brothers in Christ”, in order to underline the unity that all Christians have: a unity which Christ created in Baptism itself. In using this very same title now, we wish to communicate to you our joy and gratitude for your visit, which has for its purpose the further advancement of that mutual understanding which is so basic in the movement towards the reestablishment of full ecclesial communion.
We are indeed profoundly grateful to God for the progress made in this regard over the past ten years. And as we reflect on this progress and on the path lies before us, we are convinced of the special importance of the Holy Scriptures. With the Second Vatican Council we recognize that “In dialogue itself the Holy Scriptures are precious instruments in the mighty hand of God for attaining that unity which the Saviour holds out to all men” (Unitatis Redintegratio UR 21).
Although it cannot be denied that there are differences in interpreting the Scriptures, differences which still divide us-a fact that the Decree on Ecumenism itself honestly notes-it is nevertheless always true that the Word of God in the Holy Scriptures “is living and active” (Hebr. 4, 12) and is able to build up and to give the inheritance among all those who are sanctified (Cfr. Act. 20, 32; Dei Verbum DV 21).
And we are likewise convinced of the need for authentic Christian living in accordance with the Gospel, if there is to be hope for the reestablishment of full ecclesial communion. The Second Vatican Council warned against the idea of limiting ecumenism to doctrinal conversations and practical collaboration, when it stated with profound insight: “Let all Christ’s faithful remember that the more purely they trive to live according to the Gospel, the more they are fostering and even practising Christian unity (Unitatis Redintegratio UR 7). And since the full unity of Christians has its highest exemplar and source in the mystery of the Holy Trinity itself (Cfr. Ibid.2), Christians can therefore more deeply and easily grow in mutual fraternal relations to the extent that they enjoy profound communion with the Father, the Word, and the Spirit (Ibid. 7).
And for the glory of the Holy Trinity and the completion of our own joy, we look forward, in humble and prayerful longing, to the perfection of our fellowship in Christ Jesus our Lord.
it gives us much pleasure to accept the Letters of Credence which you bring from His Excellency President Mzee Jomo Kenyatta, accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kenya to the Holy See. We are likewise appreciative of the courtesy of the President in extending to us his cordial greetings. We would ask you to convey to him in turn our prayerful good wishes for his continued well-being.
Your presence here today is especially gratifying for us because you represent a people among whom we have many sons and daughters in the faith. Besides this, you also testify to your Government’s readiness to work together with the Church for the benefit of all in Kenya. The Church likewise, on her part, is committed to such collaboration. In speaking of relations between the civil community and the Church, the Second Vatican Council notes that “each serves the personal and social vocation of the same human beings”, and it adds that “this service can be more effectively rendered for the good of all to the extent that each works better for wholesome mutual cooperation” (Gaudium et Spes GS 76).
Although exercising her mission primarily in the spiritual order, the Church also has a deep interest in the temporal welfare of all peoples. Hence we have no hesitation in stating that the Holy See will never cease to promote, in every way open to it, improvements in both the religious and social conditions of life in your country.
With our renewed pledge to pursue this common goal, we gladly invoke upon the beloved people of Kenya and its authorities the divine blessings of peace and harmonious progress.
To Your Excellency we willingly extend our prayerful good wishes for the happy fulfilment of your new mission.
*AAS 68 (1976), p.669-670.
Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XIV, p.887-888.
L’Attività della Santa Sede 1976, p.295-296.
ORa n.46 p.2.
we are pleased to have been able to accept your request for an audience, and we are indeed happy today to welcome you, the President and members of the “World Scout Committee”.
Moreover, we are sincerely grateful for your visit, since it gives us the opportunity to express once again our esteem for your movement, which has contributed so much to the formation of generations of young people all over the world. Scouting not only gives a training for initiative and leadership; it also instils an appreciation of spiritual values and those ideals of true brotherhood and generous service which are so greatly needed in the world.
