Speeches 1971

February 1971




Friday, 5 February 1971

Dear friends,

We want to tell you in all sincerity that it is a real joy for us to receive you today, the members of the Executive Council of the International League of Societies for the Mentally Handicapped.

In this regard Our first wish is to express Our admiration for you and for your work. We know how much is involved in helping these handicapped people, whose sufferings cause so much sadness to themselves and to the community. Your work shows your deep respect for human life itself, as well as your firm conviction of the transcendent dignity of the human person. We know too that there is need for unlimited compassion and patience in the exercise of what is in fact an art and a very advanced therapeutic and pedagogical technique. It is a labour of love that you accomplish with selfless dedication and at great economic cost.

We wish to say how deeply We appreciate your efforts, which manifest a true human and Christian vocation, and how much We esteem the exercise of your exemplary charity, which is the object of Our particular praise and special consideration. The humility with which your work is done makes it of even greater value.

We therefore desire with all our heart to offer you Our encouragement in the difficult and delicate task which you have undertaken. We realize that results are often scanty and that your activities sometimes bring weariness and disappointment. Lack of sufficient personnel and economic support may tempt you to become discouraged or even to abandon what you have so meritoriously begun.

But you know well that your work is irreplaceable; your conduct brings honour to the human family. Your contribution is indeed the generous expression of that order of charity-the value of which is confirmed by Christ himself in the Gospel-wherein nothing is lost and where not even a cup of cold water given from love will go unrewarded (Cfr. Matth Mt 10,42). May such a promise sustain all those who selflessly devote themselves to this often thankless task.

Dear friends, these are some of Our thoughts on this occasion. As We express them, We invoke most cordially upon you and your collaborators, upon your precious work and upon those whom you serve in fraternal love the choicest blessings of the Lord of life.



Thursday, 18 February 1971

Mr Ambassador,

As you solemnly inaugurate your mission as your country’s first Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Holy See, We assure you of Our heartfelt good wishes for your person and for the performance of your important task of promoting ever greater understanding and cooperation between the Kingdom of Thailand and the Holy See.

We therefore extend to you a cordial welcome and receive with pleasure your Letters of Credence from His Majesty the King of Thailand.

It is the sincere wish of the Church to play its full part in fostering the well-being of a people whose very name recalls their proud heritage of freedom. We have no doubt that the Catholics of Thailand show no less diligence than their fellow citizens in working for the good of their native land. The diplomatic links now happily established between the Holy See and your country’s Government are but an outward seal on the earnest desire of the members of the Catholic Church in Thailand to collaborate in furthering the welfare of all.

We would ask you to convey to your noble Sovereign Our best wishes for his happiness. We express the hope and desire that Thailand will enjoy ever increasing progress and prosperity and be blessed with tranquillity and peace.

For yourself, Mr Ambassador, rest assured that, in fulfilling your high mission, you will receive from us all the understanding, benevolence and assistance merited by so worthy a representative of so beloved a nation.

*AAS 63 (1971), p.217;

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. IX, p.116;

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1971, p.71-72;

OR 19.2.1971 p.1;

ORa n.9 p.2.




Wednesday, 24 February 1971

Dear children,

This is the Holy Father speaking to you from the Vatican on the first day of Lent. Each year at the beginning of this liturgical season of self-denial and sacrifice in preparation for Easter, it is Our custom to remind you of the millions of hungry, sick and needy children around the world. Their only source of aid and comfort is very often that which is made possible because of your annual donations to the American Bishops’ Overseas Aid Fund.

These boys and girls live in the poorest and neediest countries of the world, where they have none of the comforts and advantages that you know and can enjoy in your own prosperous country. Very often there are no schools where they can learn to read and write, no doctors to treat them when they are sick and not enough food to build their little bodies. In some of these countries today the misery of the children who live there is made even worse by disasters such as floods and earthquakes, by famine and by the awful ravages of war.

During the past year alone, We have witnessed the tragic earthquake in Peru which left thousands of persons homeless. Me have seen the even more terrible disaster that happened in Pakistan and brought untold suffering to the people of that country. The dread disease of cholera spreads in Africa and other countries, further afflicting bodies already weakened by hunger. The continuing conflict in the Middle East-where so many children have never known anything except canvas tents in miserable refugee camps as their homes-deprives young and old of their daily food and of normal living and drains them of all hope for the future. Because peace has not yet come to Vietnam, proper schooling and the normal joys of childhood are impossible.

