Speeches 1984 - Saturday, 30 June 1984



Saturday, 30 June 1984

Dearly Beloved in Christ,

it is a joy for me to meet you today. Twenty-five years have passed since your Bishop was consecrated and your Diocese thus effectively established. And today you are in Rome to give thanks to God for the many blessings that he has poured out upon all of you, above all for the gift of his merciful love, through which he gave you salvation in Jesus Christ the Son of God and Redeemer of the world.

It is my prayer that during this pilgrimage of yours you will renew your faith in Christ and together with the Apostle Peter say to him: "You are the Christ the Son of the living God" (Mt 16,16).

And as you renew your faith, renew also your resolve to lead upright and Christian lives within the circumstances of everyday living. Yes, the profession of your faith must be seen in the authenticity of your Christian lives.

I ask you to take my blessing back with you to your families and loved ones, to your parishes, to the sick, to the whole Diocese, and to all your fellow-citizens. Tell them again that the Pope loves Nigeria. And on my part I leave with you the greeting of Saint Peter: "Peace to all of you who are in Christ" (1 Petr. 5, 14).

July 1984




Thursday, 5 July 1984

Dear Brothers in our Lord Jesus Christ,

1. It is with deep pastoral interest and joy that I welcome you today, the Bishops of Sri Lanka. You have communicated to me the loyalty and affection of your people, and I reciprocate assuring you and them of my love in Christ Jesus. In you I embrace all the individuals and communities that make up the Church in your land. In this important meeting of ours there is summarized the whole religious history of your people, from the beginning, from the time of the first evangelizers. I am thinking also of the great contribution of the Venerable Joseph Vaz who came to your shores just three centuries ago. With you I revere the memory of this apostle and wait in expectation with you for the definitive judgment of the Church in regard to his outstanding holiness. And with you I give thanks for all the other generous missionaries who have lived and died so "that the word of the Lord may speed on and triumph" (2Th 3,1). With you I honour the Gospel that they handed down and the harvest that they sowed in that good ground which is the "Pearl of the Orient".

At this moment we offer to God all the vicissitudes of your history, the trials and tribulations, the joys and sufferings that your people have experienced and are still experiencing in your multiethnic and multi-religious society. And we pray that this offering will become for the people a renewal of courage and a proclamation of hope.

2. The President of your Episcopal Conference has made reference to "the cost of discipleship", what it means in effect to follow Jesus, the Incarnate Word of God, to embrace his Gospel, to profess the Catholic faith, to live lives worthy of the Kingdom of heaven. On this occasion, in the name of the universal Church, I thank God for the discipleship that has been lived in Sri Lanka. I thank him for the vitality that exists in the Church in your country, for the graces that have formed your Christian families, sustained your priests and religious, and motivated the generosity of seminarians, catechists and other dedicated lay workers for the Gospel.

3. This "ad Limina" visit gives me the opportunity to express my support for your own apostolic endeavours and for the work that you do to promote a lasting peace based on justice and equity for all. I express to you my solidarity in your efforts to proclaim the Church’s message concerning human dignity and the rights of all individuals, as well as the rights of communities with their cultural and linguistic patrimony.

You have correctly spoken of the right to one’s religion, the principle of subsidiarity, the vital need for employment, and the role of representative democracy in effectively securing the rights of all. The universal Church is with you as you strive to promote the unity of your people, calling them to reject prejudices, wherever they may be found, condemning violence, and promoting peace and the conditions that lead to peace. Of great importance is every effort aimed at easing ethnic tension.

These considerations and others are among the reflections in you joint Pastoral Letter of last Pentecost. This document is an example of that concerted pastoral action entrusted to the Holy Spirit which manifests the unity of the Episcopal Conference – a good to be very highly esteemed and constantly perfected.

