Pope Paul VI's Apostolic Visit to Australia
30th - 3rd December 1970
Venerable Pope Paul VI visited Australia during his last apostolic pilgrimage, on which he also visited Iran, Pakistan, the Philippines, West Samoa, Australia, Indonesia, Hong Kong & Sri Lanka (then named Ceylon).
All 4 days of Pope Paul VI's visit to Australia were spent in Sydney. On 30 November 1970, following the welcome ceremony and an address with the Lord Mayor, the Holy Father celebrated Mass in St Mary's Cathedral. Day 2 began with meetings with participants of the Episcopal Conference, and with priests, before addressing the Diplomatic Corps. Papa Paolo VI also spoke with members of the National Catholic Organizations before ending the day with Mass at the "Randwick" Hippodrome. Wednesday 2nd December began with Mass with young Australians, followed by meetings with members of the administration of North Sydney, members of the Australian Council of Churches, & promoters of human and social activities. On the final day the Holy Father ordained the first Bishop born in New Guinea, before bidding a fond farewell from Sydney.
Pope Paul VI's Address at the Welcome Ceremony
Airport of Sydney, Monday 30 November 1970 - in English & Italian
"In accordance with Our programme, We are making your city the second long stopping point on Our journey on this side of the world. In greeting Australia with all Our heart and expressing Our good wishes for a happy celebration of the second centenary of Captain James Cook’s expedition in this area, We wish also to display for the whole of Oceania Our feelings of esteem, concern and affection.
We are happy to present Our respectful greetings to the eminent personalities present: the Governor-General who represents Her Majesty the Queen, and the representatives of the Commonwealth Government, the Government of the State of New South Wales, and the City of Sydney.
We have special joy in greeting the members of the episcopate of Australia, New Zealand, Papua-New Guinea and the Islands of the Pacific; they have come to welcome Us under the leadership of the worthy President of the Australian Episcopal Conference, Our venerable brother, Cardinal Gilroy, Archbishop of Sydney. In the performance of Our duty, We have come here first and foremost to meet Our brothers in the episcopate who live in this part of the world, in order to show them how concerned We are to share in their pastoral responsibility.
This meeting offers Us the long-awaited occasion for making personal contact also with the whole of the Australian Catholic community, which is so dynamic and so dear to Us. We express Our paternal affection for them. Let all the Catholics of Australia know that the Pope prays for them, that he follows the progress they make in faith and charity, in being witnesses among their brothers to the love of Christ for all men without distinction.
To all the inhabitants of this continent We express Our friendship. We greet in a special way Our brothers of the Christian Churches. Like us, they turn their gaze towards Christ. May God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ grant them peace, love and faith (Cfr. Eph. 6: 23).
To all We wish peace: the peace of a conscience delivered from evil, and concord within families and among social groups. Christ, whose Gospel is a Gospel of peace (Eph. 6: 15), commands us to diffuse without ceasing his message; he invites men to dedicate themselves to establish those conditions which will assure to all that stability in peace on which everything else depends.
May God bless Australia and bless you all in your worthy undertakings."
"My Lord Mayor,
We are happy to thank you for your thoughtful words of welcome in the name of the great city of Sydney. We thank you with all Our heart for the hospitality so kindly offered Us by your city. It permits Us to join in the celebration of the bicentenary of the exploration of your region by Captain James Cook, and at the same time to hold a meeting similar to the one just held in Manila. The aim of this meeting is to join with those in authority in the Catholic Church of this great country in seeking the best way of responding to Our call to serve and advance man by the proclamation of the Gospel.
We are impressed by the size of your capital, so full of activity, and so dynamic in the cultural field as well as in the fields of industry and commerce. We have no difficulty in imagining the many questions that face the administration of a city of this size. We can see clearly that it is a matter of satisfying the material needs of a very diverse community, of dealing with the demands of continual growth, and of ensuring housing, food, employment and education for all.
It is also a matter of answering the questions of a profoundly changing civilization. New needs appear, sometimes indeed artificial ones; education grows in extent and diversity; business calls for ever sterner measures to meet competition; the way of life of the individual, the family and society is evolving rapidly. All of us, including the churches, are involved in the birth of a new world.
We must all take care that the forward movement does not degenerate into a headlong rush. We must see to it that enthusiasm for the future does not give rise to contempt for the past. Desire for material goods must neither harden our hearts nor make us underrate spiritual values. In the final analysis, it is a question of guaranteeing the conditions for genuine progress, that is, truly human progress. Allow Us to assure you, you and your illustrious collaborators, of Our full esteem for the exemplary zeal which you bring to the fulfilling of your noble functions, and of Our admiration for your concern to exercise your service in a manner which ensures fairness for all. Please accept also Our warm encouragement.
We pray that concord, prosperity and a worthy manner of living may ever reign in the city of Sydney. We wish that this great city’s renown may be upheld from all points of view, and that those who live in it may be distinguished no less for their moral and religious stature than for their energy in work and their spirit of initiative. With these wishes, We invoke upon yourselves, your families, and your fellow citizens, abundant blessings from God."
Papa Paolo VI's Homily at Mass in St Mary's Cathedral
Sydney, Monday 30 November 1970 - in English & Italian
"«Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ» (2 Thess. 1: 2). We make Our own the greeting of the apostle, and We say it to you with all Our heart. We are filled with jay and wonder. It is no dream that We are here, in Australia, in Sydney, among you, for you. Perhaps in all the Church’s history we cannot easily find a meeting like this, a greeting like this. We must go back to the most significant moments of ecclesial communion to find an intensity of sentiments and a richness of thought such as fill our minds and hearts in the exchange of this first greeting.
We greet you Our venerable brother, Cardinal Norman Thomas Gilroy, Archbishop of this illustrious and flourishing Church. You are known to Us and dear to Us for many a year. We welcomed you with a great number of Australian pilgrims in Milan, when We were the pastor of that ancient and blessed Church of Saint Ambrose and Saint Charles. Now We are happy to return your visit and to bring you and your beloved Church the blessings of those holy and great bishops and the precious blessings of the Roman apostles, Peter and Paul.
We greet you, most worthy and dear brother bishops of this immense continent, of New Zealand and of Oceania. We greet you, priests, religious and laity of this chosen portion of the Catholic Church. We greet you all, every one. To each and every one of you We give at this moment Our heart, Our good wishes, and Our blessing.
To Our lips come the words of the psalm: «How good, how delightful it is, brothers dwelling in unity» (Ps. 132: 1). For We feel that We are surrounded by brothers and sons; We feel that We are among friends, as if our acquaintance were an old and longstanding one. We feel Ourself no stranger among you, and We are happy to savour in sense and spirit this union with you. You must know that this is the purpose of Our journey: to experience, consolidate and celebrate in Christ the unity of our Church. This feeling of unity which touches our hearts is something wonderful and singular; it should cause us to relish and meditate upon «the joy of being a Catholic» (Mgr M. Besson). It is a feeling that holds within it an identity of faith, a marvellous harmony of spirit, and ‘still more, a communion of charity, indeed a mysterious presence, that of Christ, he in whose name we are gathered here together (Cfr. Matth. 18: 20).
