Speeches 1987 - Saturday, 28 November 1987

Mr Ambassador, as you assume your new responsibilities, I assure you of the full co-operation of the Holy See. I ask Almighty God to grant you health and happiness in your work and to bless all the people of Malawi with enduring peace.

December 1987




Friday, 4 December 1987

Dear Brothers in our Lord Jesus Christ,

1. I am pleased to welcome you, the members of the Episcopal Conference of Tanzania, on this occasion of your ad limina visit. Your presence today enables us to strengthen "the bonds of unity, charity and peace" (Lumen Gentium LG 22) which we share in the Apostolic College. As "God’s fellow workers" (1Co 3,9) we are gathered here in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ near the tomb of the Apostle Peter. And just as Jesus chose Peter and the other Apostles, so too have we been chosen and ordained as their successors through the imposition of hands and the invocation of the Holy Spirit. Together with the Apostles we have inherited the task of bearing witness to the Gospel of God’s grace (Cfr. Rom Rm 15,16 Act Rm 20,24) and to the ministration of the Spirit and of God’s glorious power to make men just (Cfr. 2Co 3,8-9) .

I appreciate the kind words which Cardinal Rugambwa has spoken in your name and on behalf of the People of God in Tanzania. Please help me to reciprocate by taking back to the faithful entrusted to you my greetings of grace and peace. Assure them of my prayerful remembrance.

It is my fervent hope to be able to accept the kind invitation to visit Tanzania in the not too distant future. My desire is to repeat the life-giving message of truth, the Gospel of Jesus Christ. To all who willingly listen to my voice I shall proclaim the Good News of salvation, so that the person of Christ and his Gospel may be ever better known and accepted. I also wish to see firsthand the faith of your people and their love for Christ and his Church. Just as the Apostle Paul wrote to the first Christians at Rome, I repeat to all the faithful in Tanzania: “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you . . ., without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers, asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you. For I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you, that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine” (Rm 1,8-12).

2. My dear Brothers: as pastors in Tanzania, know that in your labours for the sake of the Gospel you are not alone. You are supported by the Successor of Peter and the entire College of Bishops. I am aware of the pastoral concerns which you face each day, and I praise the many initiatives which you have undertaken. Thanks to the abundant graces bestowed by Almighty God on the Church in Tanzania, the power of the Gospel has taken firm root in the hearts of the faithful and enabled the Church to grow.

During the past five years you have witnessed a rapid growth of your local Churches from three and a half to over four and a half million members. A new Archdiocese and new Dioceses have been established, and there has been an increase in the number of clergy and men and women Religious. All of this growth has been accompanied by a consolidation of diocesan structures and apostolic works.

I am pleased to encourage you and all the priests, Religious, catechists and laity who have laboured to bring about this expansion of the Kingdom of God in Tanzania. As I stated at the time of your last ad Limina visit: "The criterion of your effective ministry – your effective episcopal ministry – is absolute fidelity to Jesus Christ and his word. It is up to us to plant and to water; God himself will give the increase and make the seed of his word grow in his own good time. He demands our trust, our obedience in preaching his message, our patience in awaiting the full harvest of salvation (Ioannis Pauli PP. II, Ad quosdam Tanzaniae episcopos, occasione oblata «ad limina» visitationis coram admissos, 6, die 9 oct. 1981: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, IV/2 [1981] 380).

3. Following the recent meeting of the Synod of Bishops, I wish to stress that the work of evangelization is the baptismal responsibility of all those in your pastoral care. As the Second Vatican Council teaches, "the obligation of spreading the faith is imposed on every disciple of Christ, according to his ability" (Lumen Gentium LG 17). Thus all lay Christians, specifically by virtue of Baptism, are called by the Lord to engage in an effective apostolate: "For by its very nature the Christian vocation is also a vocation to the apostolate" (Apostolicam Actuositatem AA 2).