4. Your contribution to the life of the Church is concretized every day in the exercise of your sacred mission of teaching the truths of faith. This is done by you personally and directly, as well as together with your priests, and through your religious, your catechists, and the limited school structures at your disposal. The message that you proclaim not only has a religious content, but also constitutes a contribution to serene civil life. The peace, the justice, the respect for man that are so much a part of the Church’s proclamation also become acts of patriotism on the part of those who embrace them, and they contribute to the overall well-being of Sri Lankan society.

Your pastoral solicitude calls you to join forces with all your brethren in facing common challenges, some of which are problems of great magnitude, such as drugs and social disorders. In proclaiming Jesus Christ and his Beatitudes to all who freely choose to listen to your words, your ministry is likewise exercised in cultivating fraternal love at all levels of society, in reinforcing the concept of generous service to those in need and in promoting universal respect for the human person.They very fabric of your society calls for a special commitment on your part to dialogue with the various religious bodies that make it up. In doing this you will indeed be faithful to the pastoral insights of the Second Vatican Council. At the basis of all dialogue and collaboration is the principle summarized in "Nostra Aetate": "For all peoples comprise a single community and have a single origin, since God made the whole human race dwell over the face of the earth. One also is their final goal" (Nostra Aetate NAE 1).

5. And as Bishops your ministry reaches its culmination in the sacramental proclamation of reconciliation according to the divine order restored by the Paschal Mystery, through the offering of the Eucharistic Sacrifice, which is the most effective source of unity and peace. In this unity, symbolized and effected by the Eucharist, you find your own identity as Bishops of the Church, Pastors of God’s people and Servants of the Gospel. The Paschal Mystery passes through the Eucharist and is translated to the world in terms of hope.

6. Continue, venerable and dear Brothers, to proclaim amidst all the problems and difficulties the hope of the Gospel, made incarnate according to the expression of Saint Paul, in "Christ Jesus our hope" (1Tm 1,1).

Dear Brothers: as Pastors united among yourselves, united with me and with the universal Church continue to exemplify the hope of your calling, bearing witness to it as did the Apostle to the Gentiles who said: "For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, especially those who believe" (Ibid.4, 10).

With this message of hope I ask you to take my greetings back to all the faithful of your local Churches, particularly to those who suffer. My special blessing goes to all who collaborate with you in the Gospel. Please assure Cardinal Cooray of my faithful and affectionate remembrance in the Lord.

And upon all of you I invoke the joy and strength of our Lord Jesus Christ, commending you and the whole Church in your land to the maternal protection of her whom you acknowledge and venerate as Our Lady of Lanka. May she sustain you all in hope and love!




Friday, 6 July 1984

Dear Friends,
Mr President
and members of the Executive Committee
of the International Council of Christians and Jews,

1. I thank you, Mr President, for the kind words of greeting with which you have now presented to me the aims, the tasks and the concerns of the International Council of Christians and Jews. And I thank you also, members of the Executive Committee, for your kindness in visiting the Pope on the occasion of your International Colloquium, to be held at Vallombrosa next week. Welcome to this house where the activities of those who promote the dialogue between Christians and Jews and are personally engaged in it are closely followed and warmly encouraged. Indeed, it is only through such a meeting of minds and hearts, reaching out to our respective faith communities, and also perhaps to other faith communities, as you try to do with Islam, that both Jews and Christians are able to profit from their "great common spiritual patrimony" (Nostra Aetate NAE 4) and to make it fruitful for their own good and the good of the world.

2. Yes, a "great common spiritual patrimony" which should be, in the first place, brought to the knowledge of all Christians and all Jews and which embraces not only one or the other isolated element but a solid, fruitful, rich common religious inheritance: in monotheism; in faith in a God who as a loving father takes care of humankind and chose Abraham and the prophets and sent Jesus into the world; in a common basic liturgical pattern and in a common consciousness of our commitment, grounded in faith, to all men and women in need, who are our "neighbours" (Cf. Lev Lv 19,18 Marc Lv 12,31).

