Speeches 1979

January 1979



Wednesday, 3 January 1979

Dear Young People,

As in the past weeks, large numbers of young people belonging to Catholic Associations or to groups that collaborate with their own parish priests, are present at this meeting with the Pope. I see present also many Sisters who have come to Rome to take part in the Meeting of the Italian Federation of Sister Educators, and a great many pilgrimages are also participating, among which special mention should go to the one from the diocese of Molfetta, led by its own Bishop. To all of them I address my hearty welcome, my affectionate greeting and my warm thanks for their visit.

The delightful liturgical season, which started with the Holy Night, gives us the possibility of reflecting on some aspect of the mystery of the Word Incarnate; and today we wish to focus our attention on the Family of Nazareth, whose feast we have recently celebrated.

A holy family, that of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, particularly because of the holiness of him for whom it was formed into a human family, so that we may recognize in it elements characteristic of so many other families.

As it is pointed out to us by the Gospel, this family is really poor, both at the moment of the birth of the Son of God, and in the period of exile in Egypt which was forced on it, and in Nazareth where it lives modestly on the work of its own hands.

In Jesus, Mary and Joseph there is an admirable example of human solidarity and communion with all other families, as well as of integration in the wider human context, which is society. Every other human family must refer to that divine model, and live together with it, in order to solve the problems, not easy ones, of married and family life. These problems, deep and acute, need to be tackled with united and responsible action.

As at Nazareth, so in every family, God becomes present and takes his place in human events. The family, in fact, which is the union of a man and a woman, is by its nature geared to the procreation of new men, who are accompanied in their existence by means of diligent educational work in their physical, but particularly spiritual and moral growth. The family is, therefore, the privileged place and the sanctuary in which is developed the whole great and deep event of each unrepeatable human person. Fundamental duties are, therefore, incumbent on the family, the generous exercise of which cannot but enrich deeply those who are mainly responsible for the family itself, making them more direct collaborators with God in the formation of new men.

That is why the family is irreplaceable and, as such, must be defended with might and main. Everything must be done in order that the family will not be replaced. That is necessary not only for the "private" good of every person, but also for the common good of every society, nation and state. The family is set at the very centre of common good in its various dimensions, precisely because man is conceived and born in it. Everything possible must be done in order that this human being may be desired, awaited, experienced as a particular, unique, and unrepeatable value, right from the beginning, from the moment of his conception. He must feel that he is important, useful, dear and of great value, even if infirm or handicapped; even dearer, in fact, for this reason.

This is the teaching that springs from the mystery of Incarnation.

I wish to present a last consideration to your reflection, starting from the distressing difficulty—a tormenting one for a mother—in which Mary finds herself, being unable to offer a roof to the child who is about to be born. The great mysterious event of motherhood in so many women may bring forth motives of suffering, doubt and temptation. The generous "yes", that the woman must say to the life that has blossomed in her womb—a "yes", often accompanied by fear of a thousand difficulties—always involves an inner act of trust in God and of confidence in the new man that is about to be born. With a brotherly sense of charity and solidarity, we must never leave alone, especially if she is hesitant and doubtful, a woman who is preparing to give birth to a new man who will be, for each of us, a new brother. We must endeavour to give her all the help necessary in her situation: we must support her and offer her courage and hope.

At the beginning of this new year I express to everyone my heartiest wishes for all happiness, while I willingly invoke the protection of the Lord on everyone, and impart the Apostolic Blessing.

Let a thought of good wishes for the new year now go also to all those who are suffering in body and in spirit.

Rest assured that the Pope is always beside you with his prayer and with his fatherly tenderness: with that tenderness that Jesus had for the many infirm persons who were presented to him during his public life, and whom he comforted by curing them and by proclaiming the glad news of salvation (cf. Lk Lc 4,18).

May my special Blessing be of comfort and support.

Allow me finally to address a special New Year greeting to the newly-weds.

Beloved sons, if you want the year just begun to be a really good one, let your new families be deeply pervaded by unbreakable love, rock-like unity, and those Christian virtues which form the happiness and dignity of the domestic hearth which you have just lit.

I willingly invoke the continual assistance of God on your new-born family, in order that, as he has united you in the bond of conjugal love, so he may keep you in it forever, to your mutual joy and for the glory of God the Father.