While expressing my gratitude to all the priests and missionaries working in Tanzania, I also wish to encourage the laity to be true witnesses to Christ, builders of the Christian community, helping to transform the world with Gospel values. The witness of an exemplary Christian life is already an act of evangelization. I hasten to add that the witness of Christian living through example is not enough in itself. It has to be preceded and accompanied by the proclamation of the Good News of salvation in Christ, which is at the heart of all the Church’s action of evangelization. And both these essential elements must be sustained by prayer and sacrifice.

4. In a society such as yours where a great part of the population belongs to traditional African religions, I praise the many lay catechists, men and women, who are making an important contribution to the proclamation of the Gospel. They are direct witnesses to the faith and your active collaborators in establishing, developing and increasing the practice of Christian life. I am confident that they will always find the assistance they need, and that they will be given a continuing formation, suited to the needs of the communities which they serve. Catechists have an indispensable role in the whole process of evangelization. They are involved in developing the initial faith of your people and in bringing them to the fullness of Christian life (cf. Ioannis Pauli PP. II, Catechesi Tradendae CTR 18). While striving in an organic and systematic way to initiate their hearers into the fullness of Christian life, catechists need to make the Gospel incarnate in the lives and culture of your people. Indeed, one of the priorities of your ministry is the consolidation and transformation of your culture in accordance with the Gospel. "The ‘acculturation’ or ‘inculturation’ which you rightly promote will truly be a reflection of the Incarnation of the Word, when a culture, transformed and regenerated by the Gospel, brings forth from its own living tradition original expressions of Christian life, celebration and thought (Cfr. ibid. 53)" (Ioannis Pauli PP. II, Allocutio ad Kenianos episcopos, in Apostolicae Nuntiaturae sacello congregatos, habita, 6, die 7 maii 1980: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, III/1 [1980] 1223).

Dear Brothers: I am well aware that you are called to bear daily witness to Christ in a country where Christians and Muslims live side by side. As you know, the Church makes every effort to engage in religious dialogue with Islam. The truth that the plan of salvation includes all who acknowledge the Creator offers us a solid basis for such dialogue and for peaceful coexistence with Muslims.

5. I am pleased to learn that there are various initiatives directed towards the apostolate of youth. This apostolate should be one of your highest priorities, for the young people represent the future of the Church. Your youth associations need to be centres of formation in accordance with the teaching of the Church, and centres where young people prepare to assume political and social positions as citizens and Christian leaders. It is through your efforts in ensuring the Christian education of youth that the Church in Tanzania will be able to act as a vital moral force. In faithfulness to Jesus, you must hand on to your young people all that he commanded to be taught (Cfr. Matth. Mt 28,20).

6. I wish to express my affection for all the priests, both diocesan and religious, who labour with you in shepherding the flock. Each brother priest is meant to be with us "a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an Apostle, set apart for the Gospel of God" (Rm 1,1). The Second Vatican Council reminds us that " the ministry of priests takes its start from the Gospel message" (Presbyterorum Ordinis PO 2). It goes on to emphasize that the ministry of the word finds its completion in the Eucharist, which is "the source and summit of the whole work of evangelization (Ibid. 5).

I would like to say this to you: always remember the importance of having a fraternal love f or your priests. " Before being the superiors and judges of your priests, be... always ready to understand, to sympathize and to help. In every possible way encourage your priests to be your personal friends and to be very open with you" (Pauli VI, Sacerdotalis caelibatus, 92). As brothers to your priests, you will share their burdens and help them grow spiritually through retreats and days of recollection. It is also of great benefit to their continuing formation to provide opportunities for theological renewal and study, so that they can deepen their understanding of the documents of the Second Vatican Council and of the Magisterium. In addition, these gatherings are an occasion for discussing together your pastoral concerns.

7. With gratitude to Almighty God I note the increase in diocesan priests in Tanzania. With the missionaries decreasing in number and not being replaced, it is ever more necessary for their work to be taken up by priests from among your own people.