This is why you are so much concerned with religious education on both sides, that the images which each of us projects of the other should be really free of stereotypes and prejudices, that they should respect the other’s identity and should in fact prepare the people for the meetings of minds and hearts just mentioned. The proper teaching of history is also a concern of yours. Such a concern is very understandable, given the sad and entangled common history of Jews and Christians - a history which is not always taught or transmitted correctly.

3. There is again the danger of an always active and sometimes even resurgent tendency to discriminate between people and human groups, enhancing some and despising others. A tendency which does not hesitate at times to use violent methods.

To single out and denounce such facts and stand together against them is a noble act and a proof of our mutual brotherly commitment. But it is necessary to go to the roots of such evil, by education, especially education for dialogue. This however would not be enough if it were not coupled with a deep change in our heart, a real spiritual conversion. This also means constantly reaffirming common religious values and working towards a personal religious commitment in the love of God, our Father, and in the love of all men and women (Dt 6,5 Lv 19,19 Marc Lv 12,28-34). The golden rule, we are well aware, is common to Jews and Christians alike.

In this context is to be seen your important work with youth. By bringing together young Christians and Jews, and enabling them to live, talk, sing and pray together, you greatly contribute towards the creation of a new generation of men and women, mutually concerned for one another and for all, prepared to serve others in need, whatever their religious profession, ethnic origin or colour.

World peace is built in this modest, apparently insignificant and limited, but, in the end, very efficient way. And we are all concerned for peace everywhere, among and within nations, particularly in the Middle East.

4. Common study of our religious sources is again one of the items on your agenda. I encourage you to put to good use the important recommendation made by the Second Vatican Council in its Declaration "Nostra Aetate", 4, about "biblical and theological studies" which are the source of "mutual understanding and respect". In fact such studies, made in common, and altogether different from the ancient "disputations", tend to the true knowledge of each religion, and also to the joyful discovery of the "common patrimony" I spoke of at the beginning, always in the careful observance of each other’s dignity.

May the Lord bless all your endeavours and repay you with the blessedness which Jesus proclaimed, in the tradition of the Old Testament, for those who work for peace (Mt 5,9 Ps 37,37).




Saturday, 7 July 1984

Mr Chairman,
Dear Friends,

1. I have accepted very willingly your request to be received in audience, for I have seen in it a sign of your appreciation of what the Catholic Church is doing to defend the dignity of the human person, and in particular to combat all forms of racial discrimination.

Your Committee is no stranger to this place, and it is familiar with the often reaffirmed teaching of the Church and the position of the Holy See on racial discrimination and apartheid.

Ten years ago, on 22 May 1974, my predecessor Paul VI received your Committee and indicated the bases of the Christian commitment to the cause of promoting human dignity. Today’s meeting gives me an opportunity to emphasize once more the principles governing this commitment. Man’s creation by God "in his own image" (Gn 1,27) confers upon every human person an eminent dignity; it also postulates the fundamental equality of all human beings. For the Church, this equality, which is rooted in man’s being, acquires the dimension of an altogether special brotherhood through the Incarnation of the Son of God, whose sacrifice redeemed all people. In the Redemption effected by Jesus Christ the Church sees a further basis of the rights and duties of the human person. Hence every form of discrimination based on race, whether occasional or systematically practised, and whether it is aimed ad individuals or whole racial groups, is absolutely unacceptable. The Apostle Saint Paul says very clearly: "Here there cannot be Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free man but Christ is all, and in all" (Col 3,11).

2. Unfortunately, as I had to note on the occasion of the celebration of the International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination: ". . . the scourge of racial discrimination, in all its many forms, still disfigures our age. It denies the fundamental equality of all men and women, proclaimed by the different Declarations of the United Nations, but above all rooted in God" (Ioannis Pauli PP. II, Nuntius ob diei universalis celebrationem ad generis discriminationem eripiendam datus, die 21 mar. 1984: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, VII, 1 (1984) 729).

