The Sacred Congregation for the Causes of the Saints as it worked in the Catholic Church prior to the dawning of the age of conciiarism with the “election” of the soon-to-be “Pope Saint John XXIIII” on October 28, 1958, had a very rigorous and demanding process prior to recommending that the Sovereign Pontiff beatify or canonize a candidate deemed worthy of being raised to the altars.
The process of canonization in the Catholic Church included a Promoter of the Cause and a Promoter Justice (the Devil’s Advocate). Every known aspect of a candidate’s life is examined and weighed according to the heroic virtues he demonstrated in the defense of the Holy Faith and as he fulfilled to the highest degree of perfection possible the duties required of him in his state-in-life for the honor and glory of God. Even candidates with carefully, meticulously verified miracles might not be advanced to beatification, or from there to canonization. The cardinals serving on the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of the Saints must make a judgment, based in prayer and keeping in mind the honor and glory of God and the good of Holy Mother Church, before deciding to vote “Placet” or “Non Placet.”
Admittedly, there are a number of variables that can go into promoting or hindering the cause of a particular candidate for beatification or canonization, some of which may at times be highly subjective. Nonetheless, however, a decree of canonization issued by a man one accepts as the true and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter is an infallible act of the Catholic Church from which no one, including the bishops, priests and laity of the Society of Saint Pius X may dissent.
Holy Mother Church has been very reticent to advance many of her true popes to the altars since the Edict of Milan in the year 313 A.D. and the end of the two hundred fifty-six year period of episode persecution, sometimes grotesquely vicious, by the Roman emperors and their minions. Although seventy-three, many of whom were martyred after the pattern of Saint Peter himself, out of one hundred nine popes were recognized as saints between the time of Saint Peter and that of Pope Saint Adrian III, who was elected in the year 884 A.D., only five who were elected thereafter have been canonized, the last two being Pope Saint Pius V and Pope Saint Pius X.
There is a reason why this is so.
To be the Universal Pastor of the true flock of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ requires a man to make careful, prudent decisions in matters of ecclesiastical governance that can and often has had consequences longer after his death. Although a true pope can never defect in his teaching on matters of Faith, Morals and Worship, he can be drawn into the abyss of pettiness, including the promotion of men known to be unworthy or incapable to bishoprics and/or positions of administrative authority. And a few, only a few, thankfully, of our true pontiffs have been personally licentious in their behavior.
Pope Alexander VI, who was notoriously licentious prior to his accession to the Throne of Saint Peter, August 11, 1492, was one of Holy Mother Church’s most administrative capable and diplomatically artful popes in her history. He was devoted to the study of Sacred Scripture and a very eloquent preacher and fine pastor of souls. No one, however, could ever possibly think of advancing his cause for canonization as he simply did not exhibit heroic virtues and did show favoritism to the illegitimate children he fathered, including one in the year he was elected to the papacy, in his career before becoming pope.
By contrast, Pope Pius XII was one of the saintliest men who ever served as a Successor of Saint Peter. He was devoted to the Most Sacred of Jesus, Who favored him with an apparition during one of our last true pontiff’s many bouts with gastric diseases, some of which kept him in hiccups for days on end (having experienced four straight days of such an affliction nine and one-half weeks ago, I can tell you that it is not very much fun as sleep becomes an impossibility). Pope Pius XII’s devotion to Eucharistic piety and to the Mother of God inspire souls to this very day.
Yet it is that any authentic examination of Pope Pius XII’s life’s work in a true canonization process conducted by the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of the Saints in the Catholic Church undoubtedly would have to weigh his horrific judgment in appointing the very Modernist revolutionaries who have given us Holy Mother Church’s counterfeit ape. Among those revolutionaries are the first two of the conciliar “popes”, of course, Angelo Roncalli, who was appointed by Pope Pius XII as the Papal Nuncio to France on December 23, 1944 and elevated to the College of Cardinals on January 12, 1953, in conjunction with his being named three days later as the Patriarch of Venice, and Giovanni Montini, who was appointed to be the Archbishop of Milan on November 1, 1954, after spending years in the service of the Vatican Secretariat of State. Not to be overlooked as horrific appointees of Pope Pius XII, obviously, are the likes of Fathers Annibale Bugnini, C.M., and Ferdinando Antonelli, O.F.M., both of whom worked assiduously to plan and commence the liturgical revolution that would result on April 3, 1969, in Giovanni Montini/Paul VI’s promulgation of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service on April 3, 1969. Dishonorable mention must be made of the papal appointments of Americanists Richard Cushing (Boston), Francis Spellman (New York) and John Dearden.
These are not minor matters. The prelate appointed to be the Defender of the Faith in the case of a legitimate consideration of the canonization of Pope Pius XII would make a case against canonization on the grounds of the poor judgment demonstrated by these appointments that resulted in such a catastrophe for souls as so many horrific offenses were given to God in the decades since those appointments were made. The Promoter of the Cause would counter with other considerations, including the late pope’s personal piety, his unquestioned moral probity and, among many other considerations working in the cause’s favor, his strong condemnation in Humani Generis, August 12, 1950, of the “new theology” that was being used by professors to warp the mind of forming a young German seminarian by the name of Joseph Alois Ratzinger.