We wish joyfully to profit from these days of union with you as a grace from the Lord. We thank you for your welcome, so full of the Christian kindness such as is found in a family, and We bless you every one."
Paul VI's Address to the participants in the Episcopal Conference
Sydney, Tuesday 1 December 1970 - in English, Italian & Portuguese
"We have come among you not only to talk to you, but also, and especially, to listen to you. And gladly We have listened to you, devoting Our attention to the conclusions of your assembly. It will be, moreover, a pleasant duty for Us to recall your discourses and reflect on your discussions and deliberations, storing up for Ourself and for the whole Church your experience and wisdom, in relation both to the Church’s doctrine and her pastoral guidance; and so We abstain now from commenting on the themes which you have dealt with in your meeting.
We do not, however, wish to deprive Ourself of the pleasure, or release Ourself from the duty, of saying a fraternal word to you on so exceptional and favourable an occasion. Thus We return to the theme of unity within the Church and the unity of the Church. This very encounter is a celebration of this external distinguishing mark of the Church of Christ; it likewise celebrates the internal mystical characteristic of the same Church of Christ, which he founded in unity, manifesting in a supremely clear way his wish «that they may be one» (Io. 17: 11, 21-23).
Let us reflect together a moment on unity in the Church. We shall do well to consider how much theological thought was given to this theme down the centuries: from the unforgettable and prophetic words of the «Didache» (Cfr. Didache, 9: 4; 10: 5), and of the letters of Saint Ignatius of Antioch (Cfr. Philad. 4; Eph. 20: 2 ; Smyrn. 1: 2; etc.), to the treatise of Saint Cyprian (De Catholicae Ecclesiae Unitate) to the thought of Saint Ambrose (Cfr. Eph. 11: 4; PL. 16: 986), of Saint Augustine especially, of Saint Leo, and to the great theologians of the Middle Ages (Cfr. S. TH. 11: 8) and of the Renascence (Cfr. Cajetan, Bellarmine, Suarez, etc.), and down to the modern writers (Cfr. J. Adam Moehler in particular, Newman, Scheeben, Perrone, Clarissac, Congar, Hamer, Cardinal Journet in his great synthesis on L’Eglise du Verbe Incarné), and finally to the post-conciliar theologians (Cfr., among the many, Philips, etc.). We must not forget the great encyclical Mystici Corporis of Pope Pius XII. And we must always keep before us the documents of the Second Vatican Council, in particular the two constitutions Lumen gentium and Gaudium et spes, in which the Church’s doctrinal awareness of herself and of her historical and concrete position in the modern world is expressed in an incomparable manner.
We permit Ourself to remind you of this great cultural fact of the Church of today, on account of its first-rank importance for ecclesial life, and on account of the obligation springing from it for us bishops, witnesses of the faith and shepherds of the People of God-the obligation to take up a secure position on the teaching concerning the Church, and especially on her unity. It is her unity which must give to the Church’s countenance her divinity - reflected radiance, the sign of her authenticity and her symbolic exemplarity also for the contemporary world which is orientated towards temporal unification in a peaceful civilization.
It is for you, venerable brothers, to accept this obvious recommendation and to pursue in depth a study so attractive, so vast, so complex as is that of our dearly loved Catholic Church, for which Christ shed his blood (Cfr. Eph. 5: 25).
It is for Us, on the other hand, barely to touch on two aspects of this intimate communion of the Church within herself.
The first communion, the first unity, is that of faith.
Unity in faith is necessary and fundamental, as you know. On this demand there can be no compromise. No matter how different are the subjective conditions of the believer, we cannot admit uncertainly, doubt or ambiguity concerning the supreme gift, which Revelation has given us, about God the Father, the almighty, Creator of all things, the immanent Principle of all that exists, the transcendental and inexpressible Being, worthy of unlimited adoration and love on the part of us who have the indescribable good fortune to be raised from the level of creatures to that of children of God. Likewise we can have no hesitation about recognizing in Jesus Christ the Word made man, the Teacher of supreme truths about man’s destinies, the sacrificed and risen Saviour of mankind, the head under whom everything is brought together (Cfr. Eph. 1: 10), and the one who by his Cross draws all men to himself (Io. 12: 32) and makes of men who are faithful one mystical Body (Cfr. Eph. 4: 4). We can have no doubts about the Holy Spirit, who gives life and bears witness of himself within our hearts (Cfr. Io. 15: 26; 16: 13; Rom. 8: 16; etc.), and who gives the Church qualified ministers for decisive witness on religious truths (Cfr. 2 Cor. 10: 5-6). We cannot prescind from the great reality emanating from Christ, his continuation, his social and historical Body, visible and mystical, his Church, the sign and instrument for the salvation of mankind. In this regard we cannot forget the lapidary words of Saint Augustine: «The Christian has nothing to fear so much as being separated from the body of Christ» (In Io. Tr. 27: 6; PL 35: 1618). In a word, the Creed, our Creed, is for us inalienable. It is our riches. It is our life. With this security - for the confirming of which, as Peter’s humble but authentic successor, we have been given special power by Christ the Lord (Luc. 22: 32)-We look at the human reality of Catholicism. By its very definition, it is for all men, for all races, for all nations, for all the earth.
How can Catholicism, so firm and so jealous about its unity, embrace all men, who are so different from each other? Does it perhaps demand absolute uniformity in all manifestations of life? Is there perhaps only one practical and historical way of interpreting the true and unique faith of Christ?
You know, brothers, how easy and clear is the answer to this disturbing question. It was given by the Holy Spirit himself on the day of Pentecost, when those who had been filled by the divine outpouring sent from heaven by Christ in fire and in wind began to speak foreign languages so that each elf their listeners heard them «in his own native language» (Act. 2: 6), although they belonged to different races. Then too the reply is given by the recent Council, amply and repeatedly, especially in the now famous Decree Ad gentes, where the unity which marks Catholicism is shown in harmony with its apostolicity. Far from smothering what is good and original in every form of human culture it accepts, respects and puts to use the genius of each people, endowing with variety and beauty the one seamless garment (Io. 19: 23) of the Church of Christ (Cfr. Ps. 44: 10; Ad gentes, 22; etc.).
So, one may ask, is «pluralism» admitted? Yes, but the significance of this word must be well understood. It must on no account contradict the substantial unity of Christianity (Cfr. Eph. 4: 3-6). You are acquainted with some dangers that lie hidden in pluralism. These occur when it is not limited to the contingent forms of religious life, but presumes to authorize individual and arbitrary interpretations of Catholic dogma, or to set up as a criterion of truth the popular mentality, or to prescind in theological study from authentic tradition and from the responsible magisterium of the Church.