I would also like to recall the fact that Paul VI, in his last address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See, spoke about the racial conflict in Africa and mentioned "the attempt to create juridical and political structures in violation of the principles of universal suffrage and the self-determination of peoples" (Pauli VI, Allocutio ad Excellentissimos Viros, qui apud Sanctam Sedem Legatorum munere funguntur habita, II, die 14 ian. 1978: Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, XVI (1978) 30s).

The Holy See is following with close attention the development of the situation in Southern Africa, and has repeatedly shown its concern that rights of the individuals and peoples living there be respected.

3. In this context, I would like to make reference to two particular aspects of the problem that exists in that part of the world. It is a question of two aspects that raise questions which are complex, serious and difficult, but which are fundamental for the future of the region and for the well-being of the people living there. I am speaking of the problem of the independence of Namibia, which I referred to in my address to the Diplomatic Corps on 14 January last, and the problem of the forced displacement of vast numbers of people in South Africa.

My reason for mentioning these two issues today is not that the Holy See wishes to put forward proposals of a political nature.

The Holy See is not unaware of the numerous political implications surrounding these issues, but its interest is on another level: the level of the human person. And it is at this level that these matters cause deep disquiet, for the weight of suffering affecting the individuals and communities concerned is very heavy. The Catholic Church, faithful to her mission in the world, shares these sufferings and cannot pass them over in silence, for if she did, her witness of love and service to man would be compromised. The Good News which she received from her divine Founder obliges the Church to proclaim the message of salvation and human dignity and to condemn injustices and attacks on human dignity.

As for Namibia, the Holy See expresses the hope that it will be possible for the negotiations, which have been going on for a long time, to be translated, without too much delay, into clear decisions which will recognize without ambiguity the right of this nation to be sovereign and independent. This will be an important contribution towards restoring peace in the region, and a valuable sign of reconciliation between the different peoples that live there. It will similarly be an exemplary application of the principles of international law which cannot fail to extend its positive influence to other conflicts on the African continent and also elsewhere.

The recent agreements which have marked relations between different countries in Southern Africa seem to constitute an advance in this direction. In the meantime, it is of capital importance that the conduct of the civil and military authorities in Namibian territory should be inspired by respect for the rights of the inhabitants, even in the situations of confrontation that may exist.

Concerning the second issue that I have mentioned, namely the displacement of vast numbers of South African citizens to the places of residence assigned to them by the Government, the local Catholic Church has already expressed its protest, since this procedure represents a grave violation of the rights of the human person, and at the same time is deeply damaging to family life and the social fabric.

A joint ecumenical initiative has been taken by the Southern Africa Catholic Bishops’ Conference and the South African Council of Churches, in order to draw the attention of the public and of international organizations to these facts, which are a consequence of the system of apartheid. The Holy See, for its part, expresses its concern at procedures contrary to the dignity of individuals and whole communities. It earnestly hopes that a different policy will be established, in order that a population already so sorely tried and whose right to be treated without discrimination is systematically flouted may be spared further painful and tragic experiences. It likewise desires the revision of such a policy so that other catastrophic consequences can be avoided in the future, for the true good of all who live in the region and for the sake of world peace.

4. My dear friends: your delicate work demands firmness in the defence of principles and prudence in the choice of means suitable for attaining your purpose. I assure you that the Church, keeping in mind her own level of responsibilities and competencies, is at your side as you travel your difficult road, and she is ready to support every effort aimed at removing the temptation to violence and at helping to solve the problem of apartheid in a spirit of dialogue and fraternal love that respects the rights of the parties involved.

May Almighty God inspire good will in all people concerned, and help those in positions of responsibility to make wise decisions, so that in that region of the world justice and peace may prevail. What is at stake is the dignity of the human person and the well-being of all mankind.