The existence of even proven miracles is not a guarantee that a particular candidate whose cause for canonization is underway will result in a positive outcome as not every miracle worker is seen to be fit to be raised to the altars of Holy Mother Church even though that person may well be a saint in Heaven as a member of the Church Triumphant. Not every member of the Church Triumph is worthy of being raised to the altars of Holy Mother Church, who has been judicious and cautious in her selection of candidates. Saint Joan of Arc’s cause had to wait fourteen days shy of the 489th anniversary of her unjust execution by the English on May 30, 1431 for her canonization by Pope Benedict XV on May 20, 1920. The causes of Saints Thomas More and Saint John Fisher had to wait almost 400 year for their canonization by Pope Pius XI on May 19, 1935.
On the contrary, though, Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II “beatified” and “canonized” more people than had been done in preceding four hundred years prior to the death of Pope Pius XII on October 9, 1958. John Paul II”canonized” 482 people from the first “canonization” ceremony at which he officiated, on June 20, 1882, to his last extravaganza, which was held on his eighty-fourth birthday, May 16, 2004 (see Table of the Canonizations during the reign of John Paul II). He beatified 996 people between April 29, 1979 and October 3, 2004. The “heroic virtue” listed for one woman ‘beatified by John Paul II in the early-1990s was that she prayed her Rosary every day! This prompted me to tell a then-friend in the conciliar clergy, “Hey, I got a shot at this!” (I was joking.) My now former friend laughed heartily after I had made comment. Saying one’s prayers every day is not “heroic.” It is our duty.
Beatification and canonization are not “merit badges” to be bestowed as a result of the appearance of popularity based upon emotional and, all too frequently, highly manipulative myth-making about a candidate’s true legacy. See, for example, all of the myth-making behind the making of “saint” Josemaria Escriva Balaguer y Albas (see Not The Work of God), as a prime example of this. What is happening at present with Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, whose cheerleading enthusiast I served for well over fifteen years until the altar girl fiasco in 1994 that prompted me to recognize once and for all that “fighting to stop abuses in the Novus Ordo” was a complete waste of time as it was the abuse par excellence, dwarfs the efforts–and they were gargantuan and quite sophisticated and well-financed–that pushed along the cause of Josemaria Escriva Balaguer y Albas, the founder of Opus Dei.
Leaving aside, at least for a brief moment, Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II’s apostasies, heresies, blasphemies, sacrileges and scandalous conduct that proved him to be a non-Catholic even though many of us, myself most especially included, permitted ourselves to be fooled for an inexcusably long time, there would be no discussion of elevating him to the altars of the Catholic Church if he had been a true and legitimate Successor of Saint Peter. This is so because of the role he played in protecting members of his clergy accused of committing sins of moral perversity and depravity against children and others. (See “Canonizing” A Man Who Protected Moral Derelicts.)
There were also numerous financial scandals that unfolded during his 9,666 day “pontificate,” including the Polish-born prelate’s efforts to protect his personal body guard and the head of the scandal-plagued, Mafia-influenced and infiltrated Vatican’s Institute for Works of Religion (Vatican Bank) from 1971 to 1989, the late “Archbishop” Paul Casimir Marcinkus, and on his refusal to do anything to sanction the sociopath and the proven moral predator who founded the Legionaries of Christ, the late Father Marcial Maciel Degollado (see Unimaginable Deceit and Duplicity). And what is to be said of a “pope” who chooses to provide the arch-criminal who protected moral perverts and who pushed for the use of “inclusive language in the liturgy, Bernard Francis Law, and appointed him to be the archpriest of the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore? (See Nearly A Decade After Law Was Broken.)
For the sake of brevity and our travels today, let me once again summarize a few of the ways in which Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II offended God and thus misled souls from his “election” on Monday,October 16, 1978, to the “official” date of his death, Saturday, April 2, 2005:
1. John Paul II, himself an active participant in the proceedings of the “Second” Vatican Council, told us that that council was a “milestone,” “an event of utmost importance in the almost two thousand year history of the Church, and consequently in the religious and cultural history of the world.” He told us so at the very beginning of his reign of ruin and destruction, a day after his “election:”
First of all, we wish to point out the unceasing importance of the Second Vatican Ecumenical Council, and we accept the definite duty of assiduously bringing it into affect. Indeed, is not that universal Council a kind of milestone as it were, an event of the utmost importance in the almost two thousand year history of the Church, and consequently in the religious and cultural history of the world.
However, as the Council is not limited to the documents alone, neither is it completed by the ways applying it which were devised in these post-conciliar years. Therefore we rightly consider that we are bound by the primary duty of most diligently furthering the implementation of the decrees and directive norms of that same Universal Synod. This indeed we shall do in a way that is at once prudent and stimulating. We shall strive, in particular, that first of all an appropriate mentality may flourish. Namely, it is necessary that, above all, outlooks must be at one with the Council so that in practice those things may be done that were ordered by it, and that those things which lie hidden in it or—as is usually said—are “implicit” may become explicit in the light of the experiments made since then and the demands of changing circumstances. Briefly, it is necessary that the fertile seeds which the Fathers of the Ecumenical Synod, nourished by the word of God, sowed in good ground (cf. Mt 13: 8, 23)—that is, the important teachings and pastoral deliberations should be brought to maturity in that way which is characteristic of movement and life. (First Urbi et Orbi Radio message, October 17, 1978.)
John Paul II sure found “those things which lie hidden in” the “Second” Vatican Council” as he made manifestly explicit what he believed was “implicit” in his vaunted “Second” Vatican Council, fooling the sappy likes of me by throwing some conciliar fairy dust in our eyes as he talked about getting priests back in their clerical garb and consecrated religious sisters back into their habits and demanding doctrinal orthodoxy from theologians even though he was not doctrinally orthodox and let most of the ultra-progressive conciliar revolutionaries remain in perfectly good standing as sons and daughters of what he claimed was the Catholic Church.