I am pleased to learn that your minor seminaries have many students. This of course demands a careful selection of suitable candidates. Similarly, the attention and support which you give to your seminarians and to their training in the five major seminaries will ensure the quality of those whom you will ordain to the priesthood for service in your local Churches. I assure you of my solicitude in this endeavour, so essential to the Church’s mission. I would also stress the importance of providing well-qualified priests for the spiritual, academic and pastoral formation of your seminarians.

I note that there has been a steady growth in the number of Religious. The members of the Institutes of consecrated life constitute a leaven of authentic Christian living, and it is important that every diocesan congregation of Religious should reflect its specific charism in appropriate forms of apostolic work. In your work with Religious I know that you will always show them the Church’s great love for them in their lives of service.

Over the past hundred and twenty years the proclamation of the Gospel in Tanzania has been largely accomplished by missionary priests, Sisters and Brothers, who with great heroism and holiness have planted the seeds of the Church. Following their example, may you seek to further the growth of the Kingdom of God with immutable fidelity.

My Brothers: be assured of my continued prayers that the Host High God will bestow upon you and upon the people and Government of Tanzania the blessings of peace, justice and prosperity. I commend you and your local Churches to the intercession of Mary, who is "a sign of sure hope and solace for the pilgrim people of God" (Lumen Gentium LG 68). In the love of Jesus her Son I impart my Apostolic Blessing.




Saturday, 5 December 1987

Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends,

1. I am pleased to greet most cordially representatives from around the world are who affiliated with the organization “Very Special Arts International”. You have come to this meeting in Rome because you share a common love and concern for our handicapped brothers and sisters. You are not only concerned, you are deeply committed to enriching their life in its many dimensions, especially through the world of art. It is indeed a pleasure to welcome you to the Vatican today. I assure you that the Church, like yourselves, is particularly close to those who are weak or disabled in any way. And she is proud to number very many of them among her own members.

2. Every human life is sacred, for each person is created in the image and likeness of God. Saint Paul says: “We are God’s work of art, created in Christ Jesus to live the good life as from the beginning he had meant us to live it” (Ep 2,10). Our worth, then, our dignity as human persons, comes not from what we can say and do, but from our very being, from the fact that God loves us and that he has created us to live in joy in his presence for ever.

The lives of those who are handicapped are no less sacred than the lives of those who are not. I know that you share this conviction with me. At the same time, we are also aware that the quality of life of the handicapped is often not in keeping with their own inner worth. Here I am thinking not merely of the quality of life which comes from the special services and the practical assistance that our brothers and sisters may need. Rather I am referring to their desire and their right to participate in an authentic way in social and cultural life. It is precisely in this sphere that you have chosen to concentrate your efforts. And I wholeheartedly applaud your choice.

3. The Church has always favoured the arts. In fact, the Gospel of Jesus Christ which she proclaims has inspired countless artists, men and women - a number of whom were handicapped - whose works of art have enriched the world. Authentic works of art give expression to the greatness and wonder of the mystery of human life.They reflect our thirst for the infinite, and at the same time they evoke it. They stand as eloquent sentinels, protecting the human race from trends and fashions which would deny or water down the spiritual dimension of human existence. The arts elevate and console; they inspire and give hope. They help the human spirit rise towards God and towards the most important values in life.

And the arts are the exclusive possession of no one. As you have rightly emphasized, "In art there are no handicaps". For, while the body may know various limitations, the spirit is free to soar. And the arts are primarily an expression of the spiritual dimension of a person, of the deepest desires and the greatest beauty that the Spirit of God gives to the heart and soul. The festivals and other events which you have organized bear witness to this fact, demonstrating the many artistic gifts of our handicapped brothers and sisters.

Dear friends, in closing I wish to offer you the assurance of my personal interest and prayerful support. May the Lord strengthen you in your worthy efforts to promote art for the handicapped. Upon you and your families, and upon all those whom you seek to serve, I invoke God’s abundant gifts of peace and joy.