But We see each year, each month, each day, the persistent charitable work of the dedicated people of Catholic Relief Services, who bring aid and hope to millions of needy persons inhabiting the so-called Third World.

This meritorious work is supported and maintained by your Bishops’ Overseas Aid Fund and it is your generosity that makes so many of these acts of mercy a reality. We can point with pride to organizations like Catholic Relief Services, because they carry out the teachings of Our Blessed Lord by practising Christian love. Your concern and your love for your less fortunate brothers and sisters are the embodiment of his message of charity and peace.

Your little sacrifices become a mighty weapon against the misery and despair of suffering people. Your response in the past has enabled Catholic Relief Services to be present with food, clothing, medical care and new homes for those displaced by the disasters in Peru and Pakistan; it enabled Catholic Relief Services to rush medical supplies, blankets and food to those who were injured or made homeless during the civil war in Jordan. Every day in Vietnam, this organization provides help to refugees, orphans and other innocent victims of the war, It is present in more than seventy countries, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, healing the sick, sheltering the homeless, ransoming the captive and giving drink to the thirsty. This in God’s work. We know that you will want to be part of it again.

In making Lenten sacrifices for this important purpose you will be performing an act of Christian charity and fulfilling the words of Our Blessed Lord who said: “As long as you did it for one of my least brothers you did it for me”.

It is in his name that We impart to you, dear boys and girls, to your good parents, your teachers, the priests and religious of your parish, and to your friends Our affectionate Apostolic Blessing.

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

March 1971


Saturday, 13 March 1971

We bid you welcome from our heart, students of Keio University. We greet you with the same affection with which We greeted other groups from your famous university in the past. And We wish that your journey may be a happy one, fruitful in benefits for yourselves and for your future work in the service of your fellowmen.

You have wished, while in Rome, to pay a visit to Us who have the office of representing Jesus Christ. You know how, during his mortal life, Christ cured bodily illness as a sign of his mission of healing the sicknesses of man’s inner being. He came that men might have life, and have it to the full. We pray that you and the other university students of Japan and all other countries will work devotedly to heal the ailments o f the world through the medicine of love. That is what the human family is so greatly in need of. That is what it hopes to receive from the rising generation.

Upon you, your fellow students, your parents and teachers, and upon the whole Japanese nation We invoke true peace and prosperity and every blessing of heaven.

April 1971



Thursday, 22 April 1971

Mr. Ambassador,

We are very happy indeed to receive Your Excellency as you present the Letters of Credence by which you are accredited to the Holy See as the Representative of Zambia, and We welcome the kind message of greetings from your President, Dr. Kenneth David Kaunda, and your people.

We follow with interest, and much appreciate, the good intentions and noble efforts of Zambia in the many projects being sponsored and undertaken throughout the Country for betterment and social development.

May peace, understanding and toleration continue to be the aims of the Zambian people. These aims are foundations for human advancement and the basis of full and complete respect for the rights of man and his obligations-for there cannot be rights without obligations.

Only in the context of the rights and obligations of man is contented and ordered society attainable. In the correct balance between the exercise of his rights and the fulfillment of his obligations before other men and his Maker, man finds the secret of fundamental happiness.

It gives Us great consolation to know that these principles are recognised in Zambia where the Church receives such wholehearted understanding from the civil authorities.

We give assurance that the Catholic Church will always be at hand to help, with its experience and its religious and cultural resources, in the progress to that ideal human society which is based on the aspirations of social justice, peace and fraternal charity, animated by the presence of the spirit of God.

To your President and to the people of Zambia, for all of whom We have a very special affection, please convey Our sincere gratitude for their kind good wishes, give to them Our warm greetings, and tell them that they are constantly in Our mind and prayers. May your beloved Country ever be graced with rich and abundant blessing from the Almighty.

We assure Your Excellency that you will have the full cooperation of the Holy See in the consolidation and strengthening of those happy relationships which already exist between it and the Republic of Zambia, and We offer to you Our very best wishes for the successful accomplishment of your mission.

*AAS 63 (1971), p.369-370;

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. IX, p.326-327;

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1971, p.165;

OR 23.4.1971 p.1;

ORa n.17 p.9.