2. John Paul II’s brand of “spiritual ecumenism,” whose basic premises were categorically condemned by Pope Pius XI in Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928, permitted him to enter freely into places of false worship and to be treated as an inferior by his hosts. He used numerous occasions to proclaim abject apostasies, including when he visited a Jewish synagogue in Mainz, Germany, in 1980:
“The first dimension of this dialogue, that is, the meeting between the people of the Old Covenant, never revoked by God, and that of the New Covenant, is at the same time a dialogue within our Church, that is to say, between the first and second part of her Bible … Jews and Christians, as children of Abraham, are called to be a blessing to the world. By committing themselves together for peace and justice among all men and peoples.” Cited by John Vennari in Secret of John Paul II’s Success. The full text is available on the Vatican website in Italian and German. Here are is the relevant passages in these two languages, including a paragraph not cited by Mr. Vennari:
Non si tratta soltanto della correzione di una falsa visuale religiosa del popolo ebraico, che nel corso della storia fu in parte concausa di misconoscimenti e persecuzioni, ma prima di tutto del dialogo tra le due religioni, che – con l’islam – poterono donare al mondo la fede nel Dio unico e ineffabile che ci parla, e lo vogliono servire a nome di tutto ii mondo.
La prima dimensione di questo dialogo, cioè l’incontro tra il popolo di Dio del Vecchio Testamento, da Dio mai denunziato (cf. Rm 11,29), e quello del Nuovo Testamento, è allo stesso tempo un dialogo all’interno della nostra Chiesa, per così dire tra la prima e la seconda parte della sua Bibbia. In proposito dicono le direttive per l’applicazione della dichiarazione conciliare “Nostra Aetate”: “Ci si sforzerà di comprendere meglio tutto ciò che nell’Antico Testamento conserva un valore proprio e perpetuo…, poiché questo valore non è stato obliterato dall’ulteriore interpretazione del Nuovo Testamento, la quale al contrario ha dato all’Antico il suo significato più compiuto, cosicché reciprocamente il Nuovo riceve dall’Antico luce e spiegazione” (Nostra Aetate, II) (Meeting with the representatives of the Hebrew community, Mainz, Germany, 17 November 1980, Italian)
Dabei geht es nicht nur um die Berichtigung einer falschen religiösen Sicht des Judenvolkes, welche die Verkennungen und Verfolgungen im Lauf der Geschichte zum Teil mitverursachte, sondern vor allem um den Dialog zwischen den zwei Religionen, die – mit dem Islam – der Welt den Glauben an den einen, unaussprechlichen, uns ansprechenden Gott schenken durften und stellvertretend für die ganze Welt ihm dienen wollen.
Die erste Dimension dieses Dialogs, nämlich die Begegnung zwischen dem Gottesvolk des von Gott nie gekündigten Alten Bundes, ist zugleich ein Dialog innerhalb unserer Kirche, gleichsam zwischen dem ersten und zweiten Teil ihrer Bibel. Hierzu sagen die Richtlinien für die Durchführung der Konzilserklärung ”Nostra aetate“: ”Man muß bemüht sein, besser zu verstehen, was im Alten Testament von eigenem und bleibendem Wert ist…, da dies durch die spätere Interpretation im Licht des Neuen Testaments, die ihm seinen vollen Sinn gibt, nicht entwertet wird, so daß sich vielmehr eine gegenseitige Beleuchtung und Ausdeutung ergibt“. (Meeting with the representatives of the Hebrew community, Mainz, Germany, 17 November 1980, German)
This apostasy, which was a cornerstone of Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II’s ecumenical beliefs, has been condemned by the authority of the Catholic Church, and he knew this to be so:
28.That He completed His work on the gibbet of the Cross is the unanimous teaching of the holy Fathers who assert that the Church was born from the side of our Savior on the Cross like a new Eve, mother of all the living.  “And it is now,” says the great St. Ambrose, speaking of the pierced side of Christ, “that it is built, it is now that it is formed, it is now that is …. molded, it is now that it is created . . . Now it is that arises a spiritual house, a holy priesthood.”  One who reverently examines this venerable teaching will easily discover the reasons on which it is based.
29.And first of all, by the death of our Redeemer, the New Testament took the place of the Old Law which had been abolished; then the Law of Christ together with its mysteries, enactments, institutions, and sacred rites was ratified for the whole world in the blood of Jesus Christ. For, while our Divine Savior was preaching in a restricted area — He was not sent but to the sheep that were lost of the house of Israel  -the Law and the Gospel were together in force;  but on the gibbet of his death Jesus made void the Law with its decrees,  fastened the handwriting of the Old Testament to the Cross,  establishing the New Testament in His blood shed for the whole human race.  “To such an extent, then,” says St. Leo the Great, speaking of the Cross of our Lord, “was there effected a transfer from the Law to the Gospel, from the Synagogue to the Church, from many sacrifices to one Victim, that, as our Lord expired, that mystical veil which shut off the innermost part of the temple and its sacred secret was rent violently from top to bottom.” 