Monday, 14 December 1987

Mr Ambassador,

I am pleased to welcome you today to the Vatican and to accept the Letters of Credence by which you are appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Indonesia to the Holy See. I am grateful for the warm words of greeting you bear from His Excellency President Soeharto, and I would ask you to assure him of my prayerful good wishes. At the same time, I avail myself of the occasion to renew the expression of the Holy See’s desire to maintain and strengthen the bonds of good will and friendship with your country.

You have referred, Mr Ambassador, to the need for deeper understanding and dialogue between peoples in order to build up the unity of the human family. It has become altogether clear that the great concerns, not only of the leaders of nations but of citizens of all levels in every part of the world, regarding economic and cultural development and peace cannot be approached today except in a wide perspective that takes proper account of the interdependence of countries and regions, and even of continents. Events in one part of the world have immediate and sometimes dramatic consequences in other areas. Policies undertaken in one country or region can deeply affect the lives of countless individuals in other countries. This is particularly true of matters affecting security and peace, as well as of policies that affect trade, food production and distribution.

This open, worldwide perspective is all the more imperative in the face of growing imbalances between developed and developing countries and regions, between nations that dispose of advanced technologies and those that are still on the way to modernization.

An indication of a heightened sense of international corresponsibility on the part of many nations is the importance given to regional structures of collaboration and participation in the various international organizations and their agencies. In South-East Asia, Indonesia has been active in promoting a dialogue with neighbouring countries. It must be hoped that such initiatives will continue to offer a forum for negotiations and peaceful means of resolving differences, and that furthermore they will positively assist in achieving the goals of development, justice and respect for human rights everywhere.

The Catholic Church calls upon her members “to collaborate willingly and wholeheartedly in establishing an international order involving genuine respect for all freedoms and amicable brotherhood between all men” (Gaudium et Spes GS 88). The Church therefore is happy when she sees progress being made in the achievement of a more just and humane world, and she gladly takes part, in the light of her religious and moral mission, in this task at every level - local, national and international. This she does “motivated solely by the desire to be of service to all” (Ibid. 89).

I am pleased, Mr Ambassador, that Indonesian Catholics are present in the life of their country, which they ardently love and to whose welfare they are generously committed. The Church in Indonesia supports Pancasila as the expression of the values and aspirations of the nation and as the framework for the pursuit of its noble ideals. In her concern for the welfare of the nation, the Church follows the path of mutual respect and collaboration with other religious traditions, convinced that in the spirit of prayer displayed at the Inter-Religious Meeting of October 1986 at Assisi-to which you referred-can be found a most fruitful and constructive path to follow.

Because of her intimate concern for the welfare of all peoples, the Church appreciates efforts being made to improve the condition of the population of Irian Jaya, and she seeks to further promote and collaborate with the humanitarian assistance and programmes of social development that will consolidate this trend. Likewise, the Church’s universal mission of service leads her to hope that particular consideration will be given to the protection of the ethnic, religious and cultural character of the people of East Timor.

As you begin your mission, Mr Ambassador, I wish to assure you of the collaboration of the various departments of the Holy See. I pray that you will be happy in the fulfilment of your lofty responsibilities. May God abundantly bless the beloved Indonesian people.




Wednesday, 30 December 1987

1. Merci Roger, pour vos paroles pleines de confiance et d’espérance en Dieu et dans les jeunes. Vous le savez, c’est parce que je partage cette confiance et cette espérance que j’ai tenu à m’arrêter à Taizé au cours de ma visite pastorale en France, l’année dernière.