Wednesday, 28 April 1971

We extend a special welcome this morning to the students of the Istituto Pio XII, from Florence. The name of your institute and of Villa Schifanoia brings to Our mind many associations. We immediately think with gratitude of the graciousness of Mr. Myron Taylor whose generosity brought about your institute’s foundation. It was his intention to found a school which would help give to its students a Christian formation in an institute of a religious character and would open up before them the splendid opportunities of studying art in a Florentine environment. This goal and challenge which he envisioned is indeed one that is worthy-today as yesterday-of youthful energy.

Art itself is an expression of the spirit and becomes a language in which there is a communication of those values that supersede the senses. Art is in its finality a search for God.

For this reason We speak of the necessity of a religious formation for the artists of this generation. It is only the Spirit of God that can adequately “teach us to understand the gifts that God has given us” (1Co 2,12). We repeat to you the words that the Second Vatican Council spoke to the artists of the world: “Do not close your mind to the promptings of the Holy Spirit”, and We willingly extend to you its “message of friendship and greeting, of grace and blessing”.

May 1971




Sunday, 16 May 1971

It is with joy that We take part in the celebrations which mark the reconstruction of Sainte-Marie among the Hurons and the inauguration of its new museum. We extend our congratulations to those who have promoted the restoration of this famous site. It was there that Jesuit pioneers, accompanied by generous lay persons, endeavoured to bring to the people whom they profoundly loved the faith which they themselves had received as a heritage. As We recall with admiration and gratitude these men of faith and the impressive chapter that they have written in the history of your country, We express Our confidence that their memory will indeed live on in the proud annals of the Canadian people.

Nous savons avec quel courage beaucoup d’entre eux scellèrent ce témoignage de leur sang. Mais aujourd’hui cette semence chrétienne a porté ses fruits et contribue puissamment a l’essor d’une civilisation pour laquelle Nous formons les meilleurs voeux de développement harmonieux et intégral. De grand coeur Nous implorons, sur les Autorités religieuses et civiles ainsi que sur tout le peuple participant a l’inauguration, les Bénédictions abondantes du Tout-Puissant.



Monday, 24 May 1971

Mr. Ambassador,

On this solemn occasion of the presentation of your Letters of Credence as the new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India, We extend to you Our cordial greetings and thank you for the courteous words which you have spoken.

We would also ask you to convey to His Excellency the President Our warm gratitude for his kind good wishes, which We fully reciprocate, praying for his welfare and for the peace and prosperity of all the people of India.

The nation which you represent has entered a new phase of its history, in which all efforts must be concentrated on building its future not only on a stable material basis, but on equally firm spiritual foundations.

In this regard, We are happy to note your affirmation that in your country every religion is encouraged to flourish without any restriction and prejudice. Indeed, the constitution of your Republic solemnly recognizes the principle of religious liberty and bans discrimination on grounds of religion. As was stated in the Second Vatican Council’s Message to Rulers, the Catholic Church is asking “only for freedom-freedom to believe and to preach her faith, freedom to love God and serve him, freedom to live and to bring to men her message of life”.

Your Excellency was kind enough to make mention of the contribution which Christianity has already made in your country, not only in the strictly religious sphere, but also in the educational and humanitarian fields. The Church indeed pays homage to and desires to collaborate with all who strive to promote man’s integral development, in full respect for the religious orientation of life to its final end and for human freedom and dignity. Wherever there is special need, the principles of their religion call on the followers of Christ to do all that they can to help.

Another theme on which you touched-one which has been at the centre of Our thoughts since Our pontificate began-is that of peace. For the attainment and preservation of that blessing We depend on more than Our own efforts. We are happy to say that Our modest initiatives have received wide and generous support in every quarter, both on the part of those in high positions and on the part of ordinary, humble people. We thank God for it; and We pray to him unceasingly, as We did some years ago when We visited the shrine of Our Lady in Bandra, that he may “scatter the designs of pride, violence, vengeance and despotism. May he instead inspire thoughts of peace in all, statesmen, military men, formers of public opinion, peoples and rulers. That is the object of Our earnest prayer and of Our most ardent desires”.

*AAS 63 (1971), p.547-548.

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. IX, p.466-467.

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1971, p.218.

L'Osservatore Romano 24-25.5.1971 p.1.