30. On the Cross then the Old Law died, soon to be buried and to be a bearer of death,  in order to give way to the New Testament of which Christ had chosen the Apostles as qualified ministers;  and although He had been constituted the Head of the whole human family in the womb of the Blessed Virgin, it is by the power of the Cross that our Savior exercises fully the office itself of Head in His Church. “For it was through His triumph on the Cross,” according to the teaching of the Angelic and Common Doctor, “that He won power and dominion over the gentiles”;  by that same victory He increased the immense treasure of graces, which, as He reigns in glory in heaven, He lavishes continually on His mortal members it was by His blood shed on the Cross that God’s anger was averted and that all the heavenly gifts, especially the spiritual graces of the New and Eternal Testament, could then flow from the fountains of our Savior for the salvation of men, of the faithful above all; it was on the tree of the Cross, finally, that He entered into possession of His Church, that is, of all the members of His Mystical Body; for they would not have been united to this Mystical Body. (Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis, June 29, 1943.)
Did God the Holy Ghost permit the Catholic Church to be “wrong” on the matter of the invalidity of the Old Covenant prior to the “Second” Vatican Council? Can God change His Mind? Can God contradict Himself after the better part of over two millennia? Anyone who asserts this is an apostate of the first order. Apostates are not deserving of canonization by the authority of the Catholic Church as they have expelled themselves from her maternal bosom.
3. The theological foundation of John Paul II’s spiritual ecumenism was laid by the late Abbe Paul Couturier, who was a disciple of the late Father Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, S.J. John Paul II cited Couturier in footnote fifty of Ut Unum Sint, May 25, 1995, an encyclical letter that was the exact opposite of Pope Pius XI’s Mortalium Animos, January 6, 1928. Walter “Cardinal” Kasper, who was appointed as the President of the “Pontifical” Council for Promoting Christian Unity by Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II on February 21, 2001, praised the “spiritual ecumenism” of Abbe Paul Couturier in a “reflection” published at the beginning of the conciliar church’s 2008 “Week of Prayer for Christian Unity” that replaced the Catholic Church’s Chair of Unity Octave that runs from the Feast of the Chair of Saint Peter in Rome on January 18 to January 25:
In taking a fresh look at Paul Wattson’s original intention, we note an important development in the understanding of the Week of Prayer. While Wattson maintained that the goal of unity was the return to the Catholic Church, Abbé Paul Couturier of Lyons (1881-1953) gave a new impetus to this Week in the 1930s, ecumenical in the true sense of the word. He changed the name “Church Unity Octave” to “Universal Week of Prayer for Christian Unity”, thus furthering a unity of the Church that “Christ wills by the means he wills”.
Paul Couturier’s 1944 spiritual testament is very important, profound and moving; it is one of the most inspired ecumenical texts, still worth reading and meditating on today. The author speaks of an “invisible monastery”, “built of all those souls whom, because of their sincere efforts to open themselves to his fire and his light, the Holy Spirit has enabled to have a deep understanding of the painful division among Christians; an awareness of this in these souls has given rise to continuous suffering and as a result, regular recourse to prayer and penance”.
Paul Couturier can be considered the father of spiritual ecumenism. His influence was felt by the Dombes Group and by Roger Schutz and the Taizé Community. Sr Maria Gabriella also drew great inspiration from him. Today, his invisible monastery is at last taking shape through the growing number of prayer networks between Catholic monasteries and non-Catholics, spiritual movements and communities, centres of male and female religious, Bishops, priests and lay people. (Charting the road of the ecumenical movement.)
It is interesting to note that Kasper praised the work of the 1910 “World Missionary Conference” in Edinburgh, Scotland, that was much praised by the now reitred Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI throughout the course of the year 2010. Ratzinger/Benedict, who praised Abbe Paul Couturier himself as the “father of ‘spiritual ecumenism,’” knows that Pope Pius XI had condemned this false ecumenism. Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II knew this as well. Neither cared. Apostates do not care. Apostates do not get canonized by the authority of the Catholic Church.
4. As noted in Jorge’s Just Naturally a Naturalist, part two, five days ago, Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II presided over the “rehabilitation” of the long deceased Father Antonio Rosmini, forty of whose theological propositions had been condemned in 1887 by Pope Leo XIII. This “rehabilitation,” which was engineered by the then prefect of the conciliar church’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Joseph “Cardinal” Ratzinger, represented a direct application of John Paul II’s and Benedict XVI’s apostate belief that past dogmatic pronouncements and papal decrees are conditioned by the historical circumstances in which they were made, requiring them to be “adjusted,” if not overturned, at other times. This view, of course, has been condemned repeatedly by the authority of the Catholic Church, but it was the very foundation of the Rosmini decision, which was vital to pave the way for his own conciliar “beatification,” engineered by Ratzinger and approved by Wojtyla/John Paul II.
5. Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II engaged in endless acts of blasphemy and sacrilege against the First and Second Commandments by entering into places of false worship, bowing down before, kissing or praising the images of the idols adored therein as he praised the “goodness” of the false religions themselves, each of which is loathed by the true God of Divine Revelation, the Most Blessed Trinity. (See the appendix below for a list of some of this monstrous praise of false religions.)
6. Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II personally encouraged the development of the extravaganza “papal” liturgies for which he was so notorious in the 9,666 days of his false “pontificate”:
Rodari reminds of the neo-Conservative theory, where the then Master of Ceremonies, Marini, is supposed to have incited a “spectacle coterminous with the Papal Liturgies” against the will of Pope John Paul II.
This justification is energetically contradicted by Archbishop Marini in his book.
The Conciliar Blessed had encouraged him to insert more cultic heather [heathen?] practices in the Papal Masses — wrote Msgr Marini.
