Speeches 1988 - Thursday, 15 October 1988

The profound connection between truth and freedom affects the order of all knowledge. Truth does not limit freedom. On the contrary freedom is ordered to truth. Furthermore, the truth of faith does not limit human knowledge. Rather, human knowledge opens up the way that leads to Christian faith, and Christian faith guides human knowledge. While faith does not offer solutions for investigation by reason – which follows its own principles and methodologies in different fields and enjoys a legitimate autonomy – nevertheless, faith assists reason in achieving the full good of the human person and of society. When Catholic colleges and universities promote true freedom in the intellectual sphere, they provide a singular service for the good of all society. Today’s culture, influenced by methods and ways of thinking characteristic of the natural sciences, would be incomplete without the recognition of man’s transcendent dimension. Hence any philosophical current proclaiming the exclusive validity of the principle of empirical verification could never do justice to the individual or to society.

The findings of all study can be fully utilized only in consonance with the fundamental truths concerning man, his origin, destiny and dignity. For this reason the university by its nature is called to be ever more open to the sense of the absolute and the transcendent, in order to facilitate the search for truth at the service of humanity.

4. In reflecting on theological knowledge, we turn immediately to faith, since faith is the indispensable foundation and fundamental disposition of all theology. Faith constitutes its starting point and its constant intrinsic point of reference. Saint Anselmo of Canterbury has given us that well-known definition of the work of theology: faith seeking understanding. Theology springs from faith, from the desire of the believer to understand the faith.

What faith teaches is not the result of human investigation but comes from divine revelation. Faith has not been transmitted to the human mind as a philosophical invention to be perfected; rather, it has been entrusted to the Spouse of Christ as a divine deposit to be faithfully guarded and infallibly interpreted. In the area of strictly human knowledge, there is room not only for progress towards the truth but also, and not infrequently, for the rectification of substantial error. Revealed truth, however, has been entrusted to the Church once and for all. It has reached its completion in Christ. Hence the profound significance of the Pauline expression “deposit” of faith. At the same time, this deposit allows for a further explanation and for a growing understanding as long as the Church is on this earth.

This task of achieving an ever deeper understanding of the content of faith belongs to every member of the Church. But the Second Vatican Council assures us that the “task of authentically interpreting the word of God, whether written or handed down, has been entrusted exclusively to the living teaching office of the Church”.

This magisterium is not above the divine word but serves it with a specific carisma veritatis certum, which includes the charism of infallibility, present not only in the solemn definitions of the Roman Pontiff and of Ecumenical Councils, but also in the universal ordinary magisterium, which can truly be considered as the usual expression of the Church’s infallibility.

5. This does not, however, prevent the Church from recognizing and fostering a legitimate pluralism in theology. Right after the Council, Paul VI stated that “a moderate diversity of opinions is compatible with the unity of the faith and with fidelity toward the teachings and norms of the magisterium”. The extent of this pluralism is limited by the unity of faith and the teachings of the Church’s authentic magisterium. But within its scope, the plurality of theologies should have a certain conceptual common ground. Not every philosophy is capable of providing that solid and coherent understanding of the human person, of the world, and of God which is necessary for any theological system that strives to place its knowledge in continuity with the knowledge of faith.

In order to understand the limits of theological pluralism, it is necessary to distinguish it clearly from the unity of faith, which depends totally on revealed truth. With respect to the non-infallible expressions of the authentic magisterium of the Church, these should be received with religious submission of mind and will.

6. With the passing of time it is ever more evident how certain positions on the socalled “right to dissent” have had harmful repercussions on the moral conduct of a number of the faithful. “It has been noted” – I mentioned in my address last year to the Bishops gathered in Los Angeles – “that there is a tendency on the part of some Catholics to be selective in their adherence to the Church’s moral teachings”. Some people appeal to “freedom of conscience” to justify this way of acting. Therefore, it is necessary to clarify that it is not conscience that “freely” establishes what is right and wrong. Using a concise expression of John Henry Newman’s Oxford University Sermons, we can say that conscience is “an instrument for detecting moral truth”. Conscience detects moral truth: it interprets a norm which it does not create.