Saturday, 7 July 1984

Mr Ambassador,

our meeting today gives me an opportunity to acknowledge publicly the importance which the Holy See attaches to the continuance and development of the bonds of friendship existing between Indonesia and the Holy See. I am happy to welcome you to the Vatican and to accept the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of your country to the Holy See. I am grateful for the kind greetings conveyed by you on behalf of His Excellency President Soeharto, and I would ask you kindly to assure His Excellency that I reciprocate with sentiments of goodwill.

In fidelity to the mission entrusted to me as Supreme Pastor of the Church, I have on numerous occasions drawn attention in public statements to the absolutely urgent nature of the need for men and women in public life to work for the cause of peace. The present moment is decisive for the future of mankind.

As I stated during my recent visit to Asia: "At this time in history there is a great need for wisdom... The only option is sincere dialogue and mutual collaboration, for the construction of a more just order" (Ioannis Pauli PP. II, Allocutio ad Excellentissimos viros, qui apud Rempublicam Coreanam Legatorum munere funguntur, habita, 4, die 4 maii 1984: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, VII, 1 (1984) 1246).

It is therefore encouraging to note that your Government has many times reiterated its willingness on the international scene to help resolve serious situations of conflict by facilitating dialogue between the parties involved, favouring peaceful and just solutions.

You have also pointed out the priority that your Government assigns to the issue of progress in Irian Jaya. It is the ardent wish of the Holy See that all the rights of individuals be respected and that every effort be made to lighten the sufferings of the people by facilitating the work of relief organizations and by ensuring the access of humanitarian aid to those in need. The Catholic Church is truly concerned for the well-being of everyone.

Regarding the situation in East Timor, you know with what attention the Holy See views this very delicate problem. You know the many efforts it has made to contribute to helping the people of that area and how it has earnestly recommended respect for human rights. The Holy See continues to follow the situation with preoccupation and with the hope that particular consideration will be given in every circumstance to the ethnic, religious and cultural identity of the people.

Mr Ambassador, the Catholic Church in Indonesia stands for the development of all sectors of society in peace and harmony. This year the Church is celebrating the 450th Anniversary of the presence of Catholicism in the Archipelago. This has been a beneficial presence, as witnessed by the many cultural and assistential works staffed by the highly motivated indigenous and missionary personnel who, in carrying out the Gospel mandate to serve their brothers and sisters, are builders too of a just and ordered society for the benefit of all. It is a great satisfaction to note once again that the first and most important principle of your Pancasila is belief in the one supreme God, and that freedom and mutual respect for all religions are stipulated in your Constitution. These are indeed sure bases for true human advancement.

I assure you, Mr Ambassador, that I see your presence here as a clear sign of the willingness of Indonesia and of the Holy See to collaborate closely in whatever is of common concern to us. May Almighty God bless you in the exercise of your diplomatic mission. May he abundantly bless the people of Indonesia with peace and true well-being.




Barberini Villa (Castel Gandolfo)

Sunday, 22 July 1984

Dear Friends,

I am very grateful to all of you for having brought to Castel Gandolfo this evening one of the most classical expressions of your precious Japanese cultural heritage: the "Noh" play.

Three years after my visit to Japan you have wished to remind the Pope of the immense richness of your cultural tradition; and you have succeeded admirably.

I am aware that "Noh" is a very ancient form of Japanese drama, and that it has been passed from father to son for many centuries. Your art represents one of the most cherished national treasures.

Not only have you entertained and brought enjoyment to all of us; through the language of "Noh" you have succeeded in communicating profound spiritual and cultural values. The beauty and discipline of your art gives expression to the deepest sentiments of reverence and trust. These are universal values, and therefore they become a specific "language" of encounter between East and West. Just as the hero in your play faces the challenge of opening the door to heaven, these values, as it were, open the door that allows each one of us to enter the heart of the other, to discover our common humanity and our mutual need for understanding and love.

Many thanks to each one of you. Thanks to the dancers and to their leader, Mr. Kongo. In particular I thank Bishop Hamao for supporting this initiative from the beginning.

May Almighty God protect you and bless your families at home. God bless Japan!