John Paul II wanted to break through the “rigor” of Papal Masses.
Archbishop Marini reports that John Paul II wanted a “new Liturgy for every trip“.
The Conciliar Blessed is said to have turned to Msgr Marini saying with praise: “beautiful, beautiful.” (John Paul II the Not-So-Great Wanted Liturgical Innovation.)
Wojtyla/John Paul II presided over every kind of liturgical abomination imaginable, providing cover for all his “bishops” and priests/presbyters at the “retail level” to innovate all on their accord in perfect accord with the provisions found in Paragraphs 390-399 of the General Instruction to the Roman Missal.
7. Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II destroyed the integrity of Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary in 2002 by adding the so-called “Luminous Mysteries,” thus making a mockery of Our Lady’s Psalter that she gave to Saint Dominic de Guzman, the founder of the Order of Preachers.
8. Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II promoted the condemned Modernist proposition of the “evolution of dogma” under the slogan of “living tradition,” which Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI repackaged as the “hermeneutic of continuity.”
9. Breaking with the constant tradition of the Catholic Church, Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II gave permission ten years ago this month for “girl altar boys,” thus shocking even the syncretist Mother Teresa of Calcutta, who told me in a phone conversation about a month beforehand after I had tracked her down in Hong Kong at the request of Father John Anthony Hardon, S.J., to see if the then rumored permission could be forestalled, “This will be a disaster for the Church. They will be pushing for women priests.”
Those who serve at the altar are the extension of the hands of the priest, who is acts in persona Christi as an alter Christus. Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is a man, and thus it is that only men are permitted into the sanctuary of a Catholic Church during the offering of the ineffable Holy Sacrifice of the Mass.
Then again, the conciliarists do not have have a true Mass and many of their “sanctuaries” are gigantic stages set in architectural nightmares filled with chaos, disorder and the sort of ungodly “dances” that pleased the likes of Herod the Tetrach.
10. Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, following the example of Albino Luciana/John Paul I and the surrender of the Papal Tiara by Giovanni Montini/Paul VI, was “installed on Sunday, October 22, 1978, wit a pallium, not crowned as a monarch who governs in the place of Christ the High Priest and King.
11. Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II helped to popularize the perverse “theology of the body” in a series of general audience addresses. Indeed, it was while giving one of those addresses on Wednesday, May 13, 1981, that he was shot by the Mohammedan stooge of the Soviet KGB and the Bulgarian secret police, Mehmet Ali Agca. (For a thorough review of the “theology of the body,” see Mrs. Randy Engel’s Theology of the Body, which is available for purchase on her website.)
The “theology of the body” is from the devil and leads souls into corrupt practices that can send them to Hell for all eternity while deforming the true nature and stability of marriage and the family as intended by God in the Order of Creation (Order of Nature).
12. Karol Wojtyla/John Paul promulgated the so-called Catechism of the Catholic Church to enshrine the errors of conciliarism (see the appendix in Two For The Price Of One, part two, as found on a Society of Saint Pius X website).
13. Karol Wojtyla/John Paul promulgated a Code of Canon Law for his false church that included, among other “novelties,” “permission” for non-Catholics to receive what purports to be Holy Communion in certain circumstances.
Mind you, this is only a very partial and incomplete list. However, what is included herein and listed in other articles on the A Guide to the Roncalli and Wojtyla “Canonizations” page is more than sufficient to demonstrate that believing Catholic can say anything other than “non placet” to Jorge Mario Bergoglio’s “canonization” of this heretic who was enabled by the likes of delusional people as this writer for far, far too long.
It is interesting that the mythology about “utra-progressives” in the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism persists that Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II was a “conservative” and that Bergoglio, faced with no choice but to “canonize” the “Polish Pope” because of his popularity, wanted to “balance” his “canonization” by “canonizing” Angelo Roncalli/John XXIII on the same day despite the rotund one’s lack of even a manufactured second “miracle.”
Although this may be what Bergoglio believes of the man who appointed him to be the conciliar “archbishop” of Buenos Aires and elevated him to the conciliar “college of cardinals,” the truth of the matter is that Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II was a revolutionary at the “Second” Vatican Council and he remained so as “Pope John Paul II.” He simply moved the conciliar revolution at a somewhat slower pace than the “ultra-progressives” desired. This somewhat slower pace, however, does not make Wojtyla/John Paul II to be a “conservative.” He was a Modernist who gave daily offense to God and who did incalculable harm to the souls redeemed by every single drop of the Most Precious Blood of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Tomorrow, Low Sunday, will be a day of making reparation for the crimes of the Modernists. We need to spend extra time in prayer, preferably before Our Lord’s Real Presence in the Most Blessed Sacrament if this is at all possible and, of course, praying Our Lady’s Most Holy Rosary.
As noted a few weeks ago now, We Must Accept This Chalice of Suffering Without Compromise, remembering that Our Lady’s Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart will triumph in the end.
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Alleluia! He is Risen!
Our Lady of the Rosary Sorrows, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior, and Balthasar, pray for us.
Pope Saint Cletus and Pope Saint Marcellinus, pray for us.
A Sampling of Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II’s Addresses to Non-Christian Audiences
1. My visit to India is a pilgrimage of good will and peace, and the fulfilment of a desire to experience personally the very soul of your country.
It is entirely fitting that this pilgrimage should begin here, at Raj Ghat, dedicated to the memory of the illustrious Mahatma Gandhi, the Father of the Nation and “apostle of non-violence”.