The second aspect of the Catholic communion is that of charity. You know what supreme importance charity has in the whole of the divine design of the Catholic religion, and what particular place charity has in the connecting fabric of ecclesial unity. We must practice in its ecclesial aspects, which the Council has emphasized, a more conscious and active charity. The People of God must accordingly be progressively educated in mutual love for each of its members; the whole community of the Church must by means of charity feel itself united within itself, undivided, living in solidarity and therefore distinct (Cfr. 1 Cor. 1: 10; 12: 25-26; 2 Cor. 6: 14-18). Hierarchical relationships, pastoral ones (as is well known), collegial relationships, those between different ministerial functions, social ones, domestic ones-all must have running through them an ever active stream of charity, having for its immediate effects service-that is, self-sacrifice and self-giving-and unity.
The Church is charity; the Church is unity. This, it seems to us, is the principal virtue demanded of the Catholic Church at this moment of history, for it is a time that is spiritually very disturbed, to the point of inspiring fear of great and ruinous upheavals. The Church will be solid and strong if she is united within herself in faith and by charity. Many ask what must the Church do to draw close to her the hostile and unbelieving world. Unity in faith and love will be the witness which will have a salutary action on the world, in accordance with the word which Jesus left to us (Io. 17: 21).
This, venerable brothers, is the message which We leave you in the name of Christ in memory of this encounter: «that all may be one». With Our fraternal Apostolic Blessing."
"Among the many satisfactions We encounter in the course of Our journeys, one of the greatest is to be able to greet the members of the clergy, Our brothers in the priesthood. It is not Our intention to make a speech to you, but simply to speak with you in words that come straight from Our heart.
As the Council says, priests fulfil «in the renewal of Christ’s Church a role of the greatest importance and of ever - increasing difficulty» (Presbyterorum ordinis, 1). Did you not receive this particular mission of sacred service of the Gospel-the mission of proclaiming it to all nations (Cfr. ibid. 28: 19), and of sanctifying the People of God-as a share in the very function of the Apostles, in subordination to the order of bishops? (Cfr. Presbyterorum ordinis, 2) We are well aware of the zeal of the Australian clergy; We appreciate the Christian spirit which has greeted Us today and which bears witness to the faith which you have shared. We earnestly hope that in spite of the discussions which today surround the person and office of the priest, you will remain ever firm in the joy of your vocation. This joy does not have its source in material comforts or in human prestige - if such still exists-it comes rather from having a share in the special friendship of Jesus Christ (Cfr. Io. 15: 16).
Dear brothers, be men of God, proclaiming by your whole conduct the primacy of the supernatural, the uprightness of your faith, the whole-heartedness of your self-giving to the Lord. It is freely that you have offered your whole being to Christ so as to bring to the world the message of salvation.
You are aware that this service of the Gospel can only be understood and lived in faith, prayer, penance and love; you know that it involves struggles and mortification and at times even misunderstanding. We urge you to hold fast with faith and generosity to all these commitments which conform you to the image of Christ the Priest (Cfr. Letter to the Cardinal Secretary of State, 2 February 1970; A.A.S. 1970, II, 29 February 1970).
Be also servants of all your fellowmen, without distinction of origin or rank, servants of those who are near as of those who are far, of those who search and of those who suffer; and as shining witnesses to the liberation brought by Christ accept and satisfy their longings.
Be also men of the Church. The Church cannot be separated from Jesus Christ; she is the Body of Christ. It is in the Church, with the Church and for the Church that your spiritual life will develop fully and that your ministry will be fruitful, for it is through her that the life of Christ is given to the faithful (Cfr. Lumen gentium, 7). Be therefore one with your bishops, not only in the observance of a hierarchical bond, but by a genuine attachment of mind and heart, as to the representative of Christ the supreme Shepherd (Cfr. Presbyterorum ordinis, 7).
We pray that God may grant Australia holy priests, that he may call many young men to join their numbers and that he may make their love equal to the greatness of the needs of the entire Church.
With special affection, We impart to you Our Apostolic Blessing."
Pope Paul VI's Address to the Diplomatic Corps
Sydney, Tuesday 1 December 1970 - in French, Italian & Spanish
La rencontre dont vous Nous fournissez l’occasion est toujours pour Nous l’une des joies de Nos voyages à travers le monde. En un instant, c’est presque la terre entière, en la personne de ses représentants les plus choisis, qui s’offre à Nos yeux. Nous présentons à vos personnes et à vos peuples respectifs Notre salut respectueux avec Nos voeux de prospérité.
Notre séjour en Australie tend déjà vers san fin et Nous Nous félicitons d’avoir voulu ce long déplacement pour mieux répondre à Notre charge apostolique, par laquelle Nous sommes investi du souci de toutes les Eglises. Dans un esprit de communion et de partage de responsabilité, Nous avons ici, comme l’autre jour à Manile, étudié avec les évêques de cette immense région du monde, cherchant ensemble comment porter aujourd’hui la parole éternelle de Dieu à l’homme contemporain. L’objectif de ce voyage est d’ordre spirituel, mais c’est avec joie que Nous prenons également contact avec les Gouvernements et les Autorités locales pour les assurer de Notre loyal dévouement et pour leur exprimer Notre reconnaissance de leur hospitalité si cordiale. Nous y puisons un grand encouragement à poursuivre Notre mission au service de tous les hommes et à répéter Notre appel aux croyants pour que, portés par le dynamisme de leur foi, ils travaillent, en fraternelle collaboration avec les hommes de bonne volonté, au renouvellement de l’ordre temporel (Cfr. Apostolicam actuositatem, 5).
Votre mission, Messieurs, s’apparente de bien des manières à la Nôtre, parce que vous travaillez pour la cause de l’ordre international et du progrès pacifique des Peuples. Vous engageant dans cet effort général de concertation si nécessaire au monde d’aujourd’hui: concertation pour établir les conditions d’une paix juste; pour jeter les bases d’une société solidaire où le riche aide le pauvre, où le puissant soutient le faible.
Nous prions Dieu de vous aider dans cette fonction si éminente et si lourde de responsabilité, pour que, malgré lenteurs et tentations d’impatiences, grandisse chez les hommes la conscience qu’ils sont tous frères et fils du même Père qui est dans les Cieux. Avec ce vœu, Nous implorons sur vos personnes et vos pays respectifs l’abondance de la bénédiction divine."
Paul VI's words to members of the National Catholic Organizations
Sydney, Tuesday 1 December 1970 - in English & Italian
"Dear Sons and Daughters,
At the Second Vatican Council the members of the laity have seen their place in the Church solemnly recognized in a new way. While it is true that, in accordance with Christ’s call, certain people fulfil within the Church special functions of ministry, teaching and government, all Christians are recognized to be equal «in regard to the dignity and activity common to all the faithful for the building up of the Body of Christ». All share responsibility for the progress of the kingdom of God (Lumen gentium, 32-33). It is therefore a mistake to separate on the one hand an active category, the ecclesiastical authority, and on the other a passive category, the laity. You who direct the National Catholic Organizations have understood this well, and We congratulate you for it.
