Speeches 1979




16 June 1979

Beloved Brothers and Sisters,

Allow me first of all to extend my most sincere and cordial greeting to you all, gathered here also in representation of many other members or supporters of the St Dominic Centre in Bologna. I also wish to thank you warmly for having desired this meeting, which shows your sense of Christian filial adherence and devotion to this See of Peter, to which the Lord, in his inscrutable goodness, has called me.

This circumstance also offers me the happy occasion to remember that I, too, had the honour to be invited by the leaders of your Centre, not many years ago, and that I have therefore been one of your speakers. And I must say that I still keep a good memory of that experience. It permitted me close acquaintance with a beneficial cultural institution, which constitutes a living presence and a Christian testimony in the city and diocese of Bologna and which is ready, too, in a praiseworthy way, to listen to other voices in a spirit of fruitful and constructive dialogue.

You are celebrating the tenth year of life of your association. I know that your Centre was opportunely founded by some lay people close to the Dominican Order, from which it draws inspiration. On the one hand, its postconciliar origins confer on it a stamp of renewed integration in the life of the local church and a special opening to the various ferments present in the modern world. On the other hand, its link with the Order of St Dominic gives it a characteristic of staunch attachment to the Magisterium of the Church and a particular seriousness of methodological application in the investigation and exposition of the various subjects dealt with. In this connection, one cannot help thinking at least of the luminous figures of two Dominicans: St Albert the Great and St Thomas Aquinas. Their names at once call up research and depth of knowledge, cultivated according to a typical "catholic" cut where the adjective is understood not only in the confessional and ecclesial sense, but also in the etymological one of the vast visual angle characteristic of human intelligence. Today, too, all this is more necessary than ever.

It is important, in fact, that the specific Gospel proclamation, or kerygma, should be homogeneously integrated by study and investigation of the various aspects of sciences, both theological and human. The apostolate of culture, to which you dedicate yourselves, has been a fundamental part of the missionary action of the Church, right from its origins. The task of Jesus, who came "not to abolish but to fulfil" (Mt 5,17), must continue in history and should be carried out zealously and intelligently. St Paul, for his part, although he stigmatizes the foolishness of the wisdom of this world (cf. 1 Col 1:19-21), even enumerates among the charisms of the Spirit "the utterance of wisdom and the utterance of knowledge" (1Co 12,8). And the ancient Church Fathers did nothing but re-think the message of the Bible in the light of the cultural categories of their own environment, thus giving new vitality both to the message and to these cultures.

In this way, a real and proper "Christian wisdom" takes shape, marked by its deep roots in Revelation, by its keen sensitiveness to historical cultures, by its indispensable destination for man's concrete life, beyond all aristocratic abstraction, and by its ecclesial finalization, as a specialized contribution to the growth of faith in the community of the baptized. Thus you feel in practice, and also lead others to experience, how fruitful and stirring is the mutual relationship between the movement of the intelligence in search of faith and that of faith which seeks understanding of itself. Along this way one cannot but arrive at "Christ, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge" (Col 2,3), while discovering, with joyful wonder, that his love "surpasses knowledge" (Ep 3,19).

In the light of this way and this goal, I cannot but cordially encourage your activity. Continue the work undertaken with joy and commitment according to your organizational and apostolic purposes. Ten years of life is a relatively short space of time; before you there is still a great deal of time for a growing contribution to the discussions of our time and for an increasingly deep and fruitful impact on modern man, who is more thirsty than ever for the absolute and for eternal life (cf. Jn Jn 6,68). In this way you will be able to render a very precious service to the Christian community and, in a wider sense, to the civil one of the beloved city and diocese of Bologna.

On my part, I intend to confirm these wishes willingly by warmly granting the propitiating Apostolic Blessing to you all, to those whom you represent, and in particular to the well-deserving leaders of the Centre, whether they are lay people or members of the Dominican Order.