The figure of Mahatma Gandhi and the meaning of his life’s work have penetrated the consciousness of humanity. In his famous words, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru has expressed the conviction of the whole world: “The light that shone in this country was no ordinary light” .
Two days ago marked the thirty-eighth anniversary of his death. He who lived by non-violence appeared to be defeated by violence.
For a brief moment the light seemed to have gone out. Yet his teachings and the example of his life live on in the minds and hearts of millions of men and women. And so it was said: “The light has gone out of our lives and there is darkness everywhere and I do not quite know what to tell you and how to say it… The light has gone out, I said, and yet I was wrong. For the light that shone in this country was no ordinary light. The light that has illumined this country for these many years will illumine this country for many more years…” . Yes, the light is still shining, and the heritage of Mahatma Gandhi speaks to us still. And today as a pilgrim of peace I have come here to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi, hero of humanity.
2. From this place, which is forever bound to the memory of this extraordinary man, I wish to express to the people of India and of the world my profound conviction that the peace and justice of which contemporary society has such great need will be achieved only along the path which was at the core of his teaching: the supremacy of the spirit and Satyagraha, the “truthforce”, which conquers without violence by the dynamism intrinsic to just action. .
The power of truth leads us to recognize with Mahatma Gandhi the dignity, equality and fraternal solidarity of all human beings, and it prompts us to reject every form of discrimination. It shows us once again the need for mutual understanding acceptance and collaboration between religious groups in the pluralist society of modern India and throughout the world.
3. The traditional problems of poverty, hunger and disease have not yet been eradicated from our world. Indeed, in some ways they are more virulent than ever. In addition, new sources of tension and anxiety have emerged as well The existence of immense arsenals of weapons of mass destruction causes a grave and justified uneasiness in our minds. The inequality of development favours some and plunges others into inextricable dependence. In these conditions peace is fragile and injustice abounds.
From this place, which belongs in a sense to the history of the entire human family, I wish, however, to reaffirm the conviction that with the help of God the construction of a better world, in peace and justice, lies within the reach of human beings.
But the leaders of peoples, and all men and women of good will, must believe and act of the belief that the solution lies within the human heart: “from a new heart, peace is born”… Mahatma Gandhi reveals to us his own heart as he repeats today to those who listen: “The law of love governs the world… Truth triumphs over untruth. Love conquers hate…” .
4. In this place, as we meditate on the figure of this man so marked by his noble devotion to God and his respect for every living being, I wish also to recall those words of Jesus recorded in the Christian Scriptures – with which the Mahatma was very familiar and in which he found the confirmation of the deep thoughts of his heart:
“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake. for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” .
May these words, and other expressions in the sacred books of the great religious traditions present on the fruitful soil of India be a source of inspiration to all peoples, and to their leaders, ín the search for justice among people and peace between all the nations of the world.
Mahatma Gandhi taught that if all men and women, whatever the differences between them, cling to the truth, with respect for the unique dignity of every human being, a new world order – a civilization of love – can be achieved. And today we hear him still pleading with the world: “Conquer hate by love, untruth by truth, violence by suffering” .
May God guide us and bless us as we strive to walk together, hand in hand, and build together a world of peace! Visit to the funerary monument of Raj Ghat dedicated to Mahatma Gandhi, in Delhi, February 1, 1986.)
O Lord and God of all, you have willed that all your children, united by the Spirit, should live and grow together in mutual acceptance, harmony and peace. We grieve in our hearts that our human selfishness and greed have prevented your plan from being realised in our times.
We recognise that Peace is a gift from you. We also know that our collaboration as your instruments requires a wise stewardship of the earth’s resources for the true progress of all peoples. It calls for a deep respect and reverence for life and a keen appreciation of the human dignity and sacredness of conscience of every person, and a constant struggle against all forms of discrimination in law or in fact.
We commit ourselves, together with all our brothers and sisters, to cultivating a deeper awareness of your presence and action in history, to a more effective practice of truthfulness and responsibility, the ceaseless pursuit of freedom from all oppressive structures, fellowship across all barriers and justice and fullness of life for all.
Gathered in India’s Capital at this Memorial to the Father of the Nation – an outstanding and courageous witness to truth, love and non-violence – we invoke your blessings on the leaders of this country and of all nations, on the followers of all religious traditions and of all people of good will. Enable us, Lord, to live and grow as active partners with you and with one another in the common task of building a culture without violence, a world community that places its security not in the manufacture of ever more deadly weapons but in mutual trust and practical concern for a better future for all your children within a worldwide civilisation of truth, love and peace. Prayer for peace at the conlcusion of the visit to Raj Ghat in Delhi, February 1, 1986.)
1. I am pleased that my pilgrimage to India has brought me to Delhi, and once again to this Indira Gandhi Stadium. Here we are experiencing together, in a religious and cultural setting, the reality that is man in this your vast and fascinating land. You are representatives and leaders in various fields of human life and endeavour. To all of you I offer my greetings of friendship, respect and fraternal love.
I wish to thank all who have made this meeting possible, and I am especially pleased that so many young people are able to be here. I am very grateful to those of different religions who have welcomed me so cordially and have presented their deep reflections, together with their earnest hopes for India and for the world.
For all of us this experience is conducive to a deep reflection on this reality of man which we perceive and are immersed in. In India, without doubt, this reality offers us a spiritual vision of man. I believe that this spiritual vision is of supreme relevance for the people of India and for their future; it says much about their values, their hopes and aspirations and their human dignity. I believe that a spiritual vision of man is of immense importance for the whole of humanity With an emphasis on spiritual values the world is capable of formulating a new attitude towards itself – new, but based to a great extent on ethical values preserved for centuries, many of them in this ancient land. These include a spirit of fraternal charity and dedicated service, forgiveness, sacrifice and renunciation, remorse and penance for moral failings and patience and forbearance.
2. With the passing of time, it becomes evident that it is necessary to return over and again to the central issue of the world, which is man: man as a creature and child of God; man bearing within his heart and soul the image to fulfil his calling to live for ever.
The one who speaks to you today is convinced that man is the way that the Catholic Church must take in order to be faithful to herself. In my first Encyclical I stated: ” Man is the full truth of his existence, of his personal being and also of his community and social being – in the sphere of his own family, in the sphere of society and very diverse contexts, in the sphere of his own nation or people… and in the sphere of the whole of mankind – this man is the primary route that the Church must travel in fulfilling her mission” . And with equal conviction I would state that man is the primary route that all humanity must follow – but always man in the “full truth of his existence”.
3. India has so much to offer to the world in the task of understanding man and the truth of his existence. And what she offers specifically is a noble spiritual vision of man – man, a pilgrim of the Absolute, travelling towards a goal, seeking the face of God. Did not Mahatma Gandhi put it this way: “What I want to achieve – what I have been striving and pining to achieve… is self-realization – to see God face to face. I live and move and have my being in pursuit of this goal” .
On the rectitude of this spiritual vision is built the defence of man in his daily life. With this spiritual vision of man we are equipped to face the concrete problems that affect man, torment his soul and afflict his body.
From this vision comes the incentive to undertake the struggle to remedy and improve man’s condition, and to pursue relentlessly his integral human development. From it comes the strength to persevere in the cause, as well as the clarity of thought needed to find concrete solutions to man’s problems. From a spiritual vision of man is derived the inspiration to seek help and to offer collaboration in promoting the true good of humanity at every level. Yes, from this spiritual vision comes an indomitable spirit to win for man – for each man – his rightful place in this world.
Despite all the powerful forces of poverty and oppression, of evil and sin in all their forms, the power of truth, will prevail – the truth about God, the truth about man. It will prevail because it is invincible. The power of truth is invincible! “Satyam èva jayatè – Truth alone triumphs”, as the motto of India proclaims.
4. The full truth about man constitutes a whole programme for world-wide commitment and collaboration. My predecessor Paul VI returned over and over again to the concept of integral human development, because it is based on the truth about man. He proposed it as the only way to bring about man’s true progress at any time, but especially at this juncture of history.
In particular Paul VI looked upon integral human development as a condition for arriving at that great and all pervasive good which is peace. Indeed, he stated that this development is ” the new name for peace” .
To pursue integral human development it is necessary to take a stand on what is greatest and most noble in man: to reflect on his nature, his life and his destiny. In a word, integral human development requires a spiritual vision of man.
If we are to further the advancement of man we must identify whatever obstructs and contradicts his total well-being and affects his life; we must identify whatever wounds, weakens or destroys life, whatever attacks human dignity and hinders man from attaining the truth or from living according to the truth.
The pursuit of integral human development invites the world to reflect on culture and to view it in its relationship to the final end of man. Culture is not only an expression of man’s temporal life but an aid in reaching his eternal life.
India’s mission in all of this is crucial, because of her intuition of the spiritual nature of man. Indeed India’s greatest contribution to the world can be to offer it a spiritual vision of man. And the world does well to attend willingly to this ancient wisdom and in it to find enrichment for human laving.
5. The attainment of integral human development for mankind makes demands on each individual. It requires a radical openness to others, and people are more readily open to each other when they understand their own spiritual nature and that of their neighbour.
The Second Vatican Council perceived in our world “the birth of a new humanism in which man is defined above all by his responsibility towards his brothers and sisters and towards history” . It is indeed evident that there is no place in this world for “man’s inhumanity to man”. Selfishness is a contradiction. By his nature man is called to open his heart, in love, to his neighbours, because he has been loved by God. In Christian tradition as expressed by Saint John’s Letter we read: ” Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another… If we love one another, God abides in us and his love is perfected in us” .
The building of a new world requires something deeply personal from each human being. The renewal of the world in all its social relations begins in the heart of every individual. It calls for a change of heart and for repentance. It calls for a purification of heart and a real turning to God. And what is deeply personal is supremely social, because “man is defined above all in his responsibilities to his brothers and sisters…”. Christians cherish the fact that, in teaching his followers how to pray, Jesus told them to approach God by calling him “Our Father “.
While speaking of my own convictions, I know that many of them are in accord with what is expressed in the ancient wisdom of this land. And in this wisdom we find today an ever old and ever new basis for fraternal solidarity in the cause of man and therefore ultimately in the service of God.
The spiritual vision of man that India shares with the world is the vision of man seeking the face of God. The very words used by Mahatma Gandhi about his own spiritual quest echo the words quoted by Saint Paul when he explained that God is not far from each of us: ” In him we live and move and have our being ” .
6. Religion directs our lives totally to God, and at the same time our lives must be totally permeated by our relationship to God – to the point that our religion becomes our life. Religion is concerned with humanity and everything that belongs to humanity, and at the same time it directs to God all that is human within us. I would repeat what I wrote at the beginning of my Pontificate: “Inspired by eschatological faith, the Church considers an essential, unbreakably united element of her mission this solicitude for man, for his humanity, for the future of men on earth and therefore also for the course set for the whole of development and progress” . As religion works to promote the reign of God in this world, it tries to help the whole of society to promote man’s transcendent destiny. At the same time it teaches its members a deep personal concern for neighbour and civic responsibility for the community. The Apostle John issued a challenge to the early Christian community which remains valid for all religious people everywhere: ” I ask you, how can God’s love survive in a man who has enough of this world’s goods yet closes his heart to his brother when he sees him in need?” .
7. In the world today, there is a need for all religions to collaborate in the cause of humanity, and to do this from the viewpoint of the spiritual nature of man. Today, as Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Buddhists, Jains, Parsees and Christians, we gather in fraternal love to assert this by our very presence. As we proclaim the truth about man, we insist that man’s search for temporal and social well-being and full human dignity corresponds to the deep longings of his spiritual nature. To work for the attainment and preservation of all human rights, including the basic right to worship God according to the dictates of an upright conscience and to profess that faith externally, must become ever more a subject of interreligious collaboration at all levels. This interreligious collaboration must also be concerned with the struggle to eliminate hunger, poverty, ignorance, persecution, discrimination and every form of enslavement of the human spirit. Religion is the mainspring of society’s commitment to justice, and interreligious collaboration must reaffirm this in practice.
8. All efforts in the cause of man are linked to a particular vision of man, and all effective and complete efforts require a spiritual vision of man. With Paul VI I repeat the conviction that ” there is no true humanism but that which is open to the Absolute and is conscious of a vocation which gives human life its true meaning… Man can only realise himself by reaching beyond himself” .
The late President of India, Dr Radhakrishnan, was right when he said: ” Only a moral and spiritual revolution in the name of human dignity can place man above the idols of economic production technological organisation, racial discrimination and national egotism” . And again “The new world of peace, freedom and safety for all can be achieved only by those who are moved by great spiritual ideals” .
The wisdom of India will contribute incalculably to the world by its witness to the fact that increased possession is not the ultimate goal of life. The true liberation of man will be brought about, as also the elimination of all that militates against human dignity, only when the spiritual vision of man is held in honour and pursued. Only within this framework can the world adequately face the many problems of justice, peace and integral human development that call for urgent solutions. And within this framework of the truth of man, the holiness of God will be made manifest by the rectitude and uprightness of human relations in the social, political, cultural and economic spheres of life.
9. This is the humanism that unites us today and invites us to fraternal collaboration. This is the humanism that we offer to all the young people present here today and to all the young people of the world. This is the humanism to which India can make an imperishable contribution. What is at stake is the well-being of all human society – the building up of an earthly city that will already prefigure the eternal one and contain in initial form the elements that will for ever be part of man’s eternal destiny.
The Prophet Isaiah offers us his vision of this reality:
“I will appoint peace your governor,
and justice your ruler.
No longer shall violence be heard of in your land,
or plunder and ruin within your boundaries.
You shall call your walls ‘ Salvation’
and your gates ‘Praise’.
No longer shall the sun
be your light by day,
Nor the brightness of the moon shine upon you at night;
The Lord shall be your light forever,
your God shall be your glory” .
However we describe our spiritual vision of man, we know that man is central to God’s plan. And it is for man that we are all called to work – to labour and toil for his betterment, for his advancement, for his integral human development. A creature and child of God, man is, today and always, the path of humanity – man in the full truth of his existence! ( Meeting with the representatives of the different religious and cultural traditions in the «Indira Gandhi» Stadium (February 2, 1986)
O Lord and God of all, you have willed that all your children, united by the Spirit, should live and grow together in mutual acceptance, harmony and peace. We grieve in our hearts that our human selfishness and greed have prevented your plan from being realised in our times.
We recognise that Peace is a gift from you. We also know that our collaboration as your instruments requires a wise stewardship of the earth’s resources for the true progress of all peoples. It calls for a deep respect and reverence for life and a keen appreciation of the human dignity and sacredness of conscience of every person, and a constant struggle against all forms of discrimination in law or in fact.
We commit ourselves, together with all our brothers and sisters, to cultivating a deeper awareness of your presence and action in history, to a more effective practice of truthfulness and responsibility, the ceaseless pursuit of freedom from all oppressive structures, fellowship across all barriers and justice and fullness of life for all.
Gathered in India’s Capital at this Memorial to the Father of the Nation – an outstanding and courageous witness to truth, love and non-violence – we invoke your blessings on the leaders of this country and of all nations, on the followers of all religious traditions and of all people of good will. Enable us, Lord, to live and grow as active partners with you and with one another in the common task of building a culture without violence, a world community that places its security not in the manufacture of ever more deadly weapons but in mutual trust and practical concern for a better future for all your children within a worldwide civilisation of truth, love and peace. Prayer for peace at the conlcusion of the visit to Raj Ghat in Delhi (February 1, 1986)
In other words, Baal, yes, the Most Holy Trinity, no!
It gives me particular pleasure to have this opportunity of meeting you, the distinguished representatives of the religious, cultural and social life of this city of Calcutta, of Bengal and of India.
1. In you I greet the spiritual vitality of Bengala and of the whole of India.
In you I salute the venerable culture of this land. You are the heirs of more than three thousand years of intense artistic cultural and religious life in this region. Here the human spirit has been nobly served by a host of men and women rