Speeches 1993 - Saturday, 9 October 1993




Friday, 15 October 1993

Your Eminence,
Dear brother Bishops,

1. I welcome you, the Bishops of the Provinces of New York and Saint Paul-Minneapolis, who have come to Rome for your visit "ad Limina Apostolorum". To borrow the words of Saint Paul: "I hold you in my heart, you who are all partners with me in grace, ...and in the defense and confirmation of the Gospel" (Ph 1,5). Our meeting follows an age-old ecclesial tradition which expresses the communion in truth and charity linking the members of the College of Bishops with the Successor of Peter. This fellowship is the guarantee that your particular Churches stand secure upon the "twelve courses of stone" inscribed with the "names of the twelve Apostles of the Lamb" (Ap 22,14). For the members of your particular Churches, the unity of their Pastors with the Bishop of Rome is the sign that the community’s faith and evangelical service rest on rock, not sand (Cf. Mt. Mt 7,24-27). With affection in the Lord I pray that the priests, religious and laity of your Dioceses may grow in spiritual insight and holiness of life, and be "filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God" (Ph 1,10-11).

2. At the beginning of this year’s meetings with the Bishops of the United States, of whom you are the ninth group, I set out to follow the basic outline of "The Catechism of the Catholic Church".

Having dealt with matters concerning Catholic belief and identity, worship and holiness of life, and some aspects of the Bishop’s ministry within the community, today I wish to take up the topic which will serve as the framework for the last set of talks in the series, namely, living the faith in the world.

In perfect harmony with her two-thousand-year tradition, the Church’s mission in the world and the service she gives to the human family were central concerns of the Second Vatican Council.

On the basis of the teaching in "Lumen Gentium", that "the Church is the universal sacrament of salvation" (Lumen Gentium LG 48), the Fathers of the Council, in the Pastoral Constitution "Gaudium et Spes", pointed out that in "pursuing the saving purpose which is proper to her, the Church not only communicates divine life to men, but in some way casts the reflected light of that life over the entire earth. This she does most of all by her healing and elevating impact on the dignity of the person, by the way in which she strengthens the seams of human society and imbues the everyday activity of men and women with a deeper meaning and importance" (Gaudium et Spes GS 40). In other words, by faithfully responding to her divine vocation and mission, the Church of Christ makes an invaluable contribution to the common good of the civil societies in which she lives and acts (Cf. Gaudium et Spes GS 40).

3. The Church sheds light upon temporal realities; she purifies, uplifts and reconciles them to God. This she does, on the one hand, through the presence and action of her members in the world of human affairs and human endeavours. Countless works and institutions, large and small, in every corner of the world, testify to the ecclesial community’s unfailing commitment and generosity in serving the good of the human family and in meeting the needs of millions of our brothers and sisters. This boundless witness of faith and love on the part of single members of the Church, as well as of groups and communities, reveals the true face of the Church to the world (Cf. ibid. 43). It is the fulfilment of Jesus’ pressing invitation: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Mt 5,16).

On the other hand, there is another way in which the Church makes an indispensable contribution to the development and wellbeing of the human family. She does so by means of her proclamation of God’s design for his handiwork. The Church possesses a truth, a doctrine, a wisdom and an experience, of which people have need in travelling the path of their authentic liberation and good. This is the context in which to understand the recently published Encyclical Letter "Veritatis Splendor". This Letter springs from a profound sense of the need to re-present the light of the Gospel and the authoritative teaching of the Church regarding the basic principles which underlie and sustain the moral life. It is intended to help dispel the crippling confusion which many people today feel in relation to fundamental questions of good and evil, right and wrong. A restatement of the Church’s constant yet ever new moral teaching is a necessary response of the Magisterium to the widespread ethical crisis affecting contemporary society. As experienced Pastors, you are fully conscious of the depth and consequences of this crisis in the everyday lives of people, just as you are aware of your own responsibility to offer pastoral guidance according to the mind of Christ and of the Church.