Rivolgendosi poi alle personalità presenti il Papa così prosegue in lingua italiana.

Desidero aggiungere un cordiale saluto a tutti gli italiani presenti, tra i quali mi piace notare le autorità e gli ambasciatori. Carissimi, sono lieto della vostra partecipazione a questo importante avvenimento artistico, quale è stato la rappresentazione del dramma Noh, intitolato “Hagaromo”.

Questa singolare e straordinaria esperienza teatrale, che ci ha messo in contatto con una delle forme più raffinate e significative dell’antichissima cultura del Giappone, ha indubbiamente posto il nostro essere in una particolare sintonia con quel grande popolo, aperto alla bellezza, alla verità, alla religiosità.

Con l’auspicio che questi valori siano sempre affermati, esaltati e diffusi dalle varie forme della cultura, esprimo a voi tutti i miei ringraziamenti per la vostra presenza, e rinnovo le mie congratulazioni agli attori, al regista e agli organizzatori di questa iniziativa.

Vi accompagni la mia benedizione apostolica.

September  1984




Québec International Airport

Sunday, 9 September 1984

Madame le Gouverneur Général du Canada,
messieurs les Cardinaux,
Monseigneur le Président de la Conférence des évêques catholiques
du Canada, et Monseigneur l’Archevêque de Québec,
et vous tous, chers Frères dans l’épiscopat,
Monsieur le Lieutenant Gouverneur du Québec,
Monsieur le Premier Ministre du Canada,
Monsieur le Premier Ministre du Québec,
Monsieur le Président de la Communauté urbaine de Québec,
Monsieur le Maire de la ville de Québec,
Monsieur le Maire de la ville de Sainte-Foy,

à vous tous, dignitaires et responsables de la société civile et de groupes religieux de ce pays,

“Grâce et paix de la part de Dieu notre Père et du Seigneur Jésus-Christ” (1Co 1,3).

Avant d'adresser mon message à tous ceux que vous représentez, je tiens à dire ma vive gratitude à Son Excellence la Très Honorable Jeanne Sauvé. Madame, je ne puis reprendre ici les divers points de votre allocution. Nous aurons une autre rencontre à Ottawa. Mais je tiens à vous dire dès maintenant que je suis profondément touché de vos paroles. La délicatesse et la hauteur de votre discours, la juste perception que vous exprimez du sens de ma mission apostolique dans le monde, l’intuition profonde de mon projet pastoral au Canada, l’évocation si attachante du peuple canadien, vos paroles exigeantes et chaleureuses concernant le destin de ce cher pays, le témoignage personnel que vous donnez dans le cadre de votre très haute fonction, constituent pour moi le meilleur message de bienvenue et un puissant encouragement à aborder avec confiance les diverses étapes de mon pèlerinage dans votre patrie. Soyez-en vivement remerciée.

1. Greetings to you, people of Canada, in the diversity of your history, of your cultures, of your Provinces, of your Regions.

2. Dans cet immense pays du Canada, c’est d’abord à Québec que je commence mon pèlerinage, et j’en suis très heureux. Salut à toi, Québec, première Eglise en Amérique du Nord, premier témoin de la foi, toi qui as planté la croix au carrefour de tes routes et qui as fait rayonner l’Evangile sur cette terre bénie!

Salut a vous, gens du Québec, dont les traditions, la langue et la culture confèrent à votre société un visage si particulier en Amérique du Nord.

Salut à vous, gens de ce pays, Amérindiens, gens d’origine française et anglaise, émigrants venus de partout et qui vivez ensemble, pour progresser les uns avec les autres, les uns par les autres, sur le chemin de l’histoire, si laborieux et si passionnant!

3. Greetings to you, believers in Jesus Christ and members of the Catholic Church. Let us seek together the firmness of the faith, which expresses itself in the perfection of love.

Greetings to you, believers in Jesus Christ and members of other Christian confessions. Let us seek together the same Christ and Lord.