Sunday, 7 January 1979

Brothers and Sisters,

Allow me now, concluding this pastoral visit to this Hospital of the Child Jesus, to address a few simple words of greeting and encouragement to all of you who work in this Institute for the relief and cure of the little patients.

Let a cordial thought go in the first place to Mr Commissioner and to the whole administrative and medical Management for the indefatigable activity carried out, and for the future programmes which they intend to implement in order to make this place of healing correspond more and more to modern medical requirements. Then I greet the doctors, the assistants, the Sisters and children's nurses, in whom I like to see a reflection of the thaumaturgical figure of Christ, who dedicated such a large part of his ministry to curing the sick and relieving the afflicted.

And what shall I say to you, dear children, patients in this Hospital? I will tell you that I came up here to the Janiculum specially for you: to see you, to express to you personally all my affection for you, and to bring comfort in your sufferings, due both to illness and to the fact of being separated from your parents and your home. I pray that you may recover quickly and thus find again the joy of living in the midst of the dear members of your family.

I wish to address a particularly affectionate greeting also and above all to you parents and relatives of the little patients. You are bearing the drama of the illness of your children and, with imploring eyes, are asking yourselves the reason for innocent pain. Rest assured that you are not alone, or abandoned: you do not suffer in vain! Your suffering conforms you to Christ, who alone can give a meaning and value to every act of your life.

Finally, to all of you present here, who attend this hospital in one way or another and apply yourselves to works of mercy and spiritual and social welfare, I will recall the promise that the Lord Jesus made to those who seek him in the sick: "I was sick and you visited me... as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me" (cf. Mt Mt 25,34-40).

Expressing to you warmly my appreciation of the service you render the little patients, I exhort you to continue your mission with Christian faith, which makes you perceive in the sick person the very image of God. At the same time, in the name of the Child Jesus, after whom this hospital is named, and in the name of the Blessed Virgin, invoked by you as "Salus infirmorum", I impart to all my special Apostolic Blessing, which can also be extended to the members of your families who have remained at home.




Monday, 8 January 1979

Mr Ambassador,

I WELCOME YOU warmly as the representative of the Government and people of Sri Lanka. I thank you for conveying to me the greetings of President Jayewardene, and I would ask you to be good enough to assure him of my prayerful wishes for his welfare.

The country that you represent has a long history in recorded human events and in philosophical inquiry and striving for enlightenment. I have sincere respect for all sectors of the population of Sri Lanka, with their various cultural and religious traditions, and I pray that they will develop all that is best in each tradition for the good of the whole nation.

The Catholic Church considers it her duty to foster unity and love between individuals and nations. She sees all mankind as coming from God as their origin, and destined for God as their final goal. For her, every human being is made in the image and likeness of God and is therefore endowed with a surpassing dignity that demands the highest veneration. She endeavours to inculcate brotherly love among all men, who are children of the same Father.

The Catholics of Sri Lanka accordingly have the religious obligation to contribute, through understanding and respect for others, to their nation’s harmony and welfare. I am happy to hear Your Excellency say that the Christians in your country play a notable part in its life. I am confident that, in freedom and in a spirit of collaboration, they will help to build up a society in which all will be able to live in full accord with their human dignity and develop their God-given potentialities.

I am confident also that your nation as a whole will effectively assist in the advancement of peace on world scale. This is a cause that the Holy See has very much at heart. I count on the combined efforts of individuals and institutions to bring to the fore, both in thought and practice, the humane principles that build up and safeguard peace. I therefore appreciate very warmly the good will shown in the service of such principles, and I ask God to bless it.

I wish success to Sri Lanka’s work for economic progress and the increase of international collaboration for the improvement of conditions in the materially disadvantaged areas in the world.

As an ambassador, Your Excellency has the mission to foster harmony, peace and cooperation between nations. I assure you of my heartfelt support in carrying out that task and I pray that it will be fruitful and happy.




Wednesday, 10 January 1979

Dear Boys and Girls,

1. This morning, too, there are so many, so very many of you! This great Basilica is pervaded with the joyful pulsation of your youth and is brightened by the light of your smile. The warmth of enthusiasm spreads on the wave of your silvery voices and becomes an invitation to confidence and optimism, in spite of the dark clouds that can be glimpsed on the horizon even in this dawn of the new year. God be thanked for the freshness of your sentiments and for the sincerity of your adherence to every great and noble ideal!