Ces jours-ci, chers jeunes, c’est vous qui vous arretez à Rome au cours de votre “pèlerinage de confiance sur la terre”. Vous avez choisi d’y faire halte, de rencontrer le Pape et les fidèles de son diocèse, et de prier avec eux en ces lieux où les apôtres Pierre et Paul et beaucoup d’autres martyrs ont versé leur sang par fidélité au Christ. C’est une joie et un encouragement pour nous de vous recevoir, si nombreux, et de bénéficier de l’élan de votre jeunesse et de votre foi, en cette période où nous préparons un synode diocésain pour approfondir le sens de la communion et de la mission que nous avons reçues du Seigneur Jésus.

2. Cari giovani, cari pellegrini della fiducia, siate i benvenuti nel nome del Signore!

Il Papa si sente profondamente impegnato con voi in questo “pellegrinaggio della fiducia sulla terra”. Anch’io, come voi, sono costantemente angustiato vedendo che i cristiani non sono tutti uniti nella piena comunione della fede e della carità; sapendo che migliaia di esseri umani soffrono e muoiono a causa della carestia o di orribili conflitti armati tra le nazioni, constatando che i diritti dell’uomo, e in particolare la libertà religiosa, sono ancora sovente scherniti in molti luoghi della terra; ascoltando la voce di tanti giovani angosciati per il loro avvenire personale e per quello dell’umanità.

So che tutte queste preoccupazioni sono anche le vostre, ma nello stesso tempo so che voi possedete una certezza che procura un’indefettibile speranza: noi crediamo che Cristo ci accompagna nel cammino dell’intera nostra vita e che la sua misteriosa presenza è come un fuoco che non si spegne mai.

Egli è presente nell’intimo di ogni uomo e di ogni donna, anche se, troppo spesso, la cenere della paura e dell’egoismo impedisce alla fiamma di salire e al fuoco di irradiare il suo calore.

3. Para ser un peregrino de fiar de Cristo, es indispensable realizar cada día una peregrinación interior dentro de nosotros mismos, buscando la luz de Cristo, caminando al encuentro de la persona de Jesús que, en la paz de la oración, se hace peregrino con nosotros. Al meditar su Palabra, somos capaces de comprender hasta donde El nos ama. Tomamos conciencia a la vez de que El no está solo, de que podemos y debemos amarlo en el Cuerpo del que El mismo es la Cabeza, como afirma San Pablo (Cfr. Col Col 1,18).

Este Cuerpo es la Iglesia de la que nos convertimos en miembros suyos por medio del bautismo, en la que el amor de Cristo nos une y alienta a través de la Palabra de Dios y de los sacramentos. Nosotros llegamos a comprender también que Cristo nos envía a anunciar la Buena Nueva a los demás, es decir a todos, ya que es el amigo y el Señor de todos los hombres y de todas las mujeres y, en consecuencia, quiere su salvación.

4. To welcome Christ who loves us; to love Christ in the communion of love which is the Church; to make ourselves available to Christ who sends us to our brothers and sisters: these are three basic attitudes so that we may undertake a pilgrimage of truth on this earth, enlightened by the one whom the Prophets hailed as "the sun of justice" (Ml 3,20). For this reason, some of you travel from one continent to another and cover great distances. But all of you can be pilgrims of trust in the places where you live, where you work or study, within your families and in your parishes. Remember Jesus’ words: "Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid" (Jn 14,27). In communion with the Church, it is your task to act in the place where you are, for the sake of reconciliation and sharing, to build peace, in order to alleviate suffering.

So that I may serve faith and unity among Christians and be a messenger of peace in the world, I too am called to be a pilgrim of trust in the name of Christ. I ask you to pray for me, for my ministry in the Diocese of Rome and in the whole Church, especially during my pastoral journeys. Be assured that I pray for you so that you may be faithful and courageous pilgrims, in Christ’s name.