Your activities are many-sided and diverse, and this reflects very well the richness of the gifts of the Holy Spirit, distributed to each one according as he chooses (Cfr. 1 Cor. 12: 11). To all your organizations We wish prosperity and apostolic fruitfulness, whether their aim be personal consecration or the active spreading of the Gospel, charitable activity of the working for the renewal of the temporal order. The fields are vast and there is room for a generous response from everyone who wishes to live fully his baptismal commitment and the graces of his state.
It is not possible for Us to tell you at this moment everything that is in Our heart. Allow Us simply to draw your attention to two points.
It is Our earnest wish that your organizations - those at least whose aims and recruitment allow it -should open their doors to youth. Theirs is the age of dynamism. Young people realize the value of dedication for others; they are instinctively drawn to teamwork provided they do not feel that they are being used but rather that they are taking a real part in the work in which they are invited to collaborate.
Although the Church’s aims are spiritual, she has a true moral responsibility in secular matters. To her belongs preeminently the task of forming consciences for the sake of the integral perfection, even in the temporal order, of every man and of the whole man (Cfr. Populorum progressio, 42).
The family apostolate, social action, Christian commitment in civic and political life, the giving of that aid so badly needed by the Third World-all these are spheres for the laity’s activity. Is it not your special vocation to seek the Kingdom of God precisely through the ordered management elf temporal things, in accordance with God’s plan? It is Our hope that there may arise apostles who -animated by the Gospel spirit - will provide the ferment necessary for the consecration of the world (Cfr. Lumen gentium, 31).
In expressing these wishes We are happy to invoke upon you and upon the members of your organizations the blessing of God."
Papa Paolo VI's Homily at Mass at Randwick Hippodrome
Sydney, Tuesday 1 December 1970 - in English & Italian
"Beloved Sons and Daughters,
Two centuries ago Captain James Cook cast anchor in Botany Bay, close to what is now Sydney. He was the first English navigator to explore the east coast of your continent. That is the event which your nation is celebrating this years, and We have wished on the occasion of this journey to associate Ourself with your prayer of thanksgiving.
Australia was already inhabited at that time, and We are pleased to greet the representatives of those inhabitants, and to express the wish that, in the midst of the great convergence of peoples witnessed by you, all may ever find the means of safeguarding their human values and may succeed in integrating themselves ever more fully in the nation.
But this celebration makes Us realize how young this country is for the majority of you. Are you perhaps for that reason people who entertain no cult of the past? Perhaps your pride in having built a prosperous Australia is enough for you? Your characteristic dynamism, which manifests itself both in the great buildings that spring up here and in this great city’s animation, makes you turn your eyes rather to the future; and that future, to judge by the normal course of things, is a very hopeful one.
Nevertheless, if we meditate on the event we are commemorating, the starting point of Australia’s complete transformation, we can receive some enlightenment for our historical, civic, moral and religious awareness.
1. Every man, as well as every society, has a history. You are representatives here of an original people, the result of the meeting of men of very different nations, languages and civilizations. You know well that your vitality, your zest for work and your spirit of enterprise are the living heritage left to you by the pioneering spirit of your forefathers. That is why we cannot consider history as a blind process of chance happenings. God is the Master of history. Jesus Christ, «the same today as he was yesterday and as he will be for ever» (Hebr. 13: 8) «the focal point of the longings of history and of civilization» (Gaudium et spes, 45), out of love for man arranges the movements of history for the progress of mankind and with a view to «the new heavens and new earth», where justice will be complete (Cfr. 2 Petr. 3: 13 and Apoc. 21: l).
2. In its turn, is not the civic spirit which is so noticeable in your country rooted in your past? Was it not each man’s deeply felt awareness that he was sharing in the building of a new land that stirred up in your fathers and in yourselves respect for democratic freedoms? In your country, each citizen, in spite of differences of duties and personal reactions, is aware of a common good that goes beyond himself. He accepts it and works for it. Continue along that line. Do not close your limited circle for the sake of a selfish satisfaction. Live the words of Saint Peter: «You are slaves of no one except God, so behave like free men, and never use your freedom as an excuse for wickedness» (Petr. 2: 16. ).
3. Your moral and religious spirit stands at the summit. The temptation to be satisfied when material needs are fulfilled is one that confronts societies that reach your standard of living. There is the danger of reducing everything to an earthly humanism, to forget life’s moral and spiritual dimension, and to stop caring about man’s necessary relationship with the Creator of all his goods and the supreme Legislator on their use. Then what emptiness there is in the human heart! What a temptation there is to fill its place with counterfeits, some elf which, such as self-centredness, hedonism, eroticism and many others, lead in the end to contempt for man, and do not, for all that, satisfy his profound restlessness. Man’s heart is made for God, and there is no full humanism but in his service (Cfr. Populorum progressio, 42).
We call on all who bear responsibility in your nation, at all levels and in all fields, to take advantage of this occasion for an examination of conscience. Parents, teachers, those engaged in the communications media, legislators, men in public life-it is not enough to bring people to personal success; their minds and hearts must be opened to their social and religious duties. Each man is today more than ever answerable for all mankind. Do not the satisfaction of religious aspirations and a life lived in accord with the Gospel offer the surest guarantee your wonderful nation and the world can have of a society of brothers through the discovery of having a common Father in God?
May God bless the great Australian nation. May he grant it peace and prosperity."
Papa Paul VI's Homily at Mass with Young People
Sydney, Wednesday 2 December 1970 - in English & Italian
"Dear Sons and Daughters,
It was our wish to include in the programme of Our meetings this special contact with your world: that of the young people of Australia. It was not that you are not a part of the Catholic community-of course you are, since you share in the one baptism and the one faith (Eph. 4: 5). But it seemed to Us that within this people, itself so young, you are the young amid the young, and you have a right to a special message.
We would like you to see this talk as a sign of the special liking the Church has for youth. It is not that the Church feels old and looks for support in the strength of the young and vigorous. Certainly she can be glad of her long history, and the rich experience she has gained from contact with many generations of all races and cultures. We do not think that this is any hindrance to her taking an interest in the rising generation of today, or seeking their support. Her reason for existence and her justification is to extend the presence of Jesus Christ among men, to spread his Word and to communicate his life. Did Christ not call himself «the Way, the Truth and the Life»? (Io. 14: 6) Is he not the Light for all men? (Io. 1: 9) He is the new and perfect man, eternally young because he has mastery over the changing events of time. In our time just as in the first ages of Christianity he is the one who fully reveals man to himself and makes it possible for man to be completely fulfilled. The Council rightly called Christ «the goal of human history, the focal point of the longings of history and of civilization, the centre of the human race, the joy of every heart, and the answer to all its yearnings» (Gaudium et spes, 45).
The Church’s mission is directly related to Christ’s will to go towards each person, in order to help him fully to develop his inmost being in accordance with his talents, and in order to raise him up and save him by making him a son of God. It is from Christ that the Church receives a power beyond that of any merely human society, the power to be the full answer for your young hearts; for she is «the real youth of the world» (The Council’s Message to Youth, 8 December 1965). She renews herself unceasingly, offering each new generation and each new people the good news which saves them, as she draws from the infinite treasure of the Word of God the answer to the most puzzling situations.