The subject to which I would like to call your attention at this moment is very close to your sensibility. I would like, in fact, to linger with you to look again at the marvellous scene which the mystery of Christmas put before our eyes. It is a scene that is familiar to you: many of you have relived it actively in these days, constructing a crib in your homes. Well, among the protagonists of this scene, I call on you this morning to look at Mary, the Mother of Jesus and our Mother.

The Church itself suggests to us this particular attention for the Blessed Virgin: it willed that the last day of the octave of Christmas and the first day of the new year should be dedicated to celebration of Mary's Motherhood. The intention to highlight the "place" of the Mother, I would say the "motherly dimension" of the whole mystery of the human birth of God, is, therefore, evident.

2. This is not an intention that is manifested only on this day. The Church's veneration for the Madonna—a veneration that surpasses the cult of every other saint and takes the name of "hyperdulia"—invests the whole liturgical year.

March 25 is the day on which the moment of the Annunciation, that is, the incarnation of the eternal Word in the Virgin's pure womb, is recalled. From that day up to 25 December, it can be said that the Church discreetly but with deep awareness, walks with Mary, living with her the expectancy of every mother: expectancy of the birth, expectancy of Christmas. And at the same time, during this period, Mary "walks" with the Church. Her motherly expectancy is inscribed, in a quiet but very real way, in the life of the Church throughout the year. What happened between Nazareth, Ain Karin and Bethlehem, is the subject of the liturgy of the Church, of its prayer—especially the prayer of the Rosary—and of its contemplation.

3. Everything begins with the conversation between the Virgin and the Archangel Gabriel: "How shall this be, since I have no husband?" (Lc 1,34). Answer: "The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy, the Son of God" (Lc 1,35). At the same time as physical motherhood, Mary's spiritual motherhood began, a motherhood which filled the nine months of waiting, but which was prolonged also beyond the moment of the birth of Jesus to embrace the thirty years spent between Bethlehem, Egypt and Nazareth, and then also the years of Jesus' public life, when the Son of Mary left his home in Nazareth to preach the Gospel of the Kingdom: years which culminated in the events of Calvary and in the supreme sacrifice on the Cross.

It was just here, under the Cross, that Mary's spiritual motherhood reached its key-moment, in a certain sense. "When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing near, he said to his mother, "Woman, behold, your son!" (Jn 19,26). Thus Jesus linked Mary, his Mother, in a new way with man: with man, to whom he had given the Gospel.

Jesus linked her, then, with every man, as he united her, subsequently, with the Church, on the day of its historic birth, that is, the day of Pentecost. From that day, the whole Church had her as Mother, and all men have her as Mother. They understand the words spoken from the Cross, as addressed to each of them. Spiritual motherhood knows no limits; it extends in time and in space, and reaches all human hearts. It reaches whole nations and becomes the keystone of human culture. Motherhood: a great, splendid, fundamental human reality, present at the beginning of time in the Creator's plan, solemnly reconfirmed in the mystery of the Birth of God, with which it now remains inseparably linked.

4. I wish to exhort you, dear boys and girls, to love your mothers; accept her teachings and follow her example. A reflection of the sweetness, intuition, and generosity of Mary can be glimpsed on the face of every mother. Honouring your mother, you also honour her who, being Christ's mother, is also the mother of each of us.

I wish to remind girls, in particular, that motherhood is woman's vocation: it was yesterday, it is today, it will be always; it is her eternal vocation. There come to my mind the words of a song of my country. These say that a mother is the one who understands everything and embraces each of us with her heart. And they add that today the world is "hungrier and thirstier" than ever for that motherhood which, physically or spiritually, is woman's vocation, as it was Mary's.

My prayer is that today, too, the dignity of the mother will be recognized and protected in the family and in society. It will depend above all on you, young people, if this happens in the world of tomorrow. Endeavour at once to look at your mothers with the eyes with which Jesus looked at his. Let her, the Virgin Mother, who is our hope, herself help you in this your resolution





Thursday, 11 January 1979

Mr Ambassador,

I RECIPROCATE MOST CORDIALLY the kind wishes that you have conveyed from the principal civil authorities of the Republic of India. Their courtesy gives me much pleasure, as do your presence and words you have spoken in presenting the Letter by which you are accredited as your country’s Ambassador to the Holy See.

