Speeches 1982 - Tuesday, 30 November 1982

5. In this feast of Saint Andrew, as I think back on the warmth and Christian love with which I was welcomed throughout Scotland, I am encouraged to renew the appeal I made to all the Christians of your land, asking again if we cannot make our pilgrim journey together, hand-in-hand, exerting united and harmonious efforts to apply the Gospel message to our lives, walking in Christian charity, while praying and working for that unity in faith which will enable us to celebrate together the Eucharistic Supper of the Lord.

6. Dear brother Bishops, as I turn again, through you, to express my thoughts to the beloved people of Scotland, I also wish to proclaim to them that our common desire for Christian unity is not inordinate, but that it corresponds to the will of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.It is neither unrealistic nor impossible because the Holy Spirit dwells in the hearts of the faithful and the divine action “at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think” (Ep 3,20).

7. The message, therefore, that I proclaim today is one of fresh hope in the infinite power of Christ’s Paschal Mystery, in which he sends his Holy Spirit into our hearts. To the young people of Scotland, who filled me with joy by their enthusiasm for the Gospel, and to all the faithful of every generation I offer the great treasure of the Church: Jesus Christ and his word, Jesus Christ and his promises, Jesus Christ and communion with his Father in the unity of the Holy Spirit.

This is the grace and the goal to which Scotland is called, and called anew: “So that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope” (Rm 15,13).

                                                                  December 1982



Thursday, 2 December 1982

Dear brothers in Christ,

I am very pleased to welcome the priests who are taking part in the Institute for Continuing Theological Education at the North American College. It gives me joy to be with you, for by your presence I am reminded of the common mission which is ours as servants of the Gospel, the mission of proclaiming to the world that Jesus Christ is Lord.

During your time in Rome, you have the opportunity of increasing your knowledge of theology and sacred scripture, of strengthening your spiritual life and of deepening your love for the Church. It is as if you had heard the invitation of the Master to come apart and rest awhile. During the past few months, you have left behind the active ministry and, in the company of brother priests, have had the opportunity to contemplate the mysteries of God and to be renewed in mind and heart.

As you prepare to return to your respective dioceses and communities, I want to remind you of the encouraging words of Saint Paul, “God has called you, and he will not fail you” (1Th 5,24). My brothers, in whatever you do and in whatever you are called to suffer, always have a deep confidence in the love of God at work in your heart and in the hearts of others as you reach out to them in faithful service. The power of the Cross and Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ is active in the Church today just as it has been in every age. And it is active in each of you when you give a shepherd’s care to the flock entrusted to you.

My God bless you, and may he bless all those you love and serve as a priest.




Friday, 3 December 1982

Mr Ambassador,

With great pleasure I welcome Your Excellency as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India to the Holy See. I sincerely appreciate the kind message of good wishes that you have presented on behalf of His Excellency the President and of Her Excellency the Prime Minister, to whom I would ask you to convey the expression of my heartfelt gratitude.

Your presence here today is tangible proof of what you have called the “bonds of warm friendship and cooperation between the Holy See and India”. Your country, Mr Ambassador, is the cradle of one of the world’s oldest religious traditions, and the meeting-place in mutual acceptance and harmony of many different religious beliefs. Christianity has been preached and practised there for almost two thousand years. Now, as in the past, Christians and members of other religious traditions work hand in hand for the wellbeing and prosperity of the whole nation.

The Holy See considers that the basic and ultimate purpose of all economic and social development, a development which constitutes the activity and the aspiration of every nation, is the service of man: man in his totality, taking into account his material needs and the requirements of his intellectual, moral, spiritual and religious life, and all men of whatever group, race or origin. In this respect the activity of the Holy See is directed to promoting those values that constitute the dignity of every human being and the progress of mankind.

Among these values, one of fundamental importance is that of the respect due to the right of every man and woman to follow the dictates of conscience in the search for truth, especially religious truth, and the right to profess this truth openly and without fear of discrimination.

The religious dimension of man’s private and social life is an essential component of his search for fulfilment. It affects man as man. Consequently, the freedom to follow one’s religious convictions, and the free flow of ideas contribute to development. Any attempt to serve the cause of human progress at the expense of one or other of man’s fundamental freedoms is to invite assured failure and cause immeasurable harm.