That is why the Church comes to you in complete honesty and simplicity. She knows what values you possess-your enthusiasm for the future, your strength in numbers, your thirst for what is just and true and your aversion for hatred and its worst expression which is war, even your rejection of the out-of-date elements in present-day civilization. God placed these virtues in you so that you might meet a new situation with a new attitude. He who created life, he who wished by his Incarnation to share fully-except for sin-in our human condition, has likewise the ability to make human history go forward towards its goal. He can save this world from division and chaos by leading it, with the free cooperation of each individual, towards the wonderful destiny of the Kingdom of God.
There is an intimate connection, dear young people, between your faith and your life. In the very dissatisfaction that torments you and in your criticism of that society-which today is rightly called a «permissive society» - there is a ray of light.
In that society there are unfortunately every day more aggressive acts, new attitudes and behaviour patterns which are not Christian. When you denounce them and ask that society eliminate them and replace them with values authentically based on real justice, real sincerity, real moral rectitude and real brotherhood, you are indeed right. You have not only approbation but the full support of the Church.
But be attentive to the manner in which you treat this matter and make this effort, for if you turn back on yourselves, if you set yourselves up as supreme judges of your truth, if you reject the past wholesale - that is to say, if you reject what has been built up by the efforts of representatives of the same human race to which you belong, people with fundamentally the same qualities and defects -then the world of tomorrow will not be noticeably better, even if it is different; the root of the trouble will not have been extirpated: namely, man’s pride. «Man can organize the world apart from God», We said in Our encyclical Populorum progressio, «but without God man can organize it in the end only to man’s detriment. An isolated humanism is an inhuman humanism» (Populorum progressio, 42).
If on the other hand you agree to encounter the one who more than all others gave proof of his love for man by delivering himself up to death to save him, then you will light the flame of your ideals at the fire of his infinite love: in that case you will share in man’s advance towards the light. «For of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved» (Act . 4: 12).
That is your vocation, dear sons and daughters. That is where your duty lies. You must make the choice: you will be either for man with Jesus Christ, or against man. It is not a matter of a sentimental or superficial choice. It is a matter of your lives and those of others.
It is up to you, with the help of your parents, educators and friends, among yourselves and within organizations suited to your age and your studies, to deepen your knowledge and understanding of these realities of your faith. It must not be that your lives as young people should now depend on the light of the faith you had as children.
Besides, it is not a matter of you alone. It is a matter of all your brothers and sisters of Australia. It is a matter that goes beyond your frontiers; it is a matter of the world’s salvation. It was not as isolated individuals that God saved us; his plan for us was to form a united and peaceful people. You will find your happiness essentially in sharing it with others. There is no lack of opportunity to do so. They come from among your own numbers, from your companions in the same course. They come from your parishes, from the poor, from the sick. They come from beyond the seas, from the world which surrounds you and which is trying to find the real reasons of living.
With great fervour and affection we beg the Lord to enlighten those who doubt, to comfort those who suffer and to reveal himself to all of you. We pray that he who is so good and so close to each of you will give peace and joy to your hearts. With very deep affection We give Our special Apostolic Blessing to you who are gathered here and to all the youth of Australia."
Paul VI's Address to Members of the Administration of North Sydney
Sydney, Wednesday 2 December 1970 - in English & Italian
It is a pleasure for Us to meet here those in charge of the administration of North Sydney. We offer them Our respectful greetings, together with Our thanks for their welcome and Our good wishes for their welfare.
One of the distinguishing marks of your nation is its attachment to democratic liberty. We are glad to remark on it in order to felicitate you for it. Among you this liberty is able to unfold because there is another quality which favours it, namely, civic spirit. It is thanks to such values that a healthy and stable society can develop.
The field of competence of public authority tends today to extend continually because of the complexity of services required by modern life; it still has, however, for its aim to satisfy the demands of the common good. It must take into account, within a harmonious balance, the demands of life in society as well as of the rights of each individual, and at the same time respect the lawful liberties of each person-particularly his right to honour God according to the proper rule of his conscience. It is in the accomplishment of this delicate task that you are engaged with competence and zeal. We pray God to assist you with his grace.
Very willingly do We call down upon you and your families, your staff and all under your administration abundant blessings from the Almighty."
Paul VI's Address to Members of the Australian Council of Churches
Sydney, Wednesday 2 December 1970 - in English & Italian
"Dear Brothers in Christ,
It is with great joy that We join you on this happy and significant occasion. We are grateful to you, Bishop Garnsey, to the Australian Council of Churches, to the Catholic national commission on ecumenism and to all who have worked to arrange this service of prayer.
We who gather here share a faith in the same God and his Son Jesus Christ. We come together in his Name, and has he not promised that he will be in our midst? (Cfr. Matth. 18: 19)
Jesus died «to gather together in unity the scattered children of God» (Io. 11: 52). And because unity is not yet realized fully among us, we want to associate ourselves in a special way this evening with the prayer Our Lord made for his followers, «May they all be one, Father . . . so that the world may believe . . .» (Io. 17: 21).
You know well how the Second Vatican Council awakened in the Catholic Church a new awareness of the bonds already existing between Christians who share the riches of Christ through faith and baptism. Many of you who do not belong to the visible fellowship of the Roman Catholic Church also found new encouragement in that ecumenical zeal generated by the Council.
But in these days it is clear that ecumenical work is a continuing and costly task. It demands honest facing of the fact «that in content, development and expression of faith . . . there exist certain differences» (Secretariat for Promoting Christian Unity, 18 September 1970, Reflections and Suggestions concerning Ecumenical Dialogue IV, 2(b)), that doctrinal indifferentism is to be rejected (Ibid., IV, 2(a)), and at the same time that «confessional triumphalism or the appearance of it» (Ibid., IV, 6) must be avoided. History cannot be written off overnight, and the honest hesitations of sensitive consciences always demand our respect and understanding. There is no easy way. The reconciling work of our Lord was achieved through suffering and the Cross. The unity which the ecumenical movement strives to serve has to be bought at a similar price.
Because bonds of unity exist between Christians, it is possible to act together as well as to speak together. Through such efforts undertaken by Christians the world is better able to see the countenance of him «who emptied himself to assume the condition of a slave» (Phil., 2: 7). This is our common calling, to glorify the Father through his Son, by bringing to the world evidence of the redeeming love with which God has enfolded the world from the beginning.
We rejoice to be with you, dear brothers, on this occasion when you have gathered to renew your intention of continuing on the ecumenical way, «to seek in order to find, to find in order to seek still further» (S. AUG., De Trinitate, XV: 2; PL 42: 1057). May God bless us all and lead us «to a deeper realization and clearer expression of the unfathomable riches of Christ» (Unitatis redintegratio, 11)."