5. W tym swiatecznym okresie Bozego Narodzenia i Epifanii Chrystusa, w slad za pasterzami i medrcami, pielgrzymujemy duchowo razem ze wszystkimi chrzscijanami swiata do Betlejem, aby kontemplowac i rozwazac tajemnice narodzenia Syna Bozego w ubóstwie zlobu. Wobec slabosci Bozego Dzieciecia, stajemy sie zdolni przyjac nasza slabosc, zrozumiec, ze Chrystus do niej przychodzi, daje duchowy wzrost, objawia swoja moc, która wedle slów Apostola “w slabo sci sie doskonali” (2Co 12,9). I nasza radosc staje sie “radoscia niewymowna” (Cfr. 1Petr. 1, 9); nasza ufnosc doznaje umocnienia. Podobnie jak Matka Boza pragniemy niesc swiatu Dobra Nowine tego, który nas przyjmuje, i którego my przyjmujemy. Pragniemy pielgrzymowac z ufnoscia po tej ziemi.

Drodzy mlodzi przyjaciele, nasz swiat tak bardzo potrzebuje nadziei i zawierzenia, pojednania, jednosci i pokoju!

Zycze Wam z calego serca, by swiat ten-patrzac na Wasze zycie-nie przestawal slyszec i coraz lepiej rozumiec anielska piesn, jaka rozlegla sie w noc Bozego Narodzenia:

“Chwala Bogu na wysokosciach, a na ziemi pokój ludziom Jego upodobania” (Lc 2,14).

Final blessing of the Holy Father in different languages :


Signore Gesù donaci la fiducia e la tua Parola!
Donaci la forza del tuo amore!
Donaci la gioia di essere per tutti gli uomini dei fratelli.


Seigneur Jésus, donne-nous conSance en ta Parole!
Donne-nous la force de ton amour!
Donne-nous la joie d’etre pour tous les hommes des frères!


Mein Herr Jesus, schenke uns Vertrauen und Dein Wort.
Schenke uns die Kraft Deiner Liebe.
Schenke uns die Freude, daß wir für alle Menschen, Brüder sein.


Gospodine Isuse, daj nam pouzdanje u Tvoju Rijec!
Daj nam snagu Tvoje ljubavi!
Daj nam radost da budemo braca za sve ljude!


Gospod Jezus, podari nam zaupanje in tvojo besedo!
Podari nam moc tvoje ljubezni!
Podari nam veselje, da bomo postali bratje vsem ljudem!


Úr Jézus, adj nekünk bizalmat és Igédet!
Add nekünk szereteted erejét!
Add nekünk annak örömét, hogy minden embernek testvérei vagyunk!




Thursday, 31 December 1987

Chers Jeunes de la Fédération Internationale
des “Pueri Cantores”,

Demain, nous aurons la grande joie de vivre ensemble le premier jour de 1988, de célébrer ensemble la plus sainte des mamans, la Mère du Christ, la Mère du Peuple des Baptisés. Mais je savais votre grand désir de rencontrer le Pape dès aujourd’hui. Moi aussi, je le souhaitais. Alors, nous sommes tous très heureux! Pour ma part, je suis enchanté de voir vos dix mille visages, bien vivants, joyeux, transparents, sérieux, et sans doute malicieux!

Tout d’abord, je tiens à vous féliciter d’appartenir à une Manécanterie ou Schola ou Psalette ou Maîtrise. Ces Institutions d’Eglise sont très anciennes. Je suis sûr que dans vos villes d’origine, il existe des rues ou des places qui portent ces noms. Comme ce serait intéressant pour vous de connaître la longue histoire de votre Ecole de chant liturgique!

Ensuite, je vous encourage chaleureusement à cultiver et à exécuter les mélodies sacrées: l’incomparable grégorien, la polyphonie d’inspiration ancienne ou moderne, dans vos cathédrales, vos basiliques ou collégiales, dans vos églises urbaines et rurales. Sans mésestimer les oeuvres musicales profanes, vous avez le privilège de chanter Dieu, de célébrer les événements du Salut accomplis par le Christ toujours accompagné de sa Mère et notre Mère. Vous ne charmez pas seulement les oreilles de vos auditeurs. Vous les faites entrer en communion avec Dieu. Vous aidez les assemblées chrétiennes à désirer des liens plus forts avec Lui, comme avec tous les êtres et les peuples qu’il aime.