It is my hope and prayer that the Republic of India will long shine among the nations of the world for its support of the ideals of religious and civil freedoms that mark its independent character. I ask Almighty God to bestow his abundant favours on you, Mr Ambassador, in the fulfilment of your duties as the worthy representative of India, and upon her leaders and citizens, so that she may progress in prosperity towards the highest objectives of social and international peace.




Monday, 6 December 1982

Dear Brothers in our Lord Jesus Christ

1. During this past days I have been able to speak personally with all of you about the Church of God in Kenya. We have discussed your hopes and goals, the renewal that the Holy Spirit has brought about in your local communities, as well as the obstacles and difficulties that you experience in your pastoral ministry as shepherds of the flock.

2. These days of your ad Limina visit evoke my visit to your country, when we were able to consider together many aspects of pastoral responsibility and episcopal leadership. A number of individual issues of importance come to mind at this time. I am deeply pleased to note your apostolic zeal and to encourage you in your collegial efforts in so many different fields, for example: your work for vocations to the priesthood and to religious life; the promotion of the apostolate of the family; initiatives aimed at the effective inculturation of the Gospel message in the lives of the faithful; continued efforts to foster integral human development through education, health and social services; the establishment of Christian communities bearing witness to peace, unity and fraternal love; solicitude for the enormous problem of the refugees; a generous sharing of resources; and united action in addressing various problem. For your zealous commitment to the Kingdom of God, and for that of your priests and religious, both autochthonous and missionary, I thank you in the name of Christ the Lord.

3. At this time there is a particular matter that I would like to propose to your special consideration. It is the great salvific truth of our Redemption in Jesus Christ - a truth that I endeavoured to proclaim among your people. In my first Encyclical I drew attention to this divine mystery, stating: “The Church’s fundamental function in every age and particularly in ours is . . . to help all men to be familiar with the profundity of the Redemption taking place in Christ Jesus” (Ioannis Pauli PP. II Redemptor Hominis RH 10).

4. Precisely for this reason I have already asked for the celebration of a special Jubilee in 1983 to commemorate the anniversary of Redemption. On this occasion our thoughts will turn to Jesus, the Redeemer of man, who himself tells us: “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me . . . to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord” (Lc 4,18-19).

The year of salvation that we shall celebrate - the Redemption in Jesus Christ that we shall proclaim anew - offers a real pastoral programme for your local Churches, with a concentrated vision on the person of the Redeemer and on his salvific action in the history of your ecclesial communities. Indeed, the whole Church has a splendid opportunity to celebrate the purifying and sanctifying power of Christ’s blood, offered in sacrifice and shed for the forgiveness of sins. For the glory of God the Father we must proclaim over and over again to our people: “The blood of Jesus, his Son, cleanses us from all sin” (1 Io. 1, 7).

The Jubilee Year of Redemption is meant to be a proclamation in faith of the efficacy of Christ’s Paschal Mystery; it is a hymn of praise to the crucified and risen Lord. In proclaiming the Redemption to our people we must recall the Church’s need to respond to the Redeemer’s love. For this reason the Jubilee Year becomes a personal call to inner conversion; it is a special time for reconciliation, which is effected through the infinite merits of Jesus Christ. In the context of living faith the Jubilee Year is an invitation to hope, because it is an announcement of salvation and a proclamation of mercy.

As pastors of God’s people we know the profound need in today’s world for mercy. As I mentioned in “Dives in Misericordia”: “The Church must consider it one of her principal duties - at every stage of history and especially in our modern age - to proclaim and to introduce into life the mystery of mercy, supremely revealed in Jesus Christ” (Ioannis Pauli PP. II Dives in Misericordia DM 14).

In the great event of Redemption, Christ offers to his Church the fullness of mercy, together with loving forgiveness.

5. The free offer of mercy and forgiveness in a year dedicated to the mystery of Redemption must lead us all to a renewed emphasis on the Sacrament of Penance and on individual Confession. It is in the act of individual Confession that each person is called to encounter Christ the Redeemer in the key moment of conversion. By God’s grace that moment of conversion is one of mercy and forgiveness and total reconciliation with God and his Church.