4. At the heart of the message of "Veritatis Splendor" is the reaffirmation of the essential relationship between truth and freedom (Cf. John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor VS 32). The universal truth about the good of the human person and the perennially valid norms which ensure the protection of that good are indeed accessible to human reason; we can indeed share in God’s knowledge about what we should be and about what we must do in order to reach the end for which we were created. Because this "law" is inscribed in our hearts (Cf. Rom. Rm 2,15), to accept it and to act accordingly is not to submit to some extraneous imposition; it is to embrace the deepest truth of our own being (Cf. John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor VS 41 VS 50). In response to the question about what truth should shape human destiny, the Church answers: God’s truth, which is man’s. To the question about what justice ought to guide society, she replies: God’s justice, which alone is a truly human and humanizing justice.

Helping contemporary men and women rediscover "the inseparable connection between truth and freedom" (Ibid. 99) is a pressing requirement of our pastoral office, individually and collectively.

By ensuring that the basic truths of the Church’s moral doctrine are clearly taught, we are offering a reaffirmation of the dignity of the human person, a correct understanding of conscience, which is the only solid basis for the right exercise of human freedom, and a foundation for living together in solidarity and civic harmony. All of this is an essential service to the common good. How can modern society pull back from its slide into increasingly destructive behaviour involving the violation of the basic rights of the human person, without a recovery of the inviolable character of the moral norms which should always and everywhere govern human conduct? (Cf. John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor VS 84)

5. At the "World Youth Day" in Denver I had the opportunity to reflect with the young people present on the false morality currently applied to the theme of life. According to this way of thinking, "abortion and euthanasia – the actual killing of another human being – are hailed as ‘rights’ and solutions to ‘problems’ – an individual’s problem or society’s... Life – God’s first gift, and the fundamental right of every individual, on which all other rights are based – is often treated as just one more commodity to be organized, commercialized and manipulated according to convenience" (John Paul II, Address to youth during the vigil of prayer in Denver, 3, 14 August 1993).

The difficult path of society’s renewal lies in "a great rebirth of the sense of personal answerability before God, before others and before our own conscience" (Ibid.). No one should underestimate the immensity of the challenge which the Church faces and the seriousness for the whole of society of what is at stake. That is why, upon arriving in Denver I expressed a deep concern which I know is shared by many, and not only Catholics, among your fellow-citizens: "To educate without a value system based on truth is to abandon young people to moral confusion, personal insecurity and easy manipulation. No country, not even the most powerful, can endure if it deprives its own children of this essential good" (John Paul II, Address at the international airport of Denver, 4, 12 August 1993).

6. In rejecting both ethical relativism and agnosticism about the moral good the Church is not being "dogmatic" or "sectarian". The truth which the Church is defending affirms the transcendent dignity of the person and the inviolable obligation to respect each individual’s conscience. In fact, this truth offers the surest guarantee of human freedom, for – as I wrote in "Centesimus Annus", when "there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power" (John Paul II, Centesimus Annus CA 46), leaving the individual no appeal against the domination of a particular opinion or ideological system.

It can be said that in indicating the necessary relationship between truth and freedom, the Encyclical exposes the primeval untruth that has brought untold suffering, evil and violence to the human family from its very origins, and which today appears to know no bounds, deceiving even the elect (Cf. Mt. Mt 24,24). As Saint Paul puts it so simply in the Letter to the Romans, the falsehood is this: that so many have "exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshipped and served the creature rather than the Creator" (Rm 1,24). The end result on the practical level is the enthronement of self-centredness, and the demise of solidarity and self-giving love.

7. My final remarks in the Encyclical, before commending this document and its application to the protection of the Mother of God, concern our responsibility to teach faithfully and tirelessly the “‘answer’ to the question about morality... entrusted by Jesus Christ in a particular way to us, the Pastors of the Church” (John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor VS 114). This is our shared duty and privilege. In fulfilment of my specific responsibility I have reaffirmed certain fundamental moral truths of Catholic doctrine which, in the present circumstances, risk being distorted or denied (Cf. ibid. 4). I consign this critical discernment regarding some present-day trends in moral theology to you and your brother Bishops with the ardent hope and prayer that together we shall fulfil the task of bringing this teaching into the mainstream of the Church’s life.