Pope Paul VI's Address to Promoters of human & social activities
Sydney, Wednesday 2 December 1970 - in English & Italian
"We have made a special point of briefly visiting your institute since it is the first congregation founded in Australia by a person born in Australia. But it is to all teaching Religious that We direct Our greeting while expressing Our esteem for their apostolate and Our deep desire to encourage them in the fulfilment of their vocation as teachers.
We likewise wish to associate with Our greeting your lay co-workers. Their numbers have continually grown, so that they can bring to realization with great success the precious work of education. This encounter-all too short-is not in proportion to the attachment We feel for the cause of the Catholic school, for the Christian education of youth, and for the ever-evolving world of teaching, whether it concerns the communication of secular culture or catechetical instructions. The Catholic school has a particular importance in a secularized world; for the witness given therein is that of consecrated persons who, while having made a radical choice for the kingdom of God, are able with competence to be at the service of the world’s progress. We hope that you will not let yourselves be assailed by doubt. Those who serve the Catholic school are still-and, We would say, today more than ever before-great collaborators in the Church’s mission.
It is evident that the public authorities, particularly in this country, have responded remarkably to their duty of ensuring the exercise of each man’s right to education, and in this it is our duty to congratulate them. Does this mean that the preservation of Catholic schools is no longer worthwhile? Certainly not: to the extent that the Catholic school, within the context of the liberty so dear to your democratic society, makes possible a form elf instruction that is original in its educational value. The Council defined this distinctive character of Christian education when it stated that it has the special aim of creating for the school community an atmosphere enlivened by freedom and charity, of helping the adolescent to live in accordance with his commitments at baptism, and of bestowing a culture illumined by faith (Gravissimum educationis, 8).
We know the serious difficulties which you may meet in maintaining your institutions because of limited private resources at a time when progress calls for more and more costly investments in buildings and teaching materials. We believe that the benefits of the Catholic school are worthy of a special effort at all levels to ensure that it can go on being able to respond to the desires of the Church which promoted it, to the just concern of families for a Christian education for their children and to the technical demands of the State which it serves.
In this regard We are happy to note the cordial relations existing between the public authorities and the Catholic schools. We rejoice at the growing forms .of partnership being set up between Government schools and independent schools with greater benefit to the education of youth.
With all Our heart We invoke the blessing of God on yourselves, your institutes, on the whole body of Catholic teachers and on all of your students.
My dear boys and girls,
When we go on journeys round the world, We are always very happy to meet children like you. Yaw know how Jesus loved people of your age. He loved to have them round him to show them his affection. We have come to see you because We love you too. We wanted to come even more because you are ill. We know that you do not feel well, and We know that you do not like being away from your dear families and your homes. We pray that you will soon get better and be able joyfully to go back to the people you love.
Every child must remember that Jesus was once a child too. Jesus knew everything. But like the other children in Nazareth he wanted to have lessons from his mother, the Virgin Mary; he wanted also to learn a trade from Saint Joseph. Think about the home of Jesus and how God was pleased with it. How happy Mary and Joseph were to see the child Jesus getting on with his work, being the best friend of the other children and saying his prayers with all his heart. That is the example you must follow, children: Jesus is your model and your friend.
We also wish to say a word to the doctors, nurses and all the other people working in this hospital, to assure them of Our esteem and to encourage them to carry on with their admirable work. Christ is your model too, Christ who showed so much sympathy for the sick and infirm and all those afflicted by suffering.
To all of you here present, who in one way or another devote yourselves to the works of mercy, We say again how much importance the Church attaches to this form of charity (Cfr. Act. 8). It is especially through dealing with children and with those who are suffering or in need that we avoid the risk-that might possibly be incurred in a social system equipped with very advanced technical aids-of becoming callous.
God bless you, dear children. God bless those who look after you. God bless the people you love and those who love you. May God give courage to those who suffer, and brotherly love to those whom he calls to care for his little ones (Cfr. Matth. 25: 40).
We greet you, dear priests, with fatherly affection. You are not unaware of the great place that priests have in the heart of the Pope; with their bishops they are his closest collaborators in the work of salvation. We wish to express Our appreciation of the wonderful work accomplished here in building up this dynamic and generous community which is so attached to the teaching of the Church. You have sown, others reap, but it is always the same harvest with its one and only master, our Lord Jesus Christ.
If age or sickness has caused you to retire from the active ministry, you know that the exercise of your priesthood has not thereby substantially diminished; it has only changed in its expression. By your special conformity to Jesus Christ, you can, today as in the past, carry out his priestly function of praising the Father, through the celebration of Mass and the recitation of the Divine Office. You who are experiencing suffering are being brought close to your Divine Master and being united with him in his redemptive passion. It is, in fact, in Christ and through Christ that suffering has its meaning and finality; when we realize how to endure it patiently, it is transformed into «spiritual offerings, acceptable to God through Jesus Christ» (1 Petr. 2: 5; cfr. Lumen gentium, 34).
May God bring you comfort, dear brothers in the priesthood. After the example of so many saints who have suffered sickness, may he make of you missionaries of Oceania and of the whole of this earth. With paternal affection in Our heart, We impart to you Our Apostolic Blessing.
Beloved Sons and Daughters,
Our journey has brought Us here to meet you, and it is with joy that We greet you-you who have reached another stage in your lives. We a so wish to greet the Sisters who live here with you and help you, We know the devotedness they show throughout the world, and We are happy to express to them here Our great admiration and to bring them Our encouragement.
Dear friends, the 'third age' - as people have begun to call it - is for some people a break which they sometimes feel deeply. The rhythm of life has slowed down. The kind of work you used to do and which in some way has formed you has changed. You must not have in this period of your life a feeling of failure or disillusionment. Old age is truly a stage in life: it is the fulfilment of adult life.
For this technological world, in which the tendency is to consider man only with regard to what he produces, you are a salutary lesson. You teach that there is a dimension of life, made up of a human, cultural, social and spiritual values, whose worth cannot be measured in terms of money, yet it constitutes that which makes men and not machines. The worth of a civilization is measured by the attention it pays to these riches and, consequently, by the guarantees it offers aged persons to be able to live a fitting life as full members of society.
Old age is also the privileged age of freeing oneself from material cares. Your unique experience makes it possible for you to measure the proper value of earthly things. By bringing you close to the Lord in prayer and meditation and by strengthening you in your faith, it gives you the riches that do not pass away. It confers on you a remarkable sense of balance in the face of life as well as in the face of death, which is a meeting with the One who has loved us to the point of dying for us.
May God bless you all. May he comfort you when you suffer. May he help you in that spiritual ascent, in joy and trustfulness, to which we are all called.
We are happy to have a special meeting with you on the occasion of Our stay in Sydney. A certain number of you have taken part in this journey from its beginning. During these days We have seen you at your work, and We have noticed the fatigue and the sacrifices which it calls for. We express to you Our admiration and Our praise. Besides, We know that you do your task with willingness; public opinion expects it of you-pitilessly, We would say. You play an important role in regard to the great interest your readers and listeners have these days in religious events in the world. Even though you may not be aware of it, you really do contribute by the mere objectivity of your information to saving the man of today from the all too evident risk of being completely taken up with earthly things alone.