6. And because the Sacrament of Penance is the Sacrament of conversion, its use is intimately linked to the fullness of the Gospel message that is proclaimed in the Eucharist: “The Christ who calls to the Eucharistic banquet is always the same Christ who exhorts us to penance and repeats his ‘repent’. Without this constant ever renewed endeavour for conversion, partaking of the Eucharist would lack its full redeeming effectiveness . . .” (Eiusdem Redemptor Hominis RH 20).

Venerable and dear brother Bishops, besides the great importance that Redemption in Jesus Christ holds out for the whole Church, there is a particular relevance for the Church in Kenya. The Jubilee Year of reconciliation and penance - of deep inner conversion can also be a supremely apt preparation for the International Eucharistic Congress to be held in Nairobi in 1985. Just as the Eucharist, as the summit of the Gospel proclamation, presupposes conversion, so all conversion must lead God’s people to the Eucharistic enactment of Redemption. Hence, the proclamation of Redemption in Jesus Christ is both a pastoral programme and a hymn of praise to “the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God” (Hebr. 9, 14).

Dear Brothers, under the sign of Christ the Redeemer and in the power of his blood, go forward, in the unity of the universal Church, to lead your flocks “in right paths for his name’s sake” (Ps 23,3).

To all the beloved faithful of Kenya I send my prayerful greeting and my Apostolic Blessing.




Saturday, 11 December 1982

Dear Brothers in the Episcopate,

1. It is a joy for me to welcome you today, for in you I greet the whole Church in Malta. I greet the People of God in their long religious history, with their wonderful heritage of devotion to Mary the Mother of God. In you I greet all the categories of the faithful, especially the poor in your midst, and all those who minister to the poor, assist them, and work for their spiritual and material well-being in the charity of Jesus Christ. In you I greet hot only the individual members of the ecclesial community but the Church in its entirety, since you are, as Bishops and therefore as successors of the Apostles, the authentic and authoritative representatives of the Church in Malta. If it is true - as it is - that the universal Church is built on Peter, it is also true that the household of God is “built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone” (Ep 2,20). My cordial and affectionate greeting goes also to your elder brother in the faith, Archbishop Gonzi, whom I assure once again of my prayerful remembrance.

2. Truly, in you, venerable Brothers, I embrace the Church in its fullness; in you I see everyone represented here today: the entire community of the redeemed, bearing still the weaknesses of humanity and the effects of sin, being constantly in need of reconciliation, but already assured of final victory over sin and death because of the redemptive power of the blood of Christ, the Lamb of God. In our meeting today we celebrate the mystery of the pilgrim people of God: it is at one and the same time the mystery of God’s presence among us, the mystery of Christ’s headship over us, and the mystery of our discipleship in him. The unity of the whole Body of Christ, clergy, religious and laity, with differing roles of service, is manifested and reinforced in your unity with me and with the universal Church.

3. I wish now to assure you of something that you already know but which is worth repeating: I am close to you in all your labours for the Gospel, and I deeply appreciate your dedication to your apostolic ministry. I am dose to you in your pastoral solicitude for Malta, avoiding as you rightly do activities of a purely political nature, and proclaiming the word of God in all its relevance for each individual and for society itself. I am your Brother and fellow Apostle who share with you the serene and tranquil moments of your apostolate as you announce in Christ the Saviour the good tidings of great joy to all the people (Cfr. Luc Lc 2,10).

But I am also close to you in the difficulties and obstacles that you encounter, in the griefs and pastoral anxieties that are yours as you seek to be faithful to Jesus Christ, and as you seek to be faithful to the people of Malta by exhorting them to maintain that Christian cultural heritage which is theirs: the Maltese heritage of popular religious devotion, which expresses an awareness of God and a radical dependence on his providence. You also have my full prayerful support as you serve the true interests of your people by insisting on the dignity of the Maltese family, based, as it is and as it must always be, on the indissoluble union of husband and wife. This indissoluble union deserves for ever the esteem, support and protection of a Christian society conscious of its responsibilities to God and to its members. And in all your efforts to proclaim the sanctity and inviolability of human life and the dignity of every man, woman and child, you must always remember that you are not alone: millions and millions of people of good will round the world support your cause, and the Lord of history will himself vindicate your fidelity to his eternal plan of life. As you rightly proclaim the need to provide for the religious education of your fellow-citizens and of Malta’s future leaders, you pay homage to a society conscious of its cultural identity and sensitive to its Christian nationhood.