Our trust is in God’s power. We must be confident that the Holy Spirit will enlighten and strengthen the hearts of priests, religious and laity, moving them to show assent and fidelity to this message which is not ours but is from the One who sent us (Cf. Jn 7,16). In being "personally vigilant that the ‘sound doctrine’ (1Tm 1,10) of faith and morals is taught" (John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor VS 116), we shall often feel our own faith and courage challenged and put to the test. Then we shall need the virtue of fortitude and the strengthening grace of the Spirit of Truth. Let us pray for one another and for all our brother Bishops, that we may be fully faithful to the Lord in this important hour of the Church’s pilgrimage through human history. With my Apostolic Blessing.




Monday, 18 October 1993

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Dear Friends,

It is always a joy to greet the Officers and Board of Directors of the Knights of Columbus on the occasion of your visits to Rome. I thank Supreme Knight Dechant for his kind words on your behalf and for his presentation of the proceeds of the Vicarius Christi Fund.

For over a century, the Knights of Columbus have been distinguished by outstanding fidelity to the Successor of Peter and a deep commitment to the Church’s universal mission. This lively sense of communion with the See of Rome is rooted in the ideals of practical faith and solidarity which inspired the foundation of your fraternal Order. Those high ideals have found expression in countless works of service to the needy throughout the world, not least in this beloved City. In expressing my appreciation of the way in which you assist the Pope in the exercise of his apostolic solicitude for all the Churches (Cf. 2Cor. 2Co 11,28), I assure you that, in the words of Saint Paul, "I thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers" (Phm 1,4).

Ten years ago, on the occasion of my Pastoral Visit to Latin America, I called for a new evangelization of that Continent, an evangelization that would be "new in its ardour, methods and expression" (John Paul II, Address to the Assembly of CELAM in Port-au-Prince, III, 9 March 1983). At the centre of this great enterprise is the Church’s ministry to the family. Today as ever, "the family absolutely needs to hear ever anew and to understand ever more deeply the authentic words that reveal its identity, its inner resources and the importance of its mission in the City of God and in that of man" (John Paul II, Familiaris Consortio FC 86). It was precisely in order to assist the Church in offering this indispensable pastoral service that I established in 1981 the Pontifical Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family. And it is also for this reason that I wish sincerely to thank you, the representatives of the Knights of Columbus, for your support in making possible the establishment of a branch of the Institute in the United States.

I am confident that the Order will continue to work for the strengthening and deepening of the Christian formation of its members. Without an enlightened and well-instructed laity the ecclesial community cannot respond adequately to present-day challenges to faith and morality.

Upon all the Knights of Columbus and your families I cordially invoke the grace and peace of Jesus Christ our Savior. With my Apostolic Blessing.




Thursday, 21 October 1993

Your Eminence,
Dear brother Bishops,

1. With fraternal affection I greet you, the Bishops of New Zealand, on the occasion of your visit "ad Limina Apostolorum". Your prayer at the tombs of the Apostles Peter and Paul, and your fraternal meeting with the Successor of Peter, are the expression of the communion which binds us together in the one Body of Christ, in which we are "ministers of the evangelical truth which is to be received and shown forth through the whole life and activity of the Church" (Cf. Episcopal Conference of New Zealand, Pastoral Letter "In the Service of Unity", 7).

In your reports on the state of your Dioceses, many of you have pointed to the importance of a more effective proclamation of the word of God in today’s society. This then is the theme of our reflection: our mission as preachers and teachers of the faith.It falls to you, as the primary evangelizers of God’s people in New Zealand, to stimulate, encourage and lead the ever–pressing task of evangelization, which remains the central priority of the Church’s mission in every age and her primary service to humanity (Cf. John Paul II, Redemptoris Missio RMi 44).

2. In the Church, all pastoral action has its origin in the mystery of communion, that divine life which the Son shares with the Father in the Holy Spirit, and which he communicates through the ministry of his Church. Through Baptism, the faithful enter this communion, and are called to manifest it in their lives and communicate it to others by taking an active part in the Church’s saving mission (Cf. John Paul II, Christifideles Laici CL 8). This transcendent aspect of discipleship must always be distinguishable in the life and activity of the faithful. The Bishops for their part "should constantly exert themselves to have the faithful know and live the paschal mystery more deeply through the Eucharist and thus become a firmly knit body in the solidarity of Christ’s love" (Christus Dominus CD 15).