7. Dear Brothers: to carry out the prophetic mission that falls to us as Pastors of the Church, it is of great importance to have the collaboration of Catholic theologians and ecclesiastical faculties. As a reflection on the faith, made in faith, theology is an ecclesial science that constantly develops within the Church and is directed to the service of the Church. This is at the root of the theologian’s grave responsibility, particularly if he has received the missio canonica to teach in an ecclesiastical faculty. The authentic faith of theologians nourished by prayer and constantly purified through conversion is a great gift of God to his Church. On it depends the well-being of theology in our day. As I mentioned at the Catholic University in Washington: “It behooves the theologian to be free but with the freedom that is openness to the truth and the light that comes from faith and from fidelity to the Church”.

The Catholic institution in which the Bishops of the United States have placed great hope and which they have loyally supported – the Catholic University of America – last year celebrated the 100th anniversary of its founding. Next year will mark the centenary of the granting of its papal charter. All the achievements of the past are due to God’s grace, on which is well-founded the hope for a future that will see ever greater academic achievements, including those in theological scholarship. In particular, it is to be hoped that this University and all the other Catholic universities and colleges will contribute even more to the enrichment of the Church in the United States and elsewhere, that they will constantly meet their calling to prepare students who are heralds of culture, servants of humanity and witnesses of faith

May the Blessed Virgin Mary, Sedes Sapientiae, obtain for all of you the light of her Son, our Lord Jesus Christ. May she sustain you in pastoral wisdom, and bring joy and peace to the hearts of your people.


Saturday, 17 October 1988

Dear Friends,

It is a great pleasure for me to meet with you, the Supreme Directors of the Knights of Columbus, on the occasion of your visit to Rome. My special greeting goes to the Supreme Knight, Mr. Virgil Dechant, to the Supreme Officers, and to all the wives who are present.

The Knights of Columbus provide a splendid example of lay participation in the Church’s mission. Throughout your history you have been known for your staunch support of the Catholic faith and for your financial aid and volunteer work on behalf of charitable and benevolent causes. By promoting the spiritual and material well-being of others, you honour Christ in your neighbour. By bearing witness to the faith through upright personal conduct and through public action, you transform society from within, so that it may be renewed in Christ and grow into the family of God.

I wish to express my heartfelt gratitude to you for the many ways in which the Knights of Columbus have assisted the Popes in fulfilling the responsibilities of their office as Successors of Saint Peter and Pastors of the Universal Church. Recent examples include your generous response to the financial needs of the Holy See through the Vicarius Christi Foundation, which has just been doubled in size, and the funding provided for restoration work at Saint Peter’s Basilica. You are also making it possible for more people to hear the Pope and to pray with him through the use of modern telecommunications. You have helped launch the North American Campus of the John Paul II Institute for Studies on Marriage and the Family.

I am deeply grateful to you for all these worthy projects and for many others as well. However, my expression of gratitude would be incomplete if I failed to say something about the spirit which clearly inspires your activities. It is a spirit of love for, and fidelity to, the Catholic Church: fidelity to what she believes and teaches, to the message of love, freedom and human dignity that she seeks to offer to the modern world. It is for this love and fidelity above all that I wish to commend you and thank you today. The greatest joy and consolation that you bring to the heart of the Pope are the result of all that you are doing to protect the Christian family and the right to life from conception until death, to promote evangelization, Catholic education, parish life and vocations to the priesthood and religious life. Your efforts testify to your firm faith and trust in God and to your wise understanding of the human toil that is required to “wage the good warfare” as Saint Paul says, “holding faith and a good conscience”.

I am confident that God will continue to bless all that you do and make it fruitful in the life of the Church and of society. May Mary, Mother of the Church, intercede for you, so that all the Knights of Columbus and your families will experience the joy and peace that comes from Christian living. With affection in the Lord Jesus Christ I cordially impart to you my Apostolic Blessing.



Saturday, 22 October 1988

Truly, Blessed Niels Stensen is a part of your history, a part of the spiritual heritage which nourishes your lives, whether you are aware of it or not. The most meaningful veneration of this new Beatus of the Church would be for you to imitate in your own lives one or other of the many positive aspects of his exemplary life.