4. Your ad Limina visit gives me the appropriate opportunity to extend to the whole ecclesial community of Malta the invitation to unite around the persons of the Bishops. My invitation is the echo of the Lord’s words to the disciples: “He who hears you hears me” (Lc 10,16). The Second Vatican Council intensely desired that unity with the Bishops of the Church should be enacted at every level in the community: between the Bishops and the clergy, the Bishops and religious, and the Bishops and the laity; and all of these groups with each other and with the Bishops. The call for unity with the Bishops is a call to serve the “good of souls” in a community of salvation in which everyone together must acknowledge the work of the Redeemer, strive to accept it with personal faith, making it effectively available to others: “If you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rm 10,9). At the same time, unity of wills and action is a great means for presenting all the individual exigencies of Christ’s saving message.

5. In particular today I wish to encourage the primary collaborators of the Order of Bishops - all your priests, both diocesan and religious. In the name of the Lord I thank them for their generous partnership with you and with me in the Gospel. I likewise ask them to make constant effort to discover vocations to the priesthood and religious life, offering their own example of holiness, pastoral orientation and fidelity to the Church’s magisterium.

6. Through you I extend my thanks to all those who work together with you in the cause of the Catholic education of the youth Christ himself is looking for other zealous apostles of catechism and I wish to commend all those who individually or in associations have given themselves to catechesis or to the Christian formation of the young. May the Lord himself bless all your initiatives and pastoral endeavours in this field; and may the publication of the Maltese catechetical texts be of special effectiveness in communicating Christ and his undiluted message of salvation.

It is my prayer that the Lord will sustain you in your zealous efforts to maintain the Catholic schools, and that all the difficulties will be overcome for the good of the whole Maltese nation, which benefits immensely from their contribution. At every level may these schools always be instruments, at the service of parents and of the community, of true evangelization, offering encouragement to spiritual growth and human advancement to the pupils and students, through the example of the teachers, and the shared experience of prayer and Catholic doctrine faithfully presented.

7. In the building up of the local Churches in unity, the laity have an irreplaceable contribution to make. The authentic witness of Christian living has besides an incomparable value for evangelization. Through the fidelity of the laity and their active collaboration with the priests and the Bishops, the Church grows to the fullness of Christ. Unity with the Bishops is the guarantee of effectiveness for all the lay apostolate, which, in the words of the Second Vatican Council, is “a participation in the saving mission of the Church” (Lumen Gentium LG 33). In its turn, the saving mission of the Church is the very saving mission of Christ, who, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, lives on in the Church, for the glory of the Father.

My encouragement goes to the religious of Malta, asking them to continue generously in their special vocation of bearing witness to the holiness of the Church through consecration in chastity, poverty and obedience. “And I am sure that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ” (Ph 1,6).

To all the faithful of Malta who are living the mystery of Christ in the communion of his Church I send my Apostolic Blessing with the expression of my love in Christ Jesus. With confidence in her maternal intercession I commend you all to Mary, being convinced that she does indeed preside over the destiny of the Maltese people at this juncture of history as at every other. Through her intercession may it prove to be an hour of reconciliation, unity and peace for Malta.



Thursday, 30 December 1982

Chers amis,

1. Je suis heureux et ému de vous voir, encore une fois, réunis à Rome à l’initiative de Taizé. Vous êtes si nombreux, si enthousiastes, si bien disposés à recevoir et à suivre les inspirations de l’Esprit de Dieu, dans un climat de prière! Et je remercie vivement le Frère Roger pour ses paroles sincères et suggestives.