Our conviction that scouting is a worthy means for furthering religious values is manifested through our encouragement of wide participation by Catholic youth in your movement, and through our formal approval of the International Catholic Conference on Scouting. This Conference-together f with the similar Conference for Guiding-maintains official and cordial relations with the competent departments of the Holy See, and aims at serving young people by ensuring that their scout training will provide for education in their Catholic faith, and prepare them for Christian witness in the world. In carrying out this aim, however, it operates, as you know, within the world movement and in fidelity to the ideals and methods stemming from the inspiration of the movement’s founder, Sir Robert Baden-Powell.
It is our hope that Catholic scouts, who receive so much from scouting, will in return make an ever more loyal and valuable contribution to the world movement. We are confident that this will be facilitated by the fraternal relationships established between the International Catholic Conference and those who bear responsibility for the World Committee.
With all our heart we invoke the abundance of God’s blessings on your persons and on your arduous and esteemed activities. We pray that the entire Scout movement may be an effective instrument in helping the you of today and tomorrow to do their duty to God and to their country, and to realize the full implications and dignity of their high ideal: “to help other people at all times”.
we extend a cordial welcome to all of you who make up a United States Congressional Delegation on drug abuse and control.
Convinced as we are of the many deleterious effects of narcotics on society, we have on various occasions spoken on this topic. And today we wish to express our sincere encouragement of your efforts directed at the extirpation of drug abuse.
This reality of our day has truly ravaged society, and in particular our youth. At stake is the very question of human dignity. The problem is one of multiple human dimensions, in which the person is profoundly affected in the exercise of intellect and will, in the fulfillment of his or her true role as a human being, and finally in the attainment of a high spiritual destiny.
For these reasons we willingly lend our support to the endeavours that are aimed at combatting this evil and at providing those services that are so necessary for rehabilitation. Likewise deserving of attention are the important factors of prevention and timely education.
As the roots of the whole complex problem are studied, there emerges more clearly than ever the need for severe legal measures to be taken against those who traffic systematically in drugs for the sake of profit. We have already expressed the conviction that the narcotic problem would not exist “at least in its present proportion if there did not also exist a whole network of responsible conspirators: the clandestine producers and drug peddlers” (PAULI PP. VI Allocutio diei 18 decembris 1972). And in our own Bicentennial Message to the American Bishops we reiterated the “hope that the immense forces of good would exert pressure against the unworthy activities of those who are greatly responsible for the corruption of youth” (AAS 68 (1976) 413).
Of supreme importance is the mobilization of public opinion, coupled with the wide diffusion of accurate information on the many ramifications of drug abuse. The time has come to unite all the powers at our disposal, in order to put an end to this scourge that is such a real danger for the future of humanity.
We hope that you will be able ever more effectively to coordinate your efforts with those being made outside your own country. May the combined forces of the international community of this generation be remembered as history records the incessant struggle for true human dignity.
And because we know that human efforts are insufficient in themselves, we ask Almighty God to bestow his light and strength on you and on all who are working for this great cause.
it is our pleasure to welcome you as Ghana’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Holy See, and to receive the Letters by which His Excellency General I. K. Acheampong, Head of State and Chairman of the Supreme Military Council, accredits you to this post.
Your address reflects the atmosphere of cordial relations existing between Ghana and the Holy See, and we are thankful for the appreciative manner in which you have spoken of the Church’s contribution to development in your country, as well as of our own contribution in the struggle to promote justice and peace throughout the world. We are glad of this occasion to express the high appreciation which the Church has for the people of Ghana and their traditions. Indeed our personal love and esteem for your country and for your people is nourished also by the memories we cherish of our visit to Ghana in 1962 as Archbishop of Milan.
The Church is charged with a message of spiritual salvation for mankind, but at the same time she must also proclaim and advance man’s temporal liberation from all that hampers his true dignity and growth, whenever she can do so. You have singled out for special mention the contribution of Catholic missionaries in Ghana to the nation’s programme of education. Since, as we have said before, “basic education is the primary object of any plan of development” (Populorum Progressio PP 35, AAS 59 (1967) 274), we cannot but pledge the Church’s commitment to offer whatever assistance she can in this noble and arduous task.