Votre vocation, chers Jeunes, est enracinée dans la tradition de l’Ecriture et des Pères de l’Eglise, saint Augustin spécialement. Tradition qui invite sans cesse à célébrer le Seigneur, “par l’éclat du cor, par la harpe et la cithare, par les flûtes et les cymbales retentissantes” (Cfr. Ps Ps 150). Mais la voix humaine, seule et surtout unie à d’autres, exprime à Dieu plus merveilleusement encore, la joie, l’adoration, la souffrance, le repentir, la confiance, l’amour.

Enfin, ma dernière confidence est un appel à persévérer dans le service de la sainte Liturgie et à encourager d’autres jeunes à rejoindre vos manécanteries et vos psalettes. Ecoutez aussi cette conviction du Pape: certains d’entre vous, s’ils écoutent vraiment la voix du Seigneur, mûriront peu à peu la décision de lui appartenir tout entiers. Je prie à cette intention.

Chers Jeunes, en union avec vos Evêques et vos prêtres, en union avec vos Maîtres de choeur que je félicite de tout coeur, je vous envoie en mission dans le monde entier. Oui, je vous confie la responsabilité de contribuer généreusement à la dignité et à la splendeur du Culte divin. A tous, ainsi qu’à vos chers parents, je donne mon affectueuse Bénédiction Apostolique.

Carissimi ragazzi della Federazione Internazionale dei “Pueri Cantores”,

sono molto lieto di questo incontro che anticipa e preannuncia quello di domani, quando insieme, nel primo giorno del 1988, festeggeremo la Santa Madre di Dio, la Vergine Maria, nel cui nome si avvia ogni anno nuovo.

Il sorriso dei vostri volti, la freschezza delle vostre voci, l’armonia dei vostri canti mettono gioia nell’animo e lo dispongono alla preghiera. Voglio dirvi, cari ragazzi, il grande apprezzamento che la Chiesa ha per il servizio da voi reso nelle sacre cerimonie. Il decoro e la solennità delle funzioni religiose dipendono in notevole parte dall’apporto del vostro canto, che dovrà quindi studiarsi di essere sempre all’altezza del rito in cui si inserisce.

Il mio augurio è che ogni cattedrale, ogni parrocchia e ogni altra chiesa possa ornarsi delle candide voci dei vostri coetanei, così che il culto reso a Dio possa riuscirne elevato e ingentilito. Sentite la responsabilità di far capire a quanti partecipano alla sacra liturgia quanto sia bello pregare cantando con la Chiesa e per la Chiesa; possano, quanti partecipano alle funzioni che voi animate, riportarne l’incitamento e aprire il cuore all’azione del Dio della santità e dell’amore.

Con questo augurio, carissimi ragazzi, tutti vi benedico.

My dear Young People,

It is a joy for me to welcome you today on the occasion of the Twenty-third International Congress of the "Pueri Cantores". I greet you in my own name and on behalf of all those who have a deep appreciation of the contribution you are making to the beauty of the Church’s Liturgy by singing sacred music. I hope you realize just how much you can assist the Christian assembly in drawing closer to the Lord, not only by delighting the ears of those who listen to you but by touching their hearts, expressing in song the joy and sorrow, the praise and repentance, the hope and love of God’s people at prayer.

I offer each one of you heartfelt good wishes and encouragement, and in the love of Christ our Saviour I impart to you and your loved ones my Apostolic Blessing.

Queridos jóvenes a Pueri Cantores,

Me complace tener este encuentro con vosotros, que estáis celebrando en Roma el vigésimo tercer Congreso Internacional con representantes de otros países y lenguas, y todos unidos alabáis al Señor.

Speeches 1987 - Saturday, 28 November 1987