ORa n.22 p.4

June 1971



Monday, 7 June 1971

Mr. Ambassador,

It is with great pleasure that We receive you here today as you present the Letters of Credence by which your President, Dr. Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere, accredits you to the Holy See as Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania. We deeply appreciate the kind personal message of greetings which you bring from the President and the good wishes which you convey on behalf of your people. Please express to your President and people Our sincere gratitude for these messages.

As you are your country’s first Ambassador to the Holy See, We extend to you a special welcome. This appointment clearly expresses the belief of your Government in the value of mutual regard and sincere collaboration between the Church and the State for the good of its people.

We have followed closely, and with interest, the social activities in your country which are intended for the betterment of your people so that they may lead the fuller life of which you speak. Such a life cannot, of course, be attained without having regard for man’s spiritual needs, and, on the other hand, proper social progress of men. Hence the Catholic Church, to the best of its means, assists in the fields of education, medicine and other social services, and performs works of mercy to relieve distress and suffering. All this is part of its apostolate.

It is the wish of the Church to help the civil authorities to carry out these activities with the greatest effect and with maximum benefit for the people. At the same time the Church must have the necessary freedom of action to enable it faithfully to accomplish its mission for the good of men.

We are pleased to know that, under the guidance of the wise and devoted leadership of Our Bishops there, the Church seeks to render ever greater and more effective services for the well-being of the Tanzanian people. We have full confidence in that Episcopate; and its pastoral works and teachings must inevitably yield fruitful results and greatly help progress towards that standard of life to which your country aspires.

Please convey to your President and to your people, for all of whom We have a deep affection, Our greetings and heartfelt best wishes. We ask you to make Tanzania aware of the loving concern of the Church for its welfare, and We pray that that noble land may be graced with peace and prosperity and receive abundant blessings from the Almighty.

We assure Your Excellency that you will have the full cooperation of the Holy See in the strengthening of those cordial relationships which already exist between it and the United Republic of Tanzania, and We extend to you Our very best wishes for the successful accomplishment of your high mission.

*AAS 63 (1971), p.550-551;

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. IX, p.497-498;

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1971, p.238-239;

OR 7-8.6.1971 p.1;

ORa n. 24 p.4, 12.


Friday, 11 June 1971

We thank you for your visit. It recalls to Our mind Our own stay in India, by which, as We said on that occasion, We fulfilled a long-cherished desire to visit your “land of ancient culture, the cradle of great religions, the home of a nation that has sought God with a relentless desire, in deep meditation and silence, and in hymns of fervent prayer” (Meeting with Representatives of Non-Christian Religions, 3 December 1964).

We pray that your journey to the shrines of Europe will be to you an occasion of many spiritual blessings. Where followers of Christ have for centuries raised their thoughts to their heavenly Father, you too may ask for guidance in your future lives, the vision to comprehend the needs of others, the willingness to come to their assistance, and the strength to follow steadfastly the path of right in your private lives and in your dealings with your fellow men.

May God grant you these and many other favours. May he bless you, those from your school who were unable to come, and all who are dear to you.



Saturday, 12 June 1971

Dear friends in Christ,

We are most pleased today to receive so large a group from the Southern Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. This is a striking and perhaps unique illustration of a new spirit of friendship among those who call on the name of Christ.

You are on your way to those Holy Places sanctified by the Lord himself, which it was Our privilege to visit not so long ago. We are likewise happy that you stop at Rome, which is also a holy place, hallowed by the blood of martyrs-a place of pilgrimage since New Testament times. Some of the Sacred Books of that Testament were written here, and the great document of our faith in justification and sanctification was addressed to the infant Church of Rome.

We are pleased to encounter, under such a distinguished leader as Dr. Harry Criswel, members of a Christian communion which, since the foundation of your great nation, has played so full a part in the development of evangelization and Christian education, and which led so many of the pioneers westwards in more recent times.

May this encounter for which We thank you warmly be an effective sign of a new effort at mutual understanding and cooperation.

As a pledge of this Our hope, We invoke upon all of you the choicest blessings of God.




Monday, 14 June 1971

Mr. Ambassador,

It is with pleasure that We accept the Letters of Credence by which you are appointed Ambassador of the Republic of Uganda to the Holy See; it is with added pleasure that We receive one who welcomed us to Uganda when We went on pilgrimage to the places made holy by your country’s great martyrs.