Vous êtes venus ici auprès des tombeaux des Apôtres Pierre et Paul, des martyrs, des saints au coeur brûlant de foi et d’amour, vénérés dans les catacombes ou les églises de Rome. Et vous avez voulu rencontrer le Successeur de Pierre, dont la vocation est de proclamer comme Pierre la foi au “Christ, le Fils du Dieu vivant” (Cfr. Matth Mt 16,16) et son amour de prédilection pour Lui (Cfr. Io Jn 21,15-17) et d’assurer ainsi le rôle de Pasteur de tous, en étant avec les autres Successeurs des Apôtres, les Evêques, au service du Christ pour accomplir “la communion en l’unité, dans la profession d’une seule foi, dans la célébration commune du culte divin, dans la concorde fraternelle de la famille de Dieu” (Unitatis Redintegratio UR 2).

Vous êtes venus en pèlerinage de foi et de réconciliation, pour jouir, comme disait saint Paul, de la “communication de quelque don spirituel propre à vous affermir” (Rm 1,11), notamment dans votre décision d’être toujours davantage des “artisans de paix” (Mt 5,9). C’est une grande joie pour moi de pouvoir vous aider à marcher sur ce chemin de réconciliation. Je le ferai en dialoguant avec vous, autrement dit en répondant aux quelques questions que vous m’avez posées, abordant chaque question en une langue différente.

Je sais que parmi vous, un certain nombre sont chrétiens sans se rattacher à la confession catholique. D’autres jeunes sont en recherche de la foi. Je respecte cette situation et ce cheminement. Devant tous, je veux du moins rendre témoignage au Christ, Chemin, Vérité et Vie, et rendre témoignage à son Eglise. Dans la mesure où je vous adresse des exhortations ou directives sur votre tâche dans l’Eglise, je m’adresse essentiellement aux catholiques, et cela d’ailleurs en union avec leurs Evêques, qui sont de façon habituelle leurs Pasteurs.

2. Comment être témoins de la joie et de la confiance en ces temps inquiétants? (question n. 1).

Nous le sommes grâce à notre foi (Cfr. 1 Io. 5, 4): “Dieu a tant aimé le monde qu’il a donné son Fils unique . . . pour que le monde soit sauvé par lui” (Jn 3,16-17). Et ce qui nous donne l’assurance au niveau de l’action, c’est que nous essayons d’aimer comme Lui nous a aimés: “Nous savons que nous sommes passés de la mort à la vie parce que nous aimons nos frères” (1 Io. 3, 14).

Certes, vous ne devez jamais fermer les yeux sur les difficultés réelles. Les problèmes du monde demeurent difficiles et complexes: comment faire cohabiter les hommes comme des frères quand ils sont si différents et ont des intérêts immédiats apparemment opposés, pour que chacun ait sa part de pain, de dignité, d’amour? Et surtout comment surmonter les graves menaces d’oppression et de guerres qui viennent du coeur des hommes, lorsqu’ils se laissent conduire avec agressivité par la peur, le mensonge, l’égoïsme, l’orgueil, la haine? Il y a donc des risques de malheurs, c’est vrai. Il y a même une lutte à mener, une lutte contre le mal sous toutes ses formes. Et ceux qui cherchent le bien ne seront pas pour autant épargnés, en cette vie, de la morsure du mal: le Christ l’a-t-il été?

Et cependant, il est de notre devoir de contribuer chacun à conjurer ces risques, de “vaincre le mal par le bien” (Rm 11,21). Par le Christ, avec Lui, c’est possible. Le Mal, le Malin, n’aura pas le dernier mot (Cfr. Io Jn 16,33). Et déjà le sens du bien, le sens de la justice et de l’amour que Dieu met en nous, il les met aussi dans le coeur des autres, de beaucoup d’autres, au point que nous pouvons nous rencontrer sur ce terrain, nous donner la main par-dessus les frontières, pour susciter un monde de frères. Le Christ nous ouvre cette espérance, même à travers la souffrance. Si nous luttons avec Lui, nous le faisons déjà avec une grande paix dans le coeur. C’est pourquoi je vous redis: N’ayez pas peur!

3. Voi mi avete messo a parte della vostra volontà di inserire le vostre piccole comunità di laici nelle parrocchie, e chiedete se potete veramente essere là un fermento di contemplazione (domanda n. 2).