Your Excellency has likewise alluded to the problems of peace on the African continent and expressed concern for the inseparable relation which they bear to peace throughout the world. Here again we would repeat that the very nature of the Church’s message and mission imposes upon her the duty of pursuing peace through justice. As we stated in a recent Exhortation: “The Church considers it to be undoubtedly important to build up structures which are more human, more just, more respectful of the rights of the person and less oppressive and less enslaving . . .” (PAULI PP. VI Evangelii Nuntiandi EN 36). Animated therefore by a common love for all the peoples of Africa, may your country and the Holy See work together in the ways open to us for integral development, greater justice and lasting peace.
To this hope, we add our sincere good wishes also for the happy fulfilment of Your Excellency’s mission, invoking upon the authorities and people of Ghana an abundance of God’s blessings.
*AAS 68 (1976), p.727-728.
Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XIV, p.989-990.
L’Attività della Santa Sede 1976, p.333-334.
L'Osservatore Romano 29-30.11.1976, p.1.
ORa n.50 p.4.
In welcoming Your Excellency, we first of all thank you for transmitting to us the kind greeting of His Excellency President Suharto. We cordially reciprocate his good wishes, praying God to bless the people of Indonesia in the development of their rich cultural heritage.
We also thank Your Excellency for your courteous expressions of esteem for the work of the Holy See and of the Catholic Church in your country and throughout the world. The Church, indeed, has no other intention than that which led Saint Francis Xavier to Indonesia. As we recalled on the occasion of our own unforgettable visit to your great and beautiful land, “his wish was to do good, the greatest good possible, to his fellowmen, because he knew that was what God wished of him” (AAS 63 (1971) 73).
An extremely valuable part of the heritage that your people have preserved and are prepared to and on to future generations is deep respect for the religious life of all, and readiness on the part of the authorities to take account of and foster that religious life, while refraining from interference in the quest for truth and adherence to it.
The Catholic Church is also anxious to see the greatest respect for the consciences of religious communities. The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council devoted to this subject one of its most important documents (Dignitatis Humanae ). We are convinced that such respect lies at the basis of all true progress, since religious freedom is so intimately linked with the dignity and the personal dynamism of man.
At this time we are also pleased to note the significant material progress that your country has successfully made in recent years. We know that it is the fruit of sustained effort and collaboration. And it is our hope that this development will indeed help to provide those favourable conditions of human living, with the help of which the beloved people of Indonesia will be led to find the most profound happiness of life. This is our wish for them through the kindly assistance of Almighty God.
*AAS 68 (1973), p.733-734.
Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XIV, p.1034-1035.
L'Attività della Santa Sede 1976, p.346-347.
L'Osservatore Romano, 9-10.12.1976, p.1.
ORa n.52 p.4
we express our gratitude for the kind greetings and good wishes you have conveyed from His Excellency Justice Abusadat Mohammad Sayem and the Government of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh, We heartily reciprocate those wishes.
We have heard with pleasure Your Excellency’s statement of the aims you intend to pursue in the course of the mission you are now beginning as your country’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary: to cooperate in every way in promoting international peace and harmony and to develop further the close and friendly relations between Bangladesh and the Holy See.
As well as watching over the interests of his own country, an Ambassador is also called to exercise his special skill for the good of the one human family. This mission confers on diplomats a high dignity for which we always give them particular respect and honour.
We welcome Your Excellency in the confidence that your mission will indeed serve as a further bond between the Holy See and the people of Bangladesh. We maintain undiminished the feeling of friendship and brotherhood to which we gave expression six years ago, when for a short time we were able to be among them. We therefore wish Your Excellency every success also in the pursuit of this other goal you have set yourself.
We would ask Your Excellency to convey the assurance of our prayerful interest and our cordial good wishes for the esteemed people of Bangladesh. We ask God to assist and guide their leaders and we invoke upon all his richest blessings.
*AAS 68 (1976), p.736-737.
Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XIV, p.1073.
L’Attività della Santa Sede 1976, p.362.
L'Osservatore Romano 18.12.1976, p.1.
ORa n.53 p.6.
Speeches 1977 - ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI TO THE MEMBERS OF THE SYMPOSIUM OF THE AMERICAN COMMITTEE ON ITALIAN MIGRATION