You have rightly pointed out the interdependence of all members of the human race, which has today become more evident than before. No longer can we knowingly or unknowingly ignore the existence and needs of other individuals and peoples. It is increasingly clear that all nations form a single global society.

In spite of the attempts at self-isolation that are sometimes made, each country is influenced for good or ill by the others. Each country feels the effects of the ideas adopted in others, their level of prosperity, their peace or lack of it, their good order and their freedom. The miseries of others are a very unsure foundation on which to build one’s own success.

The wise course consists in helping one another, in fostering everywhere peace, the prosperity that makes integral development possible, and devotion to noble ideals. It is a course that calls for perseverance and dedication. Those who choose it well deserve the support and encouragement that is in my power to give them, for is the course that the Catholic Church is in duty bound to inspire in all who will listen to her message.

The Christian message with which she is charged, as Your Excellency knows, is one that intimately links love of God and love of man: thus whoever follows the path that she teaches will have to prove his love of God by banishing from his heart selfishness, pride, inordinate ambition, rivalry and injustice and treat others as he would wish to be treated by them. The Church endeavours to build up such an attitude within people, an attitude without which there cannot be a sincere policy of solidarity with the individuals and peoples that constitute the human family.

India is blessed with many precious elements in her ancient living tradition that favour such an attitude. I therefore look to her with great confidence in the contribution that she is to make to peace, to true progress and to ensuring respect for the full spiritual dignity of man. I ask God to keep her in his care.

I also pray for the success of your mission. An ambassador has special responsibility for promoting international cooperation for the good of all. Your Excellency is charged with the particular duty of making still more fruitful the relations of friendship between India and the Holy See. You can therefore count on my full support and that of my assistants and on our prayers.



Consistory Hall

Friday, 12 January 1979

Your Excellency,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

Just now, on the threshold of the new year, your Doyen has interpreted your feelings and your good wishes in a way that moves me deeply. I thank him, and I thank you all, for this comforting testimony. Be assured, in return, of my fervent wishes for each of you, for all the members of your Embassies, for your families, and for the countries you represent. It is before God that I express these wishes, asking him to shed light on your way, as on that of the Magi in the Gospel, and to give you, from day to day, the courage and the joys that you need in order to face up to your duties.

I pray to him to bless you, that is, to lavish his goods on you.

On this solemn occasion which gathers round the Pope all the diplomatic Missions accredited to the Holy See, it is usual to add to these cordial wishes some considerations on your noble function and on the framework in which it takes its place: the Church and the world.

1. I will begin by looking with you towards the very recent past, renewing the gratitude of the Apostolic See to the many Delegations which honoured the funeral ceremonies of Pope Paul VI and of Pope John Paul I, of holy memory, as well as the inaugural ceremonies of my predecessor's pontificate and those of my own.

Let us try to grasp the significance of this. Is not this participation in the most important events of the life of the Church, by the representatives of those who wield political responsibilities, a way of emphasizing the presence of the Church within the modern world, and in particular of recognizing the importance of her mission—especially the mission of the Apostolic See? This mission, while being strictly religious, also fits into the general pattern of the principles of morality, which are indissolubly bound up with it. This brings us back to the order to which the modern world aspires, an order based on justice and peace. The Church, following the inspiration of the Second Vatican Council and conforming to the constant tradition of Christian doctrine, is eager to contribute to it with the means that are within her reach.

2. Of course, these means are "poor means", which Christ himself taught us to use and which are characteristic of the Church's evangelical mission. However, in this age of enormous progress of the ."rich means" at the disposal of the present-day political, economic and civic structures, these specific means of the Church retain all their meaning, keep their finality, and even acquire a new splendour. The "poor means" are strictly bound up with the primacy of the spiritual. They are certain signs of the presence of the Spirit in the history of mankind. Many contemporaries seem to manifest particular comprehension for this scale of values: let it suffice to recall, to speak only of non-Catholics, Mahatma Gandhi, Mr Dag Hammarskjöld, Pastor Martin Luther King. Christ remains forever the highest expression of this poverty of means in which the primacy of the Spirit is revealed: the plenitude of the spirituality of which man is capable, with the grace of God, and to which he is called.