We extend a special greeting to the Australian press, whose members are so many and so dynamic. Their courtesy is a reflexion of that of the Australian people, in the midst of whom We are happy to find Ourself at this moment.
Today your dispatches, your films, your reports and your commentaries speed round the world in an instant. Among the many things said of the press along with the whole of the communications media is that it is World Power Number One. It is certainly difficult to measure its influence: millions of men, whole peoples are affected by your work-and soon it will be all mankind. What a wonderful mission it is for those who place their intelligence at the service of truth and right ! What a serious, a truly serious responsibility it is for those who abuse their power by supporting prejudices and dividing communities and nations, or who go so far as to turn this noble invention into an instrument of moral perversion.
You are endowed with an acute sensitiveness to the problems of your age. Hence you are not unacquainted with the aspirations of contemporary man, nor are you unmoved by the gulf that unfortunately exists between these desires and their satisfaction. Modern man has riches and many discoveries at his disposal, including those of mass media. Should he not be able to face up positively to his urgent duty of making this world a happy and fraternal one? Our predecessors and We, impelled by the Message which Christ entrusted to Us, have not ceased to encourage concern for others, international solidarity, and brotherhood of the human family-all in the service of development, which is «the new name for peace». These are the key to our human and spiritual destiny. Man knows happiness only when he shares it; he cannot bring his religious aspirations to fulfilment unless he has at least a minimum of well-being.
Here, friends, with confidence in your nobility of spirit and with esteem for your power, we turn to you to give this world of ours reasons for living.
At this moment when mankind as a whole is moving towards the attainment of culture, especially when the transistor brings the journalist’s voice into the humblest dwellings, you can be - you must be - the builders of a more just, true and peaceful society. It depends on you more than on many other powerful forces. Be assured that your voice will not be left without an echo. We have trust in man. We believe in the store of goodness in everyone’s heart. We know the motives of justice, truth, renewal, progress and brotherhood that lie at the root of so many wonderful undertakings, and even of so many protests and, unfortunately, of violence at times.
It is up to you not to flatter man but to make him aware of his worth and capabilities. Sow the seed of a true ideal, not the pursuit of selfish interests, which end up by lowering and at times degrading him. No, it must be an ideal to make him grow to his true stature as one created in the likeness of God, an ideal to drive him to surpass himself unceasingly, in order to build jointly the brotherly city to which all aspire and to which all have a right. In so doing, you will have the approval of good men, and you will be able to count on God’s protection.
The Catholic Church, especially since the fresh impulse of «aggiornamento» that sprang from the Council, is going out to encounter man-the same man whose service is your ambition. For «the joys and the hopes, the griefs and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these too are the joys and hopes, the griefs and anxieties elf the followers of Christ. Indeed, nothing genuinely human fails to raise an echo in their hearts» (Gaudium et spes, 1). Without being bound to any political system or any particular culture, ancient or recent (Cfr. Ibid., 58), the Catholic Church appeals to all its members to undertake, along with all men of goodwill from every race and nation, this peaceful crusade for the good of man. We hope that in that crusade we will all go forward together.
We invoke upon you and your work the all-powerful blessing of God our Father.
It is a real pleasure for us today to welcome in an especially cordial way you who are the descendants of Australia’s first inhabitants. As We express Our affection for you and Our happiness in having your visit, We wish also to say a brief word about your position in today’s world.
We know that you have a life style proper to your own ethnic genius or culture-a culture which the Church respects and which she does not in any way ask you to renounce.
The Church proclaims that you, like al1 other ethnic minorities, have all human and civic rights-in every way the equa1 of those in the majority. You have likewise certain duties and obligations. By reason of the common good, these necessitate the harmonizing of your activities in a spirit of brotherhood and collaboration for the benefit of the society to which you belong.
In this regard, however, it must be clear - and We would like to stress it - that the common good never can be used legitimately as a pretext to harm the positive values of your particular way of life. Society itself is enriched by the presence of different cultural and ethnic elements.
For Us, you and the values which you represent are precious. Me deeply respect your dignity and reiterate Our deep affection for you.
We pray that all the blessings of Christ’s uplifting Gospel may be yours in abundance.
We are happy to reply to your greeting and your welcoming wishes. We wish to express Our respect and esteem for your faith in a God who created man and the universe. As you know, the Catholic Church has wished, particularly during its recent Ecumenical Council, to enter into dialogue with the whole world, and especially with religious people-a dialogue making it possible for us to serve harmoniously all men without distinction of race, belief or opinion. The Church’s purpose in so doing is to promote peace and well-being, those blessings which Gold himself desires that men should have.
This is why We are so happy at this encounter. Rest assured that We will keep you in Our thoughts. We pray to God for you who have come here, for your families, for your country, and for all your dear ones.
We rejoiced when we learned how members of the Jewish community in Australia desired to be associated with the welcome being prepared for Us and that some took part in the work of organization itself. On the occasion of Our visit here We wish to recall a statement of the Second Vatican Council: «Since the spiritual patrimony common to Christians and Jews is thus so great, this sacred Synod wishes to foster and recommend that mutual understanding and respect which is the fruit above all of biblical and theological studies, and of brotherly dialogues» (Nostra aetate, 4). It is Our hope that understanding and respect will lead to esteem and love, and We assure the members of the Jewish community that We have all these feelings in Our heart for them.
We would need more time to give your group the attention which it truly deserves. We are very happy to meet you, you who represent here today the towns and cities of the great nation of Australia, the different colonies of those who have immigrated here and the Red Cross organization.
We have not seen very much of Australia, but in a way it is the whole of Australia that has come to Us in you. Please tell your fellow-citizens how touched the Pope has been by the warmth of your welcome. Please tell them that he wishes them success in the great task of building up this immense country. Let no one forget that upright conduct, both of individuals and of groups, must always be held in the highest esteem for its fundamental worth. It is the essential foundation of harmonious human society. It is the surest guarantee of genuine and lasting human progress.
To you who represent those who have immigrated here, We wish to say that We appreciate how painful it can be to have to leave behind one’s loved ones and one’s native land to go to a new country. Australia, thank God, has given you a warm welcome and for this We congratulate both the public authorities and the leaders of the Church. Without rejecting your own values, try to live in such a way that, by inserting yourselves into the society that has welcomed you, you may ensure for it that unity which is essential for the good of all. Stand fast by your religious convictions, and in this diverse society be the witnesses to the values found in the one Church of Jesus Christ, that Church which down the centuries has skilfully adopted the most different cultural resources and which has entered into the different civilizations in order to present the Christian message to the world (Cfr. Gaudium et spes, 58).
The Red Cross organization is one that We know very well. How many times has it exercised its beneficient activity and worked side by side with Our Caritas Internationalis and its national branches? In this world still tormented by wars and all too often the victim of natural disasters, the members of the Red Cross continue to provide their voluntary aid and their skilful work in the service of good. The Lord must surely bless a work so profoundly in accord with the Gospel spirit.