You and the priests who are your co-workers in the service of the Gospel are called to be the active builders of ecclesial communion, strengthening the unity of the Church in the harmony of diverse vocations, charisms and ministries (Cf. John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis PDV 16). I encourage your efforts to provide for the permanent spiritual and theological formation of the clergy, so that, by participating in the "anointing" and "mission" of Christ, your priests "can continue Christ’s prayer, word, sacrifice and salvific action in the Church" (Ibid.). Amid the often confusing din of ideas and opinions about ecclesial life and renewal, it is essential that priests should be equipped to discern, in fidelity to the apostolic faith, what is truly valuable for the growth of God’s people.

Likewise, the good of the Church requires that the whole community – families, schools and Catholic youth groups – should encourage and foster vocations to the priesthood.But it is above all the Bishop’s duty to give the closest attention to the training of future priests in seminaries and houses of formation. A Bishop must be able to accompany his seminarians with personal interest and paternal affection, ensuring that they are given the spiritual, intellectual and human formation needed to make them men of communion, possessing mature faith and true apostolic zeal.

The relatively large number of men and women religious in New Zealand is a source of special grace and strength for the Christian community. Through their specific way of witnessing to the kingdom of God already present in the midst of human realities, Religious exemplify the transcendent and eschatological nature of the Christian life. As the whole Church prepares for the forthcoming Assembly of the Synod of Bishops on Religious Life, I am confident that you will be close to the communities in your Dioceses as they seek to discern before God the appropriate path of renewal and reform, leading to ever greater harmony with the true nature of their calling and the original charism of their Founders. Religious living and working in your Dioceses will appreciate this pastoral concern and guidance from those to whom the care of the particular Churches has been entrusted (Cf. Christus Dominus CD 11). I ask you to take my greetings and prayerful support to all the members of Religious Institutes and Societies of Apostolic Life in New Zealand, and to the many who are missionaries, especially in the Pacific region.

3. No commitment to evangelization can overlook the need to promote the continuing formation of the laity. This spiritual and doctrinal formation should aim at helping them to carry out their prophetic office in a society which does not always recognize the truth and the humanizing force of the Gospel, or the values which spring from it. As indicated in the Apostolic Exhortation "Christifideles Laici", if the laity are to carry out effectively their important role in the new evangelization they must be helped to overcome any separation between the Gospel and life, by learning to see and judge all things in the light of Christ (Cf. Christifideles Laici CL 34).

Conversion to Christ involves a conversion of the intellect as well as the heart, and in bringing this about, lay people rightly expect both wise spiritual guidance and authentic teaching from their pastors.

In fact, your apostolic responsibility for handing down the deposit of faith (Cf. 2Tim. 2Tm 1,14) finds concrete expression in your concern for the integrity of the catechetical and theological doctrine imparted in your Dioceses. This of course demands a critical discernment with regard to all that threatens the fullness of the Catholic faith. We cannot ignore the disturbing tendencies seen in certain currents of spirituality, theology and pastoral practice, tendencies which call into question the Church’s identity as the only ordinary means of salvation for all mankind, or which – obscure the truth that the Sacraments remain the definitive and essential locus of our encounter with Christ.

In the face of the many different challenges to our pastoral ministry, we cannot lose confidence in the power of the Gospel to transform people’s minds and hearts! By remaining faithful to our charge to proclaim the word unfailingly, in season and out of season (Cf. ibid. 4: 2), we are doing no more than what is required of us! (Cf. Lc 17,10) Among God’s many gifts to the Church in these times, the "Catechism of the Catholic Church" will assist greatly in providing a solid and sustained catechesis for children, young people and adults. At the same time your pastoral efforts cannot afford to ignore those baptized Catholics who do not practise their faith. This preoccupying phenomenon calls for intensified pastoral action, and a coordinated response by parishes and dioceses.

4. Today, the exercise of our apostolic ministry often requires us to address difficult and complex issues in the field of morality. The Gospel contains not only the truths to be believed but also those to be applied to life (Cf. Lumen Gentium LG 25). As the Encyclical "Veritatis Splendor" indicates: "the unity of the Church is damaged not only by those who distort the truths of faith, but also by those who disregard the moral obligations to which they are called by the Gospel" (John Paul II, Veritatis Splendor VS 26). The truth about moral action, which the Church teaches, is a necessary and sublime service to the human family, for it sheds light on the lives of individuals and of society, indicating the path of true interior freedom, namely, ransom from sin and the capacity to choose what effectively leads to fulfilling our God-given destiny. In this light too a renewed, more positive catechesis regarding the Sacrament of Reconciliation will be the source of a deeper-experience of God and a more generous self-giving love.