In front of the University Library in Copenhagen there is a bronze statue of Niels Stensen. It bears the inscription: “Anatom - Begründer der Geologie - Knecht Gottes” (Anatomist - Founder of Geology - Knight of God). His life followed a double course: he was a keen observer of the human body and of inanimate nature, and at the same time he was a deeply believing Christian who placed himself at the service of God’s will in a humble, decisive and fearless way. The inscription calls him a “Knight of God” - in other words, God’s servant; and in this way connects him with the “Servant of God” of the Old Testament, with that title of the Messiah which was fully realized in our Lord Jesus Christ. Niels Stensen, a servant of God which means that through his life and actions, through his fidelity and perseverance, he became similar to the Lord himself. In this way he is an example and an inspiration for us all: for this we implore his help and intercession.

Allow me to draw attention briefly to some aspects of the life of this great Christian of the seventeenth century, aspects which should penetrate our hearts as questions put to our consciences. With method and rigour, Niels Stensen investigated the laws which govern our biological life and also some areas of inanimate nature. In the course of these studies he openly and sincerely corrected himself and his colleagues regarding ideas until then in vogue, whenever deeper investigation showed them to be wrong. Will we be ready, like Niels Stensen, to acknowledge without prejudice the order of nature and to respect its laws, without deifying it or closing our eyes to it in fear? Do we use the numerous instruments that technology places at our disposal according to their proper laws and scope? Do we respect their limit? And in relation to our bodies, while we would all like to keep good health, do we also observe what doctors and scientists tell us about following a healthy way of living, avoiding abuses or exaggerations?

But Niels Stensen challenges us above all as a European, a believer, a Christian, a convert, a pastor of souls and a missionary. With the evangelical language of the heart, this famous son of Denmark found his way to Amsterdam, to Leyden, to Paris and to Florence, his second homeland. His ministry as a Bishop led him to Hannover, Münster, Hamburg and Schwerin. In all these places he was a witness to the same truth, the same science, the same will of God. In all these places his encounter was with the human person, the most dramatic and wonderful creature on earth. Do we too look at present day efforts to bring about European unity in such a perspective, or are we concerned merely with the economics of marketing and free trade? And as regards our personal lives: as Christians, baptized perhaps when very young, are you ready to strive for an ever deeper and more mature faith, which might even lead to a radical change of life, as Stensen experienced in his conversion, in his ordination as priest and bishop, in abandoning his scientific activities for the sake of the kingdom of God?

These are some of the ways in which the clear and demanding voice of the new Beatus can reach us even today, if we are prepared to confront our lives with his example. Perhaps this has already happened to some of you in the course of your preparation for this joyous Beatification: it will happen more intensely during these solemn days. But this is a task to be pursued throughout life.




Monday, 24 October 1988

Dear Brothers in our Lord Jesus Christ,

1. My fraternal welcome goes to all of you, the Bishops of the Ecclesiastical Provinces of Cincinnati and Detroit; at the same time I extend cordial greetings to all the faithful throughout the States of Michigan and Ohio, who are spiritually present here with you today.

The Second Vatican Council reminds us that only Christ has taught the whole truth about man, and he has done so “by the revelation of the Father and his love”. Christ has revealed the greatness of the Father’s love not only with words but above all through the total giving of himself in sacrifice. To see Christ it to see the Father. Christ also shows that the Father’s is more powerful than any kind of evil which is in man, in humanity or in the world. This love is present in the personal history of each human being. To understand the Church of the Incarnate Word it is necessary to understand God’s love.

2. One of the most important expressions of his love is the love of Christian couples. Since “God is love”, and since man is created in the image and likeness of God, there is inscribed in the humanity of man and woman the “capacity and responsibility of love”. Love in its deepest and richest meaning involves self-giving. Christ, the Son of God and perfect Image of the Father, gave himself totally in the very fullness of love through his redeeming Sacrifice. In the case of husband and wife, genuine love is expressed in the gift of self to each other, which includes giving the power to beget life. In the words of “Gaudium et Spes”: “This love is an eminently human one since it is directed from one person to another through an affection of the will. It involves the good of the whole person... Such love, merging the human with the divine, leads the spouses to a free and mutual gift of themselves”. “From one person to another” (a persona in personam): these few words express a profound truth about conjugal love, a love which is eminently interpersonal. It is a love which involves the gift of the whole person. Included in this gift is their whole sexuality with its openness to the transmission of life.