By their martyrdom, these heroic sons of Uganda sealed their deep faith, their steadfastness in professing the truth and their readiness to suffer in defence of its values. For this We honour both them and their country.

We are happy that in Uganda the role of the Catholic Church in promoting development and peace is appreciated. Although the Church has no temporal interest of her own, she intends to give her moral support and also, as far as possible, her practical assistance to fostering development, so that each people may be able to express its own genius in the fullest possible manner. And since without peace there can be no true prosperity, the Church will continue to make every endeavour also to favour that great cause.

In the firm hope that the bonds of mutual understanding between the Holy See and Uganda will grow ever stronger, for the spiritual and temporal advantage of your country’s people, We ask Your Excellency to convey to the President and to the Government and people of Uganda Our warm gratitude for their kind greetings. As We express Our prayerful good wishes for progress and for harmony and peace, We cordially invoke upon them the blessings of God.

To Your Excellency We wish every success in the important mission you are now beginning, assuring you of Our interest, Our collaboration and Our esteem.

*AAS 63 (1971), p.551-552;

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. IX, p.524-525;

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1971, p.247;

OR 14-15.6.1971 p.1;

ORa n.25 p.5.


Saturday, 26 June 1971

Your Excellency, dear friends,

The occasion is a very happy one for us this morning. We are pleased to receive distinguished members of the Indonesian community, including the staff of the Embassy to the Holy See and a number of Our own Catholic Indonesian sons and daughters, resident in Rome.

To all of you Our word is one of welcome and good wishes, of blessing and friendship.

We are sincerely glad to have you as Our own guests this morning. We recall with pleasure the varied experiences of Our stay among you. We think of the many encounters We had in your beloved land : meetings with your President and government, meetings with leaders of the venerable religions of Indonesia, meetings with hundreds of your fellow-citizens. We remember particularly Our meeting with Our own Catholics. With special joy We recall the evening Mass and the impressive ceremony wherein the light of one candle was multiplied to become the source of illumination to the entire stadium. These are just some of the memories of Our stay among you.

What We would wish to do today is to express Our affection for you and your people, and tell you once more of Our appreciation of your dynamism and desire for progress and of Our respect for your spiritual traditions (Cfr. Address to the President and Authorities of Indonesia, 3 December 1970; AAS 63, 1971, PP 75-76).

To those of you who make up the Catholic Indonesian community of Rome We express the hope that your stay here will be beneficial. We hope also that from the shrines of Rome you will take back to your country an authentic interpretation of Christianity, to be lived in turn by your people in the great culture which is their own. For all the Catholics and Christians of your land We would express the prayer that Christ may live in their hearts through faith (Cfr. Eph Ep 3,17). Through you today We send Our greetings to your country, and upon all the people of Indonesia We invoke the choicest blessings of the Almighty.

July 1971



Monday, 5 July 1971

Mr Ambassador,

We wish first of all to thank you for the courteous words you have spoken in presenting to Us the Letters of Credence by which you are accredited as your Republic’s Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Holy See.

We know the great efforts which Malawi is devoting to its economic development and social progress. We are confident that each member of the Catholic Church in your land will play his full part in these endeavours, thus giving testimony to the high ideals which his religion puts before him. As you have said, the Church has made a very willing contribution to the struggle in Malawi against ignorance, disease and poverty. True to the teaching and example of her divine founder, who cited the proclamation of the Good News to the poor as a sign of his mission (Cfr. Luc Lc 7,22), she desires to liberate people from all that would constrict and stifle the fulfilment of their God-given potentialities.

Upon these efforts of your country We invoke the powerful assistance of God, that the noblest aspirations of its citizens may be brought to full flowering.

Through Your Excellency, We would like to send Our cordial greetings to His Excellency the President, to the Government and to the beloved people of Malawi. We wish yourself a happy and fruitful mission to the Holy See. For you and for the noble nation you represent We pray that the Almighty may grant his richest and choicest blessings.



Monday, 12 July 1971

Mr. Ambassador,

We are touched by the courteous words which you have addressed to us on presenting your Letters of Credence from His Excellency the President of the Republic of Korea.

Not only do they show your deep awareness of the importance of the mission you are undertaking, but they also recall the glorious history of the Church in Korea, where the seed of the word of God has fallen on fertile soil.