Conscious of your praiseworthy tradition of intervening as a respected voice in favour of the poor and in defence of human rights, I encourage your efforts to make known the Church’s teaching on the moral issues raised by the advances of science and technology, and by the utilitarian outlook which often dominates public discussion and legislation. Because they are so fundamental to human life and fulfilment, sexual morality and family life must be illuminated by the light of Christ’s teaching. The Church cannot remain silent in the face of widespread divorce and the break-up of the family. Today more than ever, those preparing for marriage need solid religious instruction on the implications of that Sacrament, while young married couples need help and support in living their union in respect for God’s plan for marriage and the family. In the face of attempts to give other forms of cohabitation legal equality with the family, the nature role and rights of the family must be strenuously defended. In supporting this fundamental institution, the active involvement of the laity themselves, especially through associations of families and professional people, is needed.

5. In New Zealand, the work of evangelization must take into consideration the demands of your multi-cultural society, whereby the Church is enriched in her catholicity by the presence of various social and cultural groups. The spiritual care of Maori Catholics, and the effective pastoral care of the growing numbers of Samoans, Cook Islanders, Tokelauans and Tongans immigrating to urban areas, require a sensitive and committed pastoral response.

Practical attempts to promote the inculturation of the faith require a patient and rigorous reflection grounded in a genuine theology inspired by Catholic principles on inculturation, – principles which are indissolubly rooted in the mystery of the Incarnation and authentic Christian anthropology (Cf. John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis PDV 55). A truly critical and genuinely evangelical discernment of cultural realities can only be undertaken in the light of the saving death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

A sound theology of inculturation cannot overlook the Church’s unequivocal conviction that culture, as a human creation, is inevitably marked by sin and needs to be healed, ennobled and perfected by the Gospel (Cf. Lumen Gentium LG 17). The contact of cultures with God’s saving word will naturally bring about a profound transformation as these cultures find their deepest meaning and the fulfilment of their aspirations in the knowledge and love of the person of the Word Incarnate. The Gospel penetrates the very life of cultures, and becomes incarnate in them, precisely by "overcoming those cultural elements that are incompatible with the faith and Christian living and by raising their values to the mystery of salvation which comes from Christ" (John Paul II, Pastores Dabo Vobis PDV 55). The challenge before every group and people is to let the Gospel of Christ continue to penetrate and permeate their way of life, shaping their sense of identity as a unique part of God’s household.

6. Dear brother Bishops: the tasks facing the Church as the third millennium approaches are immense and arduous. But they do not diminish our zeal and commitment, for our trust is in the sustaining grace of Christ. Divine providence has shown itself at work in the growth of the Church in your country, reflected in so many lives of radiant holiness and devoted service to the common good, especially in the untiring service of the needy, the sick and the neglected. Today, amid new challenges, you are called to build upon this foundation, by cooperating with "him who by the power at work within us is able to do far more abundantly than all we ask or think" (Ep 3,20). I commend you and the clergy, religious and laity of your Dioceses to the maternal care of Mary, Mother of the Church, and I cordially impart my Apostolic Blessing.





Friday, 22 October 1993

Distinguished men and women of Science,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. It gives me great pleasure to meet you, participants in the Workshop on "Chemical Hazards in Developing Countries" organized by the Pontifical Academy of Sciences in conjunction with The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, and with the support of the Swedish Wenner-Gren Foundation. The very enunciation of the theme of your meeting highlights the importance and timeliness of your reflections. Who cannot but be deeply concerned by the prospect of the already existing and ever expanding danger from pollution and other side effects of the production and use of chemicals? Indeed, your discussions, reflecting the highest levels of scientific competence, will be of great relevance to the growing public concern about the environment. I am confident that the publication of your studies and proposals will be of interest to the appropriate agencies and to governments, both in industrialized and in developing countries.