3. As we commemorate the twentieth anniversary of the teaching of the “prophetic” Encyclical “Humanae Vitae” of Paul VI, we see ever more clearly today how relevant and positive it is. In this anniversary year I wish to make special mention of our pastoral concerns for marriage and family life. I note with interest and gratitude the Statement of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops’ Committee for Pro-Life Activities commemorating the Encyclical. As we all know, marriage is much more than a social institution; it is truly, in Paul VI’s words, “the wise institution of the Creator to realize in mankind his design of love”. The Church’s teaching on marriage is fundamental to understanding the many dimensions of the marriage relationship, especially the sexual dimension.

For sexuality is not just a biological reality, but concerns the innermost being to the human person as such. It allows spouses to express in a specific way that interpersonal love that binds them together in a permanent, faithful and exclusive covenant, and that leads them to parenthood.

Marriage is a unique type of relationship and all the actions whereby spouses manifest their love for each other are part of God’s plan and signs of his love. In the sexual act the married couple have the opportunity to grow in grace, in intimacy, in generosity and in their willingness to cooperate with God in bringing into being new human persons. But in order to strengthen their love and deepen their unity, married couples must be led to appreciate ever more fully “the inseparable connection, willed by God and unable to be broken by man on his own initiative, between the two meanings of the conjugal act: the unitive meaning and the procreative meaning”. In a world that often reduces sex to the pursuit of pleasure, and in some cases to domination, the Church has a special mission to place sex in the context of conjugal love and of generous and responsible openness to parenthood.

4. As Pastors we must encourage couples to maintain an openness to life and a spirit of joyful sharing in regard to children. As the Council has taught us, children are really the supreme gift of marriage and contribute in their own way to making their parents holy. But materialistic and selfish attitudes often deny the value of the child. Each child, however is a new revelation of God’s love and of the fidelity of the spouses. “Each child is also a test of our respect for the mistery of life, upon which, from the very first moment of conception, the Creator places the imprint of his image and likeness”.

I deeply appreciate the efforts of your Episcopal Conference to proclaim the sanctity of human life from conception onwards. Throughout the world we have seen an increase in the number of abortions and a decline in the protection of unborn human life. The Bishops of the United States have steadfastly opposed this destruction of human life by programs of education and pastoral care and by advocating laws and public policies that protect and sustain human life, before and after birth. Your annual “Respect Life Program” continues the effort to create respect for human life at every stage and in every circumstance.

This twentieth anniversary of “Humanae Vitae” challenges us once again as Pastors to intensify our efforts to present Christian marriage as a vocation to holiness, and to help couples understand the role of the Christian family in the life and mission of the Church. We are called to provide engaged and married couples with the fullness of the Church’s teaching on human sexuality, conjugal love and responsible parenthood. We must emphasize the sanctity of human life as a precious gift from God that needs to be protected and fostered, while making greater and more systematic efforts to offer instruction in the natural methods of family planning. Natural family planning enables couples to understand God’s design for sex, invites them to dialogue, mutual respect, shared responsibility and self-control. Our people need to have prayerful confidence that God will bless and sustain them in their efforts to lead lives of holiness and to be witnesses to his love in the modern world.

5. Another indispensable form of witness to God’s love for humanity is the practice of the evangelical counsels in consecrated life. The Church profoundly esteems consecrated persons. She rejoices in their consecration and their special witness to love. Chastity, poverty and obedience are manifestations of love not only because they are at the root of innumerable and sublime apostolic works which serve the needs of humanity, but above all because they express the power of Christ’s Paschal Mystery, which conquers everything that is opposed to the love of God. To understand love fully, the world needs the sign of the authentic “contradiction” provided by religious consecration. This religious consecration will be authentically actuated in the true love of self-giving when consecrated persons act in union with the Church, in conformity with the teaching and directives of the magisterium of Peter and of pastors in communion with him.

6. The Church offers to the world a witness of singular importance to Christ’s love through the celibacy of her priests. Celibacy involves the total gift of self to the Lord for life-long service in his Church, with the renunciation of marriage for the sake of the Kingdom of God. It is a gift that God gives to his Church and that manifests the charity which inspires her. The Council showed the courage of faith when it reaffirmed the traditional discipline of celibacy with full confidence that God would not fail to continue to bestow the graces which support this charism.