Mi congratulo con voi, cari amici, e vi incoraggio in questo proposito. Certo è normale e può essere tonificante riunirsi per affinità tra giovani che condividono lo stesso ideale, lo stesso modo di pregare, lo stesso dinamismo per l’azione: è l’interesse di molti movimenti di giovani cristiani di oggi, con il loro particolare accento, la loro spiritualità; si tratti di movimenti apostolici, educativi, o di diversi gruppi di preghiera. Ciò costituisce spesso un ricambio necessario. Ma voi comprendete il rischio, e volete evitarlo, di vivere ripiegati sul proprio gruppo, sulla propria opzione, sulla propria sensibilità. Non ci potrebbe essere una “Chiesa” di una certa categoria di età, di classe, di razza. La Chiesa - il termine vuol dire assemblea - è la riunione dei cristiani in un solo popolo, in un solo Corpo, che riceve dal Capo, Cristo, - rappresentato dal ministro ordinato nella successione apostolica -, la Parola di Dio e la Vita che non si sarebbe capaci di dare a se stessi. In lui sono state abolite le divisioni tra membri e categorie di membri, come commentava san Paolo per il suo tempo: “Tra Giudei e Greci, tra schiavi e liberi, tra uomini e donne” (Ga 3,28); si potrebbe aggiungere: tra giovani e vecchi, tra ricchi e poveri, ecc. Questa realtà spirituale - che corrisponde alla Chiesa universale e alla Chiesa diocesana - è ben rappresentata e vissuta nella parrocchia. Lo dicevo nell’esortazione apostolica sulla catechesi: “Senza stabilire monopoli né rigide uniformità, la parrocchia . . . deve ritrovare la propria vocazione, che è quella di essere una casa di famiglia, fraterna e accogliente, dove i battezzati ed i cresimati prendono coscienza di essere Popolo di Dio. Lì il pane della buona dottrina ed il pane dell’Eucaristia sono ad essi spezzati in abbondanza nel contesto di un medesimo atto di culto; di li essi sono rinviati quotidianamente alla loro missione apostolica, in tutti i cantieri della vita del mondo (Giovanni Paolo II, Catechesi Tradendae CTR 67).

Sì, cari amici cattolici, inseritevi dunque nelle parrocchie: per portare e per ricevere. Voi potrete crearvi degli spazi di preghiera e di adorazione, che attireranno ed aiuteranno i vostri fratelli alla ricerca di Dio, pur comprendendo che altri gruppi di preghiera esistono spesso già con un orientamento complementare o più generale, e voi prendete parte con essi anche alle celebrazioni abituali, liturgiche, concepite per l’insieme del Popolo di Dio e aperte a tutte le sensibilità. Voi potrete esservi dei “fermenti” di riconciliazione e anche familiarizzarvi con i diversi obiettivi che una parrocchia deve realizzare a livello catechetico, sacramentale, apostolico o caritativo. Voi vi porterete le vostre domande e i vostri appelli e riceverete anche le domande degli altri e le responsabilità di coloro che vi sono stati stabiliti parroci, in modo da costruire con essi la Chiesa, mediante la preghiera e la carità.

4. Welches sind die Risiken, die ihr auf euch nehmen könnt, um die Menschen zum Frieden aufzurufen? um die Menschenwürde zu verteidigen? (Frage 3).

Das erste Risiko, das für den Frieden gewagt werden muß, scheint mir der Dialog zu sein, den uns für die anderen öffnet und durchsichtig macht. Das ist auch das Thema der Friedensbotschaft, die ich in diesen Tagen an die Welt richte. Der Dialog, so sage ich dort (IOANNIS PAULI PP. II Nuntius scripto datuus ob diem ad pacem fovendam toto orbe terrarum Calendis Ianuariis a. 1983 celebrandum, 6, die 8 dec. 1982: vide supra, p. 1545), geht aus von der Suche nach dem Wahren, dem Guten und dem Gerechten für jeden Menschen; er verlangt Offen-sein und Annehmen; verlangt, sich einzulassen auf das Anders-sein und das Besondere im Dialogpartner, mit allem Risiko, das sich daraus ergibt. Und das, ohne aus Feigheit oder falscher Rücksicht aufzugeben, was man selbst als wahr und recht erkennt aber auch ohne den anderen zu einem bloßen Objekt zu erniedrigen, wo er doch veilmehr als ein Subjekt mit Verstand, Freiheit und Verantwortung zu achten ist. Darum sollte der Dialog zunächst einmal die Suche nach all dem sein, was den Menschen gemeinsam ist. Selig diejenigen, die auch bereit sind, gemeinsam darum zu betan, daß der Heilige Geist sie all das im anderen lieben lehrt, was Gott selbst an ihm liebt!