Is it not significant that the first expansion of the Catholic Church in your country was due, after God’s grace, to the initiative of its own people, who brought in Christian literature and welcomed the good news of the Gospel while yet there was no missionary from foreign lands to teach them? This underlines the fact that there is no clime, culture or race to which the Church can be alien. In Korea, as elsewhere, she “must strike her roots deep into the spiritual and cultural ground of the place and assimilate all that is of genuine value . . . Thus, while preserving the cultural excellence and individuality of each nation, the Catholic Church will be able to communicate what is of universal value in each of them to all the others, for their mutual enrichment” (Message to the Peoples of Asia, 29 November 1970).

It is Our dearest desire that the Church in Korea will continue to flourish and to build on the spiritual and cultural values which are the boast and the treasure of your nation, and that it may long bring its own priceless contribution to the development and wellbeing of the people.

We would ask you to express Our gratitude to His Excellency the President for the kind greetings which you have conveyed on his behalf and to assure him of Our prayerful good wishes for him and for all the beloved people of the Republic of Korea, upon whom We invoke the Lord’s richest blessings.

For yourself We pray that God may assist you in your noble mission of working for the continued deepening of understanding and friendship between the Holy See and your country. In the fulfilment of your duties, you can always count on Our ready willingness, and that of the offices of the Holy See, to give you all the assistance and cooperation in Our power.

*AAS 63 (1971), p.686-687;

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. IX, p.619-620;

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1971, p.285-286;

OR 12-13.6.1871 p.1;

ORa n.29 p.2 .



Wednesday, 14 July 1971

Venerable Brothers,
Dear sons and daughters,

We are pleased today to welcome all of you who make up the International Biblical-Pastoral Seminar, sponsored by the World Catholic Federation of the Biblical Apostolate.

There are so many things that We would like to speak to you about on this occasion concerning Sacred Scripture. We know that the Bible is your constant meditation in these days, as you try to renew your own appreciation of God’s Word in order to communicate its power to those with whom you come in contact.

You are already deeply aware of the importance of Sacred Scripture: how it is the privileged source of God’s Word as it was expressed in the history of salvation, and how it was sealed in the Canonical Books as authoritative and authentic messages of revelation.

Today this same Word of God is more deeply appreciated than in past times. It has always been recognized as the source of religion and of theology, but now more than ever it is prized for its pedagogical value and for the impact that it is meant to have on the spiritual life of God’s People.

Hence you can realize what an exalted pastoral activity it is to bring the faithful to a greater understanding of the Scriptures and to instil in them love for the Bible. What a great vocation is yours!

Yes, with Saint Paul We would proclaim how Scripture is profitable “for teaching, for refuting error, for guiding people’s lives and teaching them to be holy” (2Tm 3,16). We see how closely faith is linked with the Sacred Writings and how these must pervade our theology and our liturgy and find expression in the very fabric of our spiritual and moral lives.

We therefore see the duty there is for all those whose task is the ministry of the Word of God (Cfr. Dei Verbum DV 25) to be faithful to the reading and study of the Bible. It is in the Scriptures that we find Christ (Cfr. Io Jn 5,39) and draw from him light, comfort and joy as we journey to the Father.

On this occasion We recall also the inspired words of the blessed Apostle Peter, who did not hesitate to remind us of our insufficiency before the treasury of God’s revelation (Cfr. 2 Petr. 1, 20). In his merciful goodness God has given us another gift to help us to discover him. It is the magisterium of the Church-an office placed at the service of God’s Word (Cfr. Dei Verbum DV 10) and at the service of his People. This magisterium of the Church has the task of authentically interpreting the Word of God, whether written or handed down-the one sacred deposit committed to the Church. The authority of this teaching office is exercised in the name of Jesus Christ and with the help of his Spirit.

We exhort you then in the Lord to live the Word of God, having a firm grasp on its unchanging message (Cfr. Tit Tt 1,9).

We pray that these days of prayer and work and close association at Rocca di Papa may be happy and beneficial for all of you. We are confident that through your generous partnership in the Gospel the “Lord’s message may spread quickly and be received with honour” (2Th 3,1) in your respective communities and countries.

As We assure you of our affection in Christ Jesus We invoke upon you his peace and love and impart to you Our special Apostolic Blessing.

Speeches 1971