Priestly celibacy signifies that the priest is not a delegate of the people or even a “functionary” of God, but a true witness to God’s love for his people. The rule of celibacy for the Latin Church is more than an ecclesiastical law. It has deep theological and doctrinal roots that confirm its value and show its desirability for those who are chosen to act in persona Christi capitis. Last year marked the twentieth anniversary of the Encyclical “Sacerdotalis Caelibatus”. May all of us, together with our priests, continue to find inspiration in this teaching as we strive to proclaim the love of Christ in all its fullness.

7. The different forms of witness to God’s love for humanity are linked in no small way to the pastoral love of Bishops, who teach, govern and sanctify the People of God. We all know the profound reality to which Jesus himself made reference when he cited the prophetic words: “I will strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered”. We should never lose sight of the fact that to a great extent the eternal happiness and even the temporal wellbeing of innumerable people depend on our own faithfulness to Christ’s grace.

Certainly we face difficulties in exercising our mission as shepherds. Fear may beset our hearts. Will we be understood? Will our message be accepted? How will the world react? How will public opinion judge us? Will our human weakness impede our mission? It is in these moments that we recognize that our love, our pastoral charity still needs to grow. With Saint John we must confess: “Love has no room for fear; rather perfect love casts out all fear... love is not yet perfect in one who is afraid”. And because love is a victory over fear, it is a triumph in our ministry.

It is necessary now more than ever to proclaim to the world the truth in love, including “the fullness of truth which sometimes irritates and offends even if it always liberates”. In the faithful, persevering and courageous proclamation of God’s word, we Pastors must fulfil our mission and our destiny as witnesses of divine love.

The Bishop’s love for his priests will be a particularly effective expression and sign of the love of Christ. With his deep fraternal and paternal interest in them, with his understanding, human affection and concern for whatever weighs upon them – while encouraging them to strive for holiness in spite of human weakness – the Bishop must help his priests to be witnesses before the people to that love which is at the root of every apostolate. Through the Bishop, priests should be able to experience once again the power of Christ’s love for all humanity, so that with the Beloved Disciple they will be able to say: “We have come to know and to believe in the love God has for us”.

As heralds of Christ’s love we turn to his Mother Mary, Mater pulchrae dilectionis, to continue in prayer our reflection on that great mystery of love which comes forth from, and returns to, the Most Holy Trinity-to whom be glory forever and ever.


Thursday, 27 October 1988

Mr Ambassador,

It is my pleasure to welcome Your Excellency to the Vatican as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to the Holy See. I gladly accept your Letters of Credence and would ask you to convey my gratitude for the cordial greetings and good wishes sent by your President, His Excellency General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida. I reciprocate with the assurance of my prayers for his well-being and for the peace, harmony and prosperity of your nation.

As I welcome you, I note with satisfaction your reference to my pastoral visit to Nigeria in 1982. It was for me a joy on that memorable occasion to experience the warm hospitality of the Nigerian people and to witness their noble human qualities. My visit enabled me to show fraternal solidarity with all the people of your nation as well as to pay tribute to the worthy religious and cultural values which they cherish.

The Church appreciates the importance which your Government attributes to its role of promoting the development of the Nigerian people. It is true that the Church’s dedication to development necessarily has an economic dimension exemplified by her efforts to improve living standards, promote employment and reduce all forms of physical poverty, but at the same time the Church does not limit herself to the people’s economic advancement. As I stated in my recent Encyclical “Sollicitudo Rei Socialis”: “Although development has a necessary economic dimension, since it must supply the greatest possible number of the world’s inhabitants with an availability of goods essential for them ‘ to be ‘, it is not limited to that dimension. If it is limited to this, then it turns against those whom it is meant to benefit”.

Specific attention must be given to the human dimension of development, which is of “measured and orientated according to the reality and vocation of man seen in his totality, namely according to his interior dimension”. Some of the conditions which characterize human development are an increased esteem for the dignity of others, a desire to cooperate for the common good and a willingness to work for peace.

I wish to acknowledge Nigeria’s concern for the peace and harmony of all the nations of the world. The peace for which the world yearns depends greatly on the success of efforts to further solidarity and cooperation among all the nations of the world. It also involves harmony between all sectors of the population in each country at the service of true development.