Monday, 18 June 1979

Dear Brothers in our Lord Jesus,

IN WELCOMING THIS MORNING, I wish to greet the entire Church in Pakistan. With the Apostle Peter I say: "Peace to all of you who are in Christ"[1].

The thoughts of my heart go to the communities of the faithful throughout the Dioceses of your country: to the priests, who in union with yourselves build up the local Churches through the Eucharistic Sacrifice and the word of God; to the religious, who through their ecclesial consecration to Jesus Christ give a special witness of hope to the destiny of all the children of God; to the seminarians, being trained to transmit the word of God to the future generations; and to all the laity, who are called to share intimately in the Church’s mission of evangelization, and who through their daily lives build up the Kingdom of God. I am close to all of you in the love of the Saviour – close to you in all your efforts to proclaim "the unsearchable riches of Christ"[2].

At the same time, as Pastor of the universal Church, I can – and do – assure you and your people of the solidarity of all your brethren throughout the world. And I believe that in this solidarity you will find fresh vigour and strength to continue your joyful commitment to the cause of the Gospel. The communion of faith and love that we enjoy – this unity that is effected in us by the Holy Spirit – this is indeed a great gift of God.

Today at the tomb of Peter and together with his Successor, may you rededicate yourselves and your local Churches to all the exigencies of this Catholic unity. From this centre may you take back to your people a message of hope and encouragement, so that they may continue to hold fast to the very core of Catholic life, so that like the faithful of the early Church they may persevere in devoting themselves " to the apostles’ teaching, and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers"[3].

I am sure that at times, as Bishops, you feel acutely the weight to the charge laid on you by the Lord. Especially because of your zeal, you experience deeply within your hearts the limitations and obstacles that hinder you in the exercise of your pastoral mission. But the success of our ministry is not measured by human standards; it is measured rather by our love and by our fidelity to the word of God. Christ has told us to go forth in the strenght of his Spirit – and he assures us that he is with us until the end of time[4]. It is with "the word of truth and the power of God" [5]that we humbly but confidently present ourselves before the world, to fulfil the task entrusted to us by the Lord.

I wish to express my admiration for the faith of your people and for the sustained effort and joyful constancy with which your local Churches pledge their fidelity to Christ. At the same time I wish to add a word about one particular aspect of your witness to Christ. In the "Acts of the Apostles", Jesus is presented to us in his activity: “He went about doing good...”[6]. And this same activity is carried on in Pakistan, in Christ’s members, in your people. The motivation is the love of Christ, the love of his Father, the love of his brethren. Through a whole network of generous endeavours – especially in the areas of charitable assistance, health and schools – the Lord Jesus continues to do good; he continues to show his love. The mystery of the Church as the extension of Christ goes on. The charism of the Good Shepherd is thus exercised among your people. God’s love is from generation to generation, and it is ever newly manifested.

I believe that a consideration of this important aspect of the Church as a divine mystery is extremely beneficial in sustaining you and renewing you in your pastoral zeal. Your people too will find joy in reflecting on the fact that as an ecclesial community they continue among their own flesh and blood the loving activity of Jesus Christ the Son of God. In reflecting on the greatness of this mission, all obstacles seem secondary. There may be fleeting moments of discouragement, but the power of the Paschal Mystery does not admit defeat.

Our role then, dear brother Bishops, is to continue to demonstrate the love of Christ and to proclaim his saving Gospel of redemption with all our energy. The rest is in the hands of God.

In pursuing our apostolate, the word of God is the joy of our ministry. It is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path[7]. It is by guarding and meditating on the word of God that we are enabled to fulfil our mission of charity. By proclaiming to our people the unadulterated word of God in all its richness, we equip them for the vocation of Christian living, Christian service and Christian witness that is theirs.

Dear Brothers in the Episcopate, in our special unity today do we not feel supported by the power of the Lord Jesus? Do we not sense his presence? Do we not hear him telling us to continue, courageously and joyfully, in communion with the Catholic Church throughout the world, to proclaim his love and to spread his truth?