3. Allow me to appreciate, in this perspective, all the acts of good will manifested at the beginning of my pontificate, as also this meeting today. Yes, let us consider this fact of the presence, at the Apostolic See, of the representatives of so many States, so different in their history, their way of organization, and their confessional character; those who represent European or Asian peoples known from antiquity, or younger States, such as most of those of America whose history goes back a few centuries, and finally the most recent States, born in the course of this century. This presence corresponds in depth to the vision that the Lord Jesus revealed to us one day, speaking of "all nations" of the world, at the moment when he entrusted to the Apostles the mandate of taking the Good News all over the world (cf. Mt Mt 28,19 and Mc 16,15). It also corresponds to the splendid analyses made by the Second Vatican Council. (cf. the Dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium LG 13-17 and the Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes GS 2, 41, 89 etc.).

4. Maintaining contacts—among others by means of diplomatic representations—with so many and such different States, the Apostolic See wishes above all to express its deep esteem for each nation and each people, for its tradition, its culture, its progress in every field, as I said already in the letters addressed to Heads of State on the occasion of my election to Peter's See. The State, as the expression of the sovereign self-determination of peoples and nations, is a normal realization of social order. Its moral authority consists in that. The son of a people with a millenary culture which was deprived for a considerable time of its independence as a State, I know, from experience, the high significance of this principle.

The Apostolic See welcomes joyfully all diplomatic representatives, not only as spokesmen of their own governments, regimes and political structures, but also and above all as representatives of peoples and nations which, through these political structures, manifest their sovereignty, their political independence, and the possibility of deciding their destiny autonomously. And it does so without any prejudice as regards the numerical importance of the population: here, it is not the numerical factor that is decisive.

5. The Apostolic See rejoices at the presence of so many representatives; it would likewise be happy to see many others, especially of nations and peoples which at times had a centuries-old tradition in this connection. I am thinking here particularly of the nations that can be considered Catholic; but also of others. For, at present, just as ecumenism between the Catholic Church and other Christian Churches is developing, just as there is a tendency to establish contacts with all men by appealing to good will, so this circle is widening, as the presence here of many representatives of non-Catholic Countries shows. And it continually finds a reason for extension in the Church's awareness of her mission, as my venerated predecessor Paul VI expressed so well in his Encyclical "Ecclesiam suam". Wishes have arrived from everywhere—I noted it particularly in the Messages coming from countries of the "East"—that the new pontificate may serve peace and the rapprochement of nations. The Apostolic See, in conformity with the mission of the Church, wishes to be at the centre of this brotherly rapprochement. It wishes to serve the cause of peace, not through political activity, but by serving the values and principles which condition peace and rapprochement, and which are at the basis of inter national common good.

6. There is, in fact, a common good of mankind, with very serious interests at stake which require the concerted action of governments and all men of good will: human rights to be guaranteed, the problems of food, health, culture, international economic cooperation, the reduction of armaments, the elimination of racialism ... The common good of humanity! A "utopia" which Christian thought pursues tirelessly and which consists in the unceasing quest for just and humane solutions, taking into account at once the good of persons and the good of States, the rights of each one and the rights of others, particular interests and general necessities.

It is the common good that inspires not only the social teaching of the Apostolic See but also the initiatives which are possible for it in the framework of its own specific field. This is the case, a very topical one, of Lebanon. In a country upset by hatred and destruction, with innumerable victims, what possibility remains of re-establishing relations of common life between Christians of various tendencies and Moslems, between Lebanese and Palestinians, if not in a loyal and generous effort which respects the identity and vital requirements of all, without the vexation of any? And considering the Middle East as a whole, while certain statesmen are tenaciously trying to arrive at an agreement and others are hesitating to commit themselves to it, who does not see that, just as much as military or territorial security, the fundamental problem is real mutual trust? Only the latter can help to harmonize the rights of all, distributing advantages and sacrifices in a realistic way. It is the same for Northern Ireland: the Bishops and leaders of non-Catholic Confessions have for years been exhorting their followers to overcome the virus of violence in its form of terrorism or of reprisals; they call upon them to reject hatred, to respect human rights concretely, to pledge themselves to an effort to understand and to meet each other. Is that not a common good in which justice and realism meet?