Greetings to you, believers in God and heirs of the people of Israel. Let us seek together the Word of Life.

Greetings to you, believers and members of other spiritual families. Let us seek together the face of God.

4. Salut à vous, hommes et femmes qui cherchez un sens à votre vie et ne trouvez pas de réponse satisfaisante pour vos aspirations les plus profondes. Vous essayez de vivre votre vie dignement et d’une manière responsable. Cherchons ensemble le meilleur chemin de la vie.

A vous tous, j’apporte le salut de l’Eglise de Rome et de toute l’Eglise de Dieu qui vit en communion avec elle, répandue à travers l’univers. Je viens vous dire l’amour, la joie, les douleurs, l’espérance de vos frères et soeurs de toutes les parties du monde. En retour, j’espère pouvoir apporter au monde quelque chose de chez vous, un écho de votre dynamisme humain, de votre vitalité religieuse.

5. For a long time you have waited for me. And I, for my part, have greatly longed to be with you.

It is not as a Head of State that I come to visit you. The Vatican is indeed recognized as a "State" on the international plane in order better to ensure the freedom of the Holy See, in the service of the spiritual mission of the Successor of Peter. The Holy See is entitled to have its diplomatic Representatives, and I am pleased that Canada has appointed to it an Ambassador. In this way the Holy See is able to give its witness on the international scene and to take part in important discussions which affect the destiny of the world community.

6. Mais c’est avant tout comme Pasteur et Frère que je viens vers vous. Je suis le Pasteur qui succède au premier Pasteur, l’Apôtre Pierre. Je suis le Père, que désigne le mot de Pape. Mais je suis aussi votre frère, votre frère en humanité et votre frère obéissant au bon Pasteur de l’Eglise, Jésus-Christ.

Je suis parmi vous pour partager le pain et la parole, pour partager l’espérance, pour vous transmettre la Parole de Dieu et le Pain de l’Eucharistie.

7. In the next eleven days I shall cross your country from one ocean to the other, "a mari usque ad mare". I have some questions to ask you, and I would like also to hear yours. I would like to speak to you about the issues of our times, concerning culture, the community, technology, the family, sharing and justice. This is be cause nothing is irrelevant to the charity of the believer, to his or her love for humanity. I wish, above all, to speak to you about the fundamental problems: about the faith, about the experience of God, about hope. My word does not claim to furnish an answer to all your questions, or to replace your searching. But it will offer you the light and the strength of faith in Jesus Christ as proclaimed by Peter himself in Galilee: "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God"!

8. Je voudrais que ma parole soit un partage. Le partage d’un frère dans la foi. Le partage d’un pèlerin, témoin de ce que vivent les hommes et les femmes d’aujourd’hui. Le partage d’un homme conscient de la crise spirituelle de ce temps, préoccupé de la justice; d’un homme également confiant dans les possibilités du coeur humain quand l’amour de Dieu le transforme. “Gardez courage, dit Jésus, j’ai vaincu le monde!” (Jn 16,33).

9. As your Bishops have said so well: Let us celebrate our faith in Jesus Christ. My visit is intended to be essentially pastoral. I would like to recount to all believers the joy of believing in Jesus Christ. For, of all the blessings in life, faith is the most precious, the most beautiful. May my pilgrimage here be the symbol of your journey in the faith. For this very reason, I would like to come among you as a witness of hope. I would like to assure the Bishops of my fraternal interest. I would like to offer a special word of support to the priest, to the men and women religious, and to the laity in charge of many sectors of the apostolate.

Frères et Soeurs, amis déjà, faisons route ensemble, regardons vers Celui qui nous réunit. O Seigneur, notre Dieu, “qu’il est puissant ton nom par toute la terre!” (Ps 8,22).

May the name of God echo in your hearts and may this visit bring to us, both to you and to me, comfort and fresh joy.

Speeches 1984 - Saturday, 30 June 1984