As you are aware, Mr Ambassador, “the protection and promotion of the inviolable rights of man ranks among the essential duties of government”. It is a great tragedy that in certain parts of the African continent and elsewhere the fundamental rights of the individual human person are not yet being fully respected, and that there exists the evil of racial discrimination. The Church teaches that “Every type of discrimination, whether social or cultural, whether based on sex, race, colour, social condition, language, or religion is to be overcome and eradicated as contrary to God’s intent”. In order to bring about the needed changes in a world weakened by various forms of discrimination the Church seeks to secure the inviolable rights of individuals and groups by fostering dialogue and mutual understanding and by actively promoting justice, solidarity and fraternal love.

You have mentioned my remarks to the Nigerian Bishops on the importance of Christians and Muslims working together for peaceful coexistense. As you know, the Church has a deep respect for Muslims, since she believes that the plan of salvation encompasses all who acknowledge the Creator. This respect includes a readiness to cooperate with them for the betterment of humanity, and a commitment to search together for true peace and justice. Similarly, I said in my Message for this years World Day of Peace: “In the first place, the leaders of religious bodies are obliged to present their teaching without allowing themselves to be conditioned by personal, political or social interests, and in ways that conform to the requirements of peaceful coexistence and respect for the freedom of each individual”.

As you begin your mission, I would assure Your Excellency of the full cooperation of the Holy See. It is my hope that the friendly relations which already exist between Nigeria and the Holy See will be further strengthened through your service. Upon yourself and upon the President, Government and people of Nigeria I invoke the abundant blessings of Almighty God.



Friday, 28 October 1988

Dear Friends,

It is a joy for me to greet you, the participants in the Muslim-Christian meeting, “Believers Walking and Working Together”, which has been taking place at Assisi between 25-28 October, and I thank the Secretariat for having organized this colloquium. The fact that your meeting was so closely connected with the themes of mutual acceptance and collaboration on the path to peace, and your choice of Assisi as the site of your deliberations, gives special significance to your encounter as marking the Second Anniversary of the Day of Prayer for Peace in Assisi.

My intention in inviting leaders from various world religions to come to that small town, far from any major metropolis, to pray for peace in the world, was that we be present in our common humanity before God, to ask him for the gift of peace and to arrive at a deeper appreciation of our responsibility as believers to build that peace, actively and concretely, among men and women.

At the time, I expressed the hope that the Day of Prayer in Assisi would be a new beginning, an inspiration for many more meetings of its kind. That you, Muslims and Christians, have heeded this call and have come to discuss ways of living and working together, shows that you share with me this hope and commitment.

You have come as Muslims and Christians who live together in the six countries of North Africa which border the Mediterranean: from Mauritania, Marocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya and Egypt.

Does not the composition of your national groups – members of these two communities of faith in the one God, who have prepared this meeting together in your own countries, have travelled together, humbly, without publicity, have spent these days living together in Assisi, and are now ready to return home with a common purpose – does not all this symbolize the hopes of all of us for the proper relationship between Muslims and Christians?

Three years ago, I had the great pleasure of visiting one of the countries from which you come, the Kingdom of Marocco. I was invited by His Majesty King Hassan II to address the youth of that beautiful country. One of the things I wanted to discuss with the young people was peace. At that time, I said to them: “You do not want either war or violence. You know the price that they cause innocent people to pay. Neither do you want the escalation of armaments. That does not mean that you wish to have peace at any price. Peace goes side by with justice. You do not want anyone to be oppressed. You want peace in justice”.

Peace with justice. If Muslims and Christians, through their meeting, discussing, and working together, can show the world a path to this goal, we will surely be fulfilling the will of the God of peace. That is one of the most beautiful names by which you, my Muslim brothers, call upon Him and praise Him: Al-Salam, the Peace. For us Christians, it is Jesus who reveals to us the way to true peace: reconciliation with God our Maker, and reconciliation among all persons and groups in the human family.

Two years ago in Assisi, addressing the religious leaders who had come for the Day of Prayer, I said: “At Assisi we have all committed ourselves anew to making our specific contribution to the building of peace. Let us strive to live in the spirit of that solemn pledge. Let us spread this message among those who share our respective beliefs”.

Once again you have met in Assisi, in mutual respect and fraternal esteem. As you return now to your own countries, your task is to be, in the words of St. Francis of Assisi, “instruments of peace”. The challenge before you is to spread the message of peace, to practise peace in your homes and neighbourhoods and places of work, to make peace where there is none, to build understanding and peaceful collaboration between Muslims and Christians in your own countries. And the grace of the God of peace go with you!

Speeches 1988 - Thursday, 15 October 1988