Diplomacy and negotiations are also for the Holy See a specialized means of trusting in the moral resources of peoples. It was in this spirit that, accepting the appeal of Argentina and Chile, I made a point of sending Cardinal Samoré to these two countries, in order that as a diplomat of great experience, he might advocate solutions acceptable to the two peoples who are Christians and neighbours. I am happy to see that this patient work has already led to a first positive and precious result.

My thought and my prayer also turn to so many other problems that, these days in particular, are seriously troubling the life of the world, and which are again causing so many deaths, so much destruction and rancour in countries which contain few Catholics but which are equally dear to the Apostolic See. We are following the dramatic events in Iran and are very attentive to the news reaching us with regard to the Khmer country and all the peoples of this, already so sorely tried, South East Asia.

7. We see clearly that humanity is divided in a great many ways. It is a question also, and perhaps above all, of ideological divisions bound up with the different state systems. The search for solutions that will permit human societies to carry out their own tasks and to live in justice, is perhaps the main sign of our time. Everything that can serve this great cause must be respected, in whatever regime it may be. Advantage must be taken of mutual experiences. On the other hand, this multiform search for solutions cannot be transformed into a programme of struggle to secure power over the world, whatever may be the imperialism on which this struggle is based. It is only along this line that we can avoid the threat of modern arms, particularly nuclear armament, which remains such a matter of concern for the modern world.

The Apostolic See, which has already given proof of this, is always ready to manifest its openness with regard to all countries or regimes, seeking the essential good which is man's real good. A good number of exigencies connected with this good have been expressed in the "Declaration on Human Rights" and in the international Pacts which permit its concrete application. In this matter, great praise goes to the United Nations Organization as the political platform on which the pursuit of peace and détente, rapprochement and mutual understanding find a foundation, a support, a guarantee.

8. The Church's mission is, by its very nature, religious, and consequently the meeting point of the Church or the Apostolic See with the multiform and differentiated life of the political communities of the modern world, is characterized particularly by the universally recognized principle of religious freedom and freedom of conscience. This principle is not only contained in the list of human rights admitted by everyone, but it has a key position on it. It is a question, in fact, of respect for a fundamental right of the human spirit, in which man expresses himself most deeply, perhaps, as man.

The Second Vatican Council drew up the declaration on religious freedom. It comprises both the motivation of this right and its principal practical applications: in other words, all the data that confirm the real operation of the principle of religious freedom in social and public life.

Respecting the similar rights of all other religious communities in the world, the Apostolic See feels urged to undertake, in this field, steps in favour of all the Churches attached to it in full communion. It seeks to do so always in union with the respective Episcopates, and with the clergy and communities of faithful.

These initiatives yield, for the most part, satisfactory results. But it is difficult not to mention certain local Churches, certain rites, the situation of which, as regards religious freedom, leaves so much to be desired, when it is not quite deplorable. There are even heart-rending cries for help or assistance, which the Apostolic See cannot but hear. And consequently it must present them, in all clarity, to the conscience of states, regimes, and the whole of mankind. It is a question here of a simple duty which coincides with the spirations to peace and justice in the world.

It was in accordance with this way of thinking that the Holy See delegation was induced to raise its voice at the Belgrade meeting in October 1977 (cf: L'Osservatore Romano, 8 October 1977, p. 2), referring to the declarations approved at the Helsinki Conference on security and cooperation in Europe, in particular on the matter of religious freedom.

On the other hand, the Apostolic See is always ready to take into account changes in realities and social mentalities that occur in the different States; and it is ready, for example, to agree to revise solemn Pacts which had been concluded in other times, under other circumstances.

9. Very soon, I am going to go to Puebla to meet the representatives of all the Latin American Episcopates, and to inaugurate a very important meeting with them. That is part of my mission as Bishop of Rome and Head of the College of Bishops. I wish to express publicly my joy at the comprehension and benevolent attitude of the Mexican authorities as regards this journey. The Pope hopes to be able to carry out this mission in other nations too, all the more so as many similar invitations have already been presented to him.

Once more I renew my cordial wishes for peace and progress for the whole world, this progress which fully corresponds to the Creator's will: "fill the earth and subdue it" (Gn 1,28). This order must be understood as applying to moral mastery, and not just economic domination. Yes, I wish mankind every kind of good, in order that all may live in real freedom, in truth, justice, and love.

Speeches 1979