I ask Blessed Mother Mary to assist you all in the service of her Son, to form you ever more perfectly in his likeness, so that your witness to him may render great honour and glory to the Most Holy Trinity.

And with my greetings and my prayers, I send my Apostolic Blessing to all who make up the community of the faithful in your land. My special encouragement goes also to the catechists and to the Christian families, to the youth and to those who suffer and work and pray – so that the world may see the face of Jesus in our midst.

[1] 1 Petr. 5, 12.

[2] Eph. 3, 8.

[3] Act. 2, 42.

[4] Cfr. Matth. 28, 20.

[5] 2 Cor. 6, 7.

[6] Act. 10, 38.

[7] Cfr. Ps. 119, 105.


Saturday, 23 June 1979

My dear Brothers in Christ,

IT IS WITH JOY that I greet you, distinguished guests and worthy delegates of my brother, His Holiness the Patriarch of Alexandria, Pope Shenouda III. I am grateful for his having sent you and for the warm words of greeting and brotherly love he has addressed to me through you. They are a source of comfort and encouragement.

How marvellous are the ways of the Lord! He permits us to profess today our common faith in Jesus Christ, His divine Son, true God and true Man, who died and rose again and through His Holy Spirit lives in and guides His Church, the body of which He is the head. We rejoice together that the doubts and suspicions of the past have been overcome so that with full hearts we can proclaim together once again this fundamental truth of our Christian faith.

From the very first days of my election as Bishop of Rome I have considered as one of my principal tasks that of striving to bring about the unity of all those who bear the holy name of Christian. The scandal of division must be resolutely overcome, so that we may all fulfil in the lives of our Churches and in our service to the world the prayer of the Lord of the Church "that all may be one". I have stressed this on a number of occasions already. I repeat it to you now, since what is involved here is the communion between two apostolic Churches such as ours.

I know that one of the fundamental questions of the ecumenical movement is the nature of that full communion we are seeking with each other and the role that the Bishop of Rome has to play, by God’s design, in serving that communion of faith and spiritual life, which is nourished by the sacraments and expressed in fraternal charity. A great deal of progress has been made in deepining our understanding of this question. Much remains to be done. I consider your visit to me and to the See of Rome a significant contribution towards resolving this question definitively.

The Catholic Church bases its dialogue of truth and charity with the Coptic Orthodox Church on the principles proclaimed by the Second Vatican Council, especially in the Constitution on the Church, "Lumen Gentium" and the Decree on Ecumenism, "Unitatis Redintegratio". I am happy to make my own the statements of the Common Declaration signed by my venerated predecessor Pope Paul VI with Pope Shenouda III in 1973 and the further encouragement the Holy See has given to this dialogue since that time.

Fundamental to this dialogue is the recognition that the richness of this unity in faith and spiritual life has to be expressed in diversity of forms. Unity – whether on the universal level or the local level – does not mean uniformity or absorption of one group by another. It is rather at the service of all groups to help each live better the proper gifts it has received from God’s Spirit. This is an encouragement to move ahead with confidence and reliance upon the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

Whatever may be the bitterness inherited from the past, whatever may be the present doubts and tensions that may exist, the Lord calls us to move forward in mutual trust and in mutual love. If true unity is to be achieved, it will be the result of cooperation among pastors on the local level, of the collaboration at all levels of the life of our Churches so that our people may grow in understanding of each other, in trust and love of each other. With no one trying to dominate each other but to serve each other, all together will grow into that perfection of unity for which Our Lord prayed on the night before he died[1] and for which the Apostle Paul exhorted us to work with all diligence[2].

Again, my thanks for your coming. My thoughts and prayers go to my brother Pope Shenouda III, to the bishops, clergy and faithful of your Church, as together with my brothers the bishops and the faithful of the Catholic Churches in Egypt you pray and work for full ecclesial communion which will be God’s gift to all of us.