Was die konkreten Mittel im einzelnen angeht, die zum Frieden führen oder wenigstens die Kriegsdrohung abwenden können, wie zum Beispiel ein Verzicht auf weiteres Wettrüsten, so liegen dort schwierige und vielschichtige Probleme, die noch weitere Verantwortlichkeiten ins Spiel bringen. Hierzu habe ich mich schon bei anderer Gelegenheit geäußert. Eure Rolle scheint mir dabei vor allem zu sein, Herz und Kopf der Menschen dafür zu motivieren, den Frieden ernsthaft zu wollen, ihn zwischen den einzelnen und den Gruppen überzeugend zu verwirklichen, ferner Gerechtigkeit zu verlangen, die beste Garantie des Friedens, und das Teilen anzuregen und zu üben, ein guter Weg dorthin.

5. La distribución equitativa de los bienes de la tierra constituía precisamente el objeto de otra cuestión (n. 5). Vosotros sois tanto más sensibles a ella en cuanto no parecéis quemados por la sociedad de consumo y de placer, que vosotros mismos conocéis bien en Europa, y sobre todo porque habéis experimentado la miseria de vuestros hermanos a través de los países del Tercer Mundo, por vuestra permanencia en medio de ellos o por testimonios recibidos en torno a ellos en vuestras cartas-circulares. Sí, el evangelio urge a los cristianos a poner remedio a las desigualdades que impiden a una gran parte de los hombres satisfacer sus necesidades más elementales en lo que se refiere a alimentación, vivienda, preocupaciones. La Iglesia debe predicar esa repartición para que los hombres se liberen de la miseria que es contraria a los planes de Dios, con tal de predicar también a todos el espíritu evangélico de la pobreza. Evidentemente, la Iglesia debe dar a la vez testimonio de ella. Eso es a lo que nosotros exortamos sin tregua. Muchos cristianos, muchos santos, la han practicado hasta el heroísmo y han fundado a su vez comunidades que practican esa coparticipación. A veces la entrega de recursos a las instituciones eclesiales puede pareceros como una especie de cortina administrativa para con los pobres; tratad de entender que estos medios quieren ser garantía para asegurar el día de mañana una ayuda mutua, generosa y eficaz. Es siempre delicado juzgar a nuestros hermanos. Pero sigue siendo verdad que las instituciones deben ser sinceras y estar muy atentas para evitar a la vez los peligros de la riqueza y la insensibilidad ante las necesidades de los hermanos.

Vuestra tercera cuestión se refería también expresamente a la dignidad de toda persona, al valor de toda vida humana. Así es: dicho esto, aceptad riesgos, haced todo lo que está en vuestras manos para proclamar esos valores a tiempo y a destiempo, para hacerlos respetar, con firmeza, con claridad. Pero - lo sabéis muy bien - este testimonio compromete en primer lugar a cada uno de nosotros; sólo es creíble cuando cada uno respeta absolutamente la vida del otro en su pequeñez, en su concepción, en su debilidad, en su vejez, así como todos sus derechos fundamentales. ¡Ojalá vosotros, queridos amigos, contribuyáis a promover poco a poco este respeto por el hombre, por todo hombre!

6. E quando o outro não tem respeito, se mostra insensível e quando o perdão é recusado pelos que nos rodeiam? Como actuar a reconciliação, perguntareis vós? (Pergunta número quatro).

Speeches 1982 - Tuesday, 30 November 1982