2. In most industrialized countries, attention is paid to the risks to human beings and to the environment from man-made chemicals. In some countries regulations are in place. But in developing countries, where most chemical hazards have their origin in the import of chemical substances and technologies, a lack of expertise and of necessary infrastructures often renders efficient control difficult or impossible. Very few countries in fact have a specific legislation regulating the handling and use of toxic chemicals. Other problems in developing countries concern the introduction of highly polluting industries, not subject to the more rigorous control that is applied in developed countries. It is a serious abuse and an offense against human solidarity when industrial enterprises in the richer countries profit from the economic and legislative weaknesses of poorer countries to locate production plants or accumulate waste which will have a degrading effect on the environment and on people’s health.

The answer, certainly, is not to deny developing countries the imports and technologies they need, especially when these have to do with food production and the setting up of basic industries: "Peoples or nations too have a right to their full development" (John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis SRS 32). In fact, development, which ensures the conditions required for the exercise of fundamental rights, belongs to the domain of universal human rights. It is a direct consequence of the universal destination of the goods of creation.

3. Although primarily scientific and technical, your Workshop is not without great interest also for the Church: not in the sense that the Church has any particular scientific competence in the field, but in the sense that what is in question cannot be divorced from the ethical and moral character of the development which has given rise to this problem.

A fundamental principle of the Church’s approach to development is expressed succinctly in words of my predecessor Pope Paul VI: "Development cannot be limited to mere economic growth. In order to be authentic, it must be complete: integral, that is, it has to promote the good of every person and of the whole person" (Paul VI, Populorum Progressio PP 14). This does not mean that the Christian holds a negative view of the greater availability of material goods and the spreading of those industries which produce them. It means – as I have written elsewhere – that "development cannot consist only in the use, dominion over and indiscriminate possession of created things and the products of human industry, but rather in subordinating the possession, dominion and the use to man’s divine likeness and to his vocation to immortality" (John Paul II, Sollicitudo Rei Socialis SRS 29).

Man’s spiritual nature and his transcendent vocation imply a fundamental solidarity between people, whereby we are all responsible for each other. Respect for the natural environment and the correct and moderated use of the resources of creation are a part of each individual’s moral obligations towards others. This truth applies also to relations between peoples and nations. In this context the technical dimension of the theme of your discussions is inseparable from its moral aspects. It would be difficult to overstate the weight of the moral duty incumbent on developed countries to assist the developing countries in their efforts to solve their chemical pollution and health hazard problems.

4. The international community, for its part, should continue to promote global agreements regarding the production, trade and handling of hazardous substances. In the 1990 World Day of Peace Message I wrote that, "the concepts of an ordered universe and a common heritage both point to the necessity of a more internationally coordinated approach to the management of the earth’s goods" (John Paul II, Message for the 1990 World Day of Peace, 9, 8 December 1989). Specifically in relation to the environment, I noted that "the right to a safe environment is ever more insistently presented today as a right that must be included in an updated Charter of Human Rights" (Ibid.). The 1992 United Nations Environmental Conference in Rio de Janeiro took steps in this regard, and in Chapter 19 of Agenda 21 several actions, which are especially relevant to developing regions, are recommended. The Holy See gladly agrees with the proposal in Agenda 21 that recommends the setting up of an International Forum on Chemical Safety, with the purpose of giving developing countries assistance to increase their competence and capacity in this field.

5. The human family is at a crossroads in its relationship to the natural environment. Not only is it necessary to increase efforts to educate in a keen awareness of solidarity and interdependence among the world’s peoples. It is also necessary to insist on the interdependence of the various ecosystems and on the importance of the balance of these systems for human survival and well-being. Mere utilitarian considerations or an aesthetical approach to nature cannot be a sufficient basis for a genuine education in ecology. We must all learn to approach the environmental question with solid ethical convictions involving responsibility, selfcontrol, justice and fraternal love.

For believers, this outlook springs directly from their relationship to God the Creator of all that exists. For Christians, respect for God’s handiwork is reinforced by their certain hope of the restoration of all things in Jesus Christ, in whom "all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross" (Col 1,19-20).

6. Ladies and Gentlemen, I wish to encourage you in your commitment. I pray that your Workshop will be successful in suggesting guidelines for controlling the problem of chemical pollution and consequent health hazards in developing countries, and that it will offer valid recommendations for the protection of the environment, food chain and human health in different parts of the world.

Upon all of you I invoke abundant divine blessings.

Speeches 1993 - Saturday, 9 October 1993