[1] Io. 17.

[2] Eph. 4, 11-13.



Saturday, 23 June 1979

Dear Brothers in our Lord Jesus Christ,

IT IS DIFFICULT to express adequately the joy that I experience in being together with my brother Bishops during their ad limina visits. Each meeting is an encounter with the pastor of a local Church, with the spiritual leader of an individual ecclesial community that has its own identity within the context of Catholic unity. The one, holy, Catholic and apostolic Church subsists in each of your dioceses, and in all of them together. An ad limina visit is indeed therefore a celebration of Catholic unity, and a manifestation of fidelity to Jesus Christ, "the chief Shepherd"[1] of the universal Church.

As Successor of Peter and Vicar of Christ, I wish today to greet in your persons all the Catholics of the Region of Tamil Nadu, as well as those represented by the other Bishops who have joined this regional group. I wish, moreover, to render respectful homage to the ancient culture of your land – a culture that is steeped in wisdom, rich in human experience, and filled with spiritual values that point to God and his providence in human history.

At a given moment in the life of your people, a unique and original message of revelation was offered and freely accepted by those who were to base their lives on "all that Jesus did and taught until he was taken up to heaven"[2]. The name of Jesus Christ was preached and his Gospel was proclaimed in your midst His divine person became for many the centre of their lives, and his message of gentleness and humility became the inspiration for their activities. Through the action of the Holy Spirit, the seed of God’s word, sown in good "round, brought forth fruits of holiness, justice and love. And God continues to be praised in the marvellous works that his grace has accomplished in India.

The word of God, containing the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ, became for ever a great heritage to be preserved and transmitted. It was accepted as a treasure to be passed on from generation to generation. On his part, Jesus spoke as the Father had instructed him; he did nothing on his own[3]. Indeed, Jesus insists on the fact that he speaks on the authority of his Father: "My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me"[4]. The transmission of this teaching is entrusted to the action of the Holy Spirit; it is to take place for ever through the Church. The Holy Spirit, whom the Father sends in the name of Jesus, awakens in the Church a realization of its vocation as a community that is called to hear and guard and do the word of God. The transmission of the Gospel becomes the common responsibility of the entire community, living and acting under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.

The same Holy Spirit who pervades the entire Body of Christ and consolidates it in unity implants in the community a charism of special service – the office of Bishop – which becomes the specific instrument for safeguarding and proclaiming the word of God. And this distinctive role is yours today, dear Brothers, called as you are to govern the Church, together with the Successor of Peter and in the unity of the Episcopal College. Each of you experiences the importance and urgency of Paul’s words to Timothy: "Guard the rich deposit of faith with the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells within us"[5]. This charge constitutes a vital aspect of your own ministry within and for the benefit of the Church, which in her entirety is directed to the service of the living word of God.

In fulfilling your role, you are assisted in the first place by your priests, who are indeed worthy of all your fraternal love and pastoral attention. As your co-workers they too have " as their primary duty the proclamation of the Gospel of God to all"[6]. I ask you to assure them, over and over again, how important a role they play in the fulfilment of the work of redemption.

In your local Churches I know that the catechists have a very particular role in the great task incumbent on the whole community – the task of transmitting the word of God. Your leadership in this field is vital: to provide for the doctrinal and spiritual preparation of the catechists, to see that they are themselves trained in the word of Christ, that they are imbued with the mystery of Christ’s love, and that they share his zeal for service. Through your guidance, the catechists will understand that at the core of their mission is the urgency of communicating Christ: passing on his word to their brethren, and eliciting a supernatural response of faith, hope and charity. Only by receiving the word of God can the community of the faithful grow to full maturity in Christ the Head. Success in the catechetical field presupposes a consciousness of the common responsibility of the Church – a realization that all the faithful through their Baptism and Confirmation are commissioned by the Lord Jesus himself to share in the apostolate of his Church[7]. Be assured that the Pope supports you and encourages you in your efforts to prepare, sustain and perfect your catechists. And I pray that the Holy Spirit will lead you to find new opportunities to promote this great apostolic activity in your local Churches.