To you all We offer Our encouragement. May God bestow most powerful assistance upon those whom you represent.
We express Our profound gratitude to you for the joy you have given Us during Our stay in Sydney. We know what minute preparation and unremitting devotion were behind the faultless organization of the various meetings We have had. Thanks to you, it has been possible for Us during Our stay to come close to a people that is hospitable, dynamic, and united in its diversity. You have thus facilitated the realization of the spiritual aims of Our journey, enabling Us to bring to the greatest possible number of communities the message of joy and peace entrusted to Us by Jesus Christ.
May God reward you a hundredfold.
As a father We joyfully give you, your families and all who helped to make Our stay a success Our blessing.
To all of you assembled here outside the Cathedral We wish to express Our paternal affection and Our deep gratitude for all the manifestations of respect and of filial attachment to the humble successor of Saint Peter which have surrounded Us during Our stay among you.
In a special way We would like to thank those who have so freely and ably given their services to ensure that Our visit to Sydney would be carried out successfully.
We express to all of you Our good wishes for your happiness, your peace and your fidelity to your faith.
With these intentions We call down upon all of you gathered here and upon those who have not been able to come to meet Us an abundance of divine blessings."
Paul VI's Homily at the Ordination of the 1st Bishop born in New Guinea
Airport of Sydney, Thursday 3 December 1970 - in English & Italian
"Dear Sons and Daughters,
Our joy at being in your midst on this last day of Our stay in Australia is all the greater because Providence has given Us the opportunity to raise to the order of bishop, and so to that of a close collaborator as a successor of the apostles, a son of the mission lands in the immensity of Oceania. We ask you to join Us in thanking Almighty God for this.
What a unique occasion it is at the same time for a meditation on our missionary duty! Let us turn our thoughts once more to the great teaching on brotherly love that Jesus give on Holy Thursday evening. He calls it the «new commandment». It is the Gospel’s culminating point. Nothing, he tells us, is greater than love for one’s brothers, for it is first and foremost by its exercise that his disciples are known (Cfr. Io. 13: 33-35).
If we let our minds and hearts be opened to this new law, everything takes on a new aspect. For everything is illumined in a way until then unknown: not only our spiritual life and our contacts with our brothers, but all our activity, even what seems the least sacred. Love is light and strength. Love is communication. It was because of the driving force of love that the apostles went beyond. the borders of their own land and journeyed to the frontiers of the Roman Empire and doubtless even further.
The missionary mandate, «Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations» (Matth. 28: 19), is always relevant. Throughout the centuries Jesus Christ repeats to all classes of the baptized his missionary command: «As the Father sent me, so am I sending you» (Io. 20: 21). Our missionary duty finds its origin in this order. It finds its source in the merciful love of the Father for all mankind, without distinction of persons. «Hence, prompted by the Holy Spirit, the Church must walk the same road which Christ walked», and the Church means all of us, joined together like a body receiving its life-giving influence from the Lord Jesus (Cfr. Ad gentes, 5). God chose to rely on men to be the bearers of his Gospel, the stewards of his grace, and the builders of his Kingdom. Who can claim that this is no concern of his? Since there is a variety of conditions of life, and, consequently, different ways of giving a response, every member of the Church is reached by this call which is directed to each and every one. The whole Church is missionary, for her missionary activity, as the recent Council so forcibly reminded us, is an essential part of her vocation. To forget it or to carry it out carelessly would be, on our part, a betrayal of our Master. We are dealing with a fundamental impulse, a duty of the first order, one which we must all accept, without leaving any room for doubt or limitation.
In the course of this moving ceremony, in which for the first time a Christian of New Guinea ascends to the fulness of the priesthood, We find it easy to speak to you of the missions. Between Our stay in the Philippines and Our arrival in your country We have ourself been in an immense mission region beyond the borders of Australia. Measureless distances, numberless islands scattered over the ocean surface and many isolated peoples are waiting for the announcement of the Good News-what a call, on your very doorstep, brothers and sisters of Australia! Lift up your eyes and look at this vast harvest waiting for reapers to gather it in (Cfr. Io. 4: 35). Is it possible that your community, which has had the great good fortune to receive the grace of the Gospel, which has responded with fervour to the teaching of your priests, and which offers the world a noteworthy testimony elf faith, fidelity to doctrine, and generosity towards the upkeep of works of the apostolate-is it possible for it not to be at the same time a land of missionaries?
Young men and women listening to Us, do you not hear the call of the Lord urging you, launch out on to the deep and go to serve the poorest? You parents, so worthy of being held up as examples of so many domestic virtues, will you not share the most precious thing you have received, the gift of faith, by allowing your children to consecrate themselves to the pursuit of the very mission of Jesus Christ? Members of the parish clergy, and you the religious who serve the many schools and colleges throughout your great country, will you not hold up, as the great witness to Christian life, enrolment in the peaceful army of missionaries? It is the Pope who asks this of you, and he would like to take back from this meeting with you, which gives him so much comfort, the hope for a levy of volunteers for the God-given work of evangelization, a work so closely bound up with men’s aspirations for peace, truth, and brotherly love (Cfr. Ad gentes, 8). This is the work that reveals to men the one who is «the Way, the Truth and the Life» ( Io. 14: 6; 11: 25).
May God hear our prayer. May he fill your hearts with graces, and make them rich with a sharing in his love."
Pope Paul VI's Address at the Farewell Ceremony
Airport of Sydney, Monday 30 November 1970 - in English & Italian
"We do not wish to leave the hospitable soil of Australia without addressing to all a greeting filled with emotion and gratitude for the remarkable welcome given Us.
First of all We express Our warm gratitude to His Excellency the Governor-General, to the Prime Minister and to the members of the national Government; also to the State authorities and those of the City of Sydney. We thank them for their courtesy and the care they have taken to make Our stay a pleasant one. Let them be assured that their efforts were crowned with complete success.
We thank Our venerable brother, the Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney, and the bishops of the whole of Australia and of places much more distant for the very many marks of respectful attachment which they have shown to Our humble person. We wished Our journey to be of a spiritual order, and this memorable meeting has enabled Us to see for Ourself here the magnitude of the task to be accomplished and the apostolic energy which is being applied to ensure a successful outcome.
Our thanks go to the priests, the religious, and all Our dear Catholic children of Australia for the loving eagerness with which they expressed their filial affection for Us. Our thanks go to all whom We had the opportunity to meet, men and women, young and old. We take away with Us a grand memory deep in Our heart. Great strides have been made here in a remarkably short time towards a better understanding between believers of different religions. The atmosphere of freedom and mutual respect which is found in your country has been a comfort to Us; We would like it to be found everywhere else in a similar degree for the greater benefit of the peoples themselves.
The dynamism characteristic of young countries permeates your whole life. May God keep it fresh within you, so that you may be able to face up to al1 your responsibilities, both within and beyond your frontiers. The hour has come for the great fellowship of men with each other, and for the setting up of a United and fraternal World community.
We thank God for so fruitful a stay, and We invoke upon you his abundant blessings.