In a very special way the transmission of the faith is linked to the training given to students for the priesthood. The fidelity of the Church to her vocation of hearing, guarding and doing the word of God depends on the effectiveness of seminaries. This is why the Second Vatican Council could well speak of the seminary as "the heart of the diocese"[8]. Every ecclesial community is affected by the condition of the seminaries that prepare its priests. The effects of seminary training fast for generations. For this reason I recently spoke in Rome to a group of seminary Rectors, expressing clearly my prayerful hopes for this important aspect of the Church’s life. On that occasion I stated: "In a word, the first priority for seminaries today is the teaching of God’s word in all its purity and integrity, with all its exigencies and in all its power... A second issue of great importance... is that of ecclesiastical discipline"[9]. And these two aspects – doctrine and discipline – I commend today to your pastoral zeal for vigilant promotion. Vocations to the priesthood are a great gift of God to the community of his Church. As Bishops we must vocalize Christ’s call to the young; we must encourage our young people to accept a vocation courageously and generously; and we must pray " the Lord of the harvest to send labourers into his harvest"[10]. And with keen responsibility we must promote the vocations that we have already received, by fostering the doctrine and discipline of our seminaries. This solicitude, dear Brother, I manifested fast Holy Thursday, saying: "The full reconstitution of the life of the seminaries throughout the Church will be the best proof of the achievement of the renewal to which the Council directed the Church"[11].

Catechetical activity and seminaries – these are indeed two privileged instruments for the Church to fulfil her vocation of transmitting the word of God. Today I associate myself with your zealous efforts in these fields, and with all your other initiatives on behalf of the Gospel.

I am also confident that you will enjoy the benevolence and esteem of all men and women of good will in the question of religious freedom. The Vatican Council committed the Church anew to promoting the dignity of the human person, spelling out the exigencies of this natural dignity. And so it declared that the human person "has a right to religious freedom"[12]. In this document the Council feels itself allied with millions of people throughout the world who so sincerely embrace in all its practical applications article eighteen of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights: "Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion...".

With these hopes and prayers, dear Brothers in the Episcopate, I renew the expression of my profound solidarity with you, in Christ and in the Church. I ask Mary, Mother of God and Mother of the Church, to sustain you in joy and strength, for the glory of her Son and for the generous service of your people. For the rest, Brethren: " Let us keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, who inspires and perfects our faith"[13].

[1] 1 Petr. 5, 4.

[2] Act. 1, 1.

[3] Cfr. Io. 8, 28.

[4] Ibid. 7, 16.

[5] 2 Tim. 1, 14.

[6] Presbyterorum Ordinis, 4.

[7] Cfr. Lumen Gentium, 33.

[8] Optatam Totius, 5.

[9] Ioannis Pauli PP. Allocutio, die 3 mar. 1979.

[10] Matth. 9,38.

[11] Ioannis Pauli PP. II Epistula ad universos Ecclesiae Episcopos adveniente Feria V in Cena Domini anno MCMLXXIX, die 8 apr. 1979.

[12] Dignitatis Humanae, 2.

[13] Hebr. 12, 2.




Paul VI Hall

30 June 1979

Revered Brothers,

We rejoice deeply that it has been granted to us to celebrate with you this Consistory, the first one since, by mysterious divine disposition, we were raised to Peter's See. It is a great event in the life of the Church. It is a question, indeed, of creating new Cardinals, who will then be part of the Sacred College, of those whom the Sovereign Pontiffs have as their main advisers and helpers in the government of the universal Church. Above all, according to the established norms, upon them falls the right and the duty to elect the Roman Pontiff, the successor of him whom Christ constituted the "lasting and visible source and foundation of the unity both of faith and of communion" (Constit. Lumen Gentium LG 18).

Although the number of those who are added to this College today is relatively small—as you know, there exist some limits with regard to the number of Cardinals—nevertheless also these Revered Brothers of ours, who are about to be enrolled in the Senate of the Roman Pontiff, if this term can be used, represent the universal Church in a certain way.

1. It is not without reason and significance that we have convened this chosen gathering today, at the end of the month of June. It is well known that our Predecessor, of unforgotten memory, Pope Paul VI, often gathered the Cardinals in his presence about this time and addressed very serious words to them, sometimes also for the nomination of new members of the Sacred College. He would take advantage of the occasion of the anniversary of his election—which was 21 June—or of that of the solemn beginning of his Pontificate, which was 30 June, or of his name day, which was 24 June. He was accustomed then to review briefly the internal problems of the Church. It is true that this same Predecessor of ours, following the custom of recent Roman Pontiffs, used to speak to the Co11ege of Cardinals also on Christmas Eve to deal with affairs and questions concerning the Church and the world; but generally moved by different reasons than in the month of June, and often treating wider subjects. Complying therefore, with what has become a kind of tradition, we link up with the Pontificate of that Predecessor of ours, to whom we are bound also by many other ties, as we set forth at greater length in the Encyclical "Redemptor Hominis". So today we think again with special intensity of Paul VI's Pontificate, from which we are separated only by the very short interval of the apostolic ministry of John Paul I, as successor of St Peter.

2. The time that followed the Second Vatican Council, is distinguished—as everyone knows—by the fact that the whole Church must commit herself to carrying out the decisions of the same universal Synod. They aim at nothing else than the renewal of the Church: it is necessary—to use the words of our Predecessor—"for her to restore herself to that conformity with her divine model, which is her fundamental duty" (AAS, 55 [1963], p. 850).

This renewal, according to the same Council, concerns many aspects: the most important one regards the constant effort that the Church must make to become increasingly more aware of her mission of salvation; which is also perpetual service of the fundamental cause of man, nations and the whole human family. This awareness must entail that certainty about the task of salvation, which is derived from confident faith and sincere humility, and makes us capable of carrying out courageously the work of renewal. This work must constantly be measured—so to speak—with the "universal yardstick" of the People of God, which, while it participates in the salvific mission of Christ himself, at the same time completes it in various ways, according to the "gift" that each one receives, for the purpose of leading himself and others to salvation.

Certainly, it is difficult to measure correctly, with only human criteria of judgment, the process of this renewal, understood in such a wide sense. It may sometimes even happen that we are mistaken in judging what is happening, because divine Providence has its own ways to lead men, their society, nations and the Church. It follows necessarily that every criterion of ours to draw up a balance street of the situation of the Church, is insufficient; yet we absolutely need such a balance sheet, especially in certain times, such as today. So when we speak and judge certain facts, we must always refer in the first place to God's loving plans, and to his holy judgments on human conduct.

3. One of the main instruments to make this renewal and unity, characteristic of the Church, both local and universal, that is, of the People of God, is certainly the collegiality of the Bishops. In this connection it is right to highlight the meeting of the bishops of Latin America celebrated in Puebla. Its fruits of keener awareness of the mission of the Church and of her task of evangelization in Latin America, in the wake of the Council and of the Apostolic Exhortation "Evangelii Nuntiandi", are already beginning to be gathered, and open up hope for the future. Certainly, the subjects that were dealt with there were of supreme interest for the present and the future.

Perhaps we were granted the privilege of bringing something to this meeting, having presided over its beginnings. It is useful hereto repeat the words that our predecessor Paul VI spoke at the close of the third session of the Vatican Council, expressing himself on collegiality as follows: "It is this deep and essential relationship that makes the episcopate a unified assembly which finds in the bishop who is Peter's successor not a different and extraneous authority, but its centre and its leader" (AAS, 56 [1964] , p. 1011).

It should be added that in the last few months the life of the Church has had other events of this kind, such as the "Symposium" of the Council of the Episcopal Conferences of Europe, held in Rome, to deal with "the young and faith". These events were a significant manifestation of collegial conscience and of the duty regarding the pastoral ministry of Bishops and of the Episcopal Conferences. But none of them can be compared for importance with that of Puebla. We also noted with pleasure the excellent work done by the Latin-American Episcopal Council, or CELAM, for the preparation of that meeting, and the intense participation of many prelates.

4. It was also owing to the Puebla meeting that our first journey, at the beginning of the Pontificate, was to Mexico, passing first through the Republic of Santo Domingo. In this way we were able to visit for nearly a week the Church established in that region. We still remember with deep gratitude how many people we met on that visit. Above all we thank God and his Mother, who, especially through the Guadalupe Shrine dedicated to her, has become the merciful Mother and Lady, not only of Mexico, but of the whole of America, particularly Latin America. In particular we recall the President of the Republic of Santo Domingo and the President of Mexico, as well as the bishops, priests, and religious men and women of both nations.

But that visit to the Mexican Church gave us the opportunity to be in contact almost continually with the Catholic people of that State, who, moved by the spirit of faith, thronged around us enthusiastically wherever we travelled, wherever we stopped. So let our deep gratitude go to divine Providence, who granted us the possibility, by means of this visit at the beginning of our Pontificate, to be able to bear witness to the love and reverence of the Apostolic See for that people which has experienced so many difficulties because of faithfulness to Christ and his Church. In the journey to Mexico, we also stopped and celebrated the Holy Eucharist in the place from which the evangelization of America started; just as on the way back we were able to meet the Christian community of the Bahamas.

5. We feel equally grateful for the recent journey to Poland, which gave us the opportunity to see again our native country from 2 to 9 June; that is, to visit again the land from where the Lord in his inscrutable designs called us to the Roman See of St Peter. The main reason for the journey was the jubilee of St Stanislaus: it was the ninth centenary of the martyrdom, at the hands of the king, of that bishop of the see of Krakow (which we ourself, his heir, as it were, governed until a short time ago).

Invited by the Polish bishops headed by Cardinal Wyszynski, we celebrated the jubilee together with the citizens of our nation, almost following the historical course of the country: it begins at Gniezno and leads to Krakow passing through "Jasna Gora", the Bright Mountain. We stopped first at Warsaw, the present capital of Poland, and when we were staying at Krakow, we celebrated the Holy Eucharist at Oswiecim (Auschwitz), which has become a kind of Golgotha of our times, where in the so-called starvation bunker Blessed Maximilian Kolbe died, after having offered his life for a companion.

While making this journey, led by history, we renewed thanks to God One and Three for the gift of holy baptism which our fellow citizens received a thousand years ago. There was also the opportunity to greet the neighbouring Slav peoples, who entered the Church in that same period. Finally we asked for the gifts of the Holy Spirit for their perseverance in faith and hope.

While this pontifical service in our native country is still present in our memory, we wish to emphasize again the significance of the invitation that the public Authorities addressed to us. With it they not only recognized that they were aware that we—on whom it has fallen to hold the highest office in the Catholic Church—came from their nation, but they also manifested the dignity and importance due to the international character of this visit of ours. Therefore we are very grateful to the Authorities both of the Republic and of the Church, which facilitated it, and then particularly to the immense multitude of those who, having been born in the same country in which we were born, came to meet us in the spirit of religious unity.

6. Paul VI, whom we cannot forget, introduced into his many journeys this way of carrying out the pontifical ministry. May such journeys be of use in the future to manifest the unity of the People of God in the various places of the earth, in the different regions and nations.

Parallelly with these events which we have recalled with great joy, there has proceeded and proceeds the constant and orderly work of the Church, which is concentrated in the first place on the tasks that the Episcopal College proposes to carry out under the guidance of St Peter's successor.

The Synod of Bishops has become a very special instrument of this collegial cooperation, since it is extended to the universal Church. An Apostolic Exhortation will shortly be published in which there will he gathered the fruits of the work of the Ordinary Session of the Synod of Bishops celebrated in 1977, which had as its object catechesis. Likewise the following Session in 1980 is already being prepared. It will examine the subject, already duly approved: "The role of the Christian family in the modern world." The General Secretariat of the Synod of Bishops, after its Council elected in the preceding Session had examined them at a general meeting, has sent the "Lineamenta" (Outline Document) everywhere, so that they may be widely discussed in the Episcopal Conferences.

7. As regard the Catholic Centres of study at the university level, an important thing has occurred, the promulgation of the Apostolic Constitution "Sapientia Christiana", which at the time fixed therein, will replace the Constitution now in force, "Deus Scientiarum Dominus". From that moment the "Normae quaedam", issued in 1968, obligatory for the time necessary to prepare the new Constitution according to the will and the mind of the Second Vatican Council, will no longer remain in force.

To prepare this Constitution, several years were necessary. Without speaking of all the work carried out, let it suffice to recall that all the Episcopal Conferences and all Catholic Centres of study at the university level, were consulted.

We hope, therefore, that the sacred disciplines will receive a new impulse and be able to consolidate Faith, guide morality, and drive out errors, in obedience to the Magisterium of the Church.

Finally, we cannot forget, but must recall at least briefly, ecumenism, which was one of the principal intentions of the universal Synod (cf. Decree Unitatis Redintegratio UR 1). It can be said, in short, that in these months various meetings have been held with representatives of the Christian religions not yet united with us in full unity. While we warmly rejoice at this, we urgently exhort everyone—because "the concern for unity belongs to the Church as a whole" (ibid. 5)—to persevere more and more eagerly in the noble effort to reconstitute this unity, willed by Christ.

It can also be added that there have been various contacts with non-Christians, and thus we have striven to obey the Second Vatican Council, which ordained that in this way "we work together to build up the world in a spirit of genuine peace" (cf. Const. Gaudium et Spes GS 92).

This, Revered Brothers, is what our heart urged us to say. May the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, whose feast we celebrated yesterday, and who bore witness to their love for Christ with their blood, protect this Roman Church and this Apostolic See; with which you have a special bond. Above all, however, let us ask for the help of the noble Mother of God, to whom we confidently entrust you and all our brothers and sons. To strengthen you in the high rank you occupy in the holy Church, we willingly impart to you the Apostolic Blessing.

And now we are glad to list the distinguished Prelates whom we have considered worthy of being admitted to your eminent College at this sacred Consistory:

Agostino Casaroli, tit. Archbishop of Carthage, Pro-Secretary of State;

Giuseppe Caprio, tit. Archbishop of Apollonia, Pro-President of the Administration of the Property of the Apostolic See;

Marco Cè, Patriarch of Venice;

Egano Righi-Lambertini, tit. Archbishop of Doclea, apostolic Nuncio in France;

Joseph-Marie Trinh Van-Can, Archbishop of Hanoi;

Ernesto Civardi, tit. Archbishop of Serdica, Secretary of the Sacred Congregation for Bishops;

Ernesto Corripio Ahumada, Archbishop of Mexico;

Joseph Asajiro Satowaki, Archbishop of Nagasaki;

Roger Etchegaray, Archbishop of Marseilles;

Anastasio Alberto Ballestrero, Archbishop of Turin;

Tomás O'Fiaich, Archbishop of Armagh;

Gerald Emmett Carter, Archbishop of Toronto;

Franciszek Macharski, Archbishop of Krakow;

Wladyslaw Rubin, tit. Bishop of Serta, Auxiliary of the Cardinal Archbishop of Gniezno, Secretary General of the Synod of Bishops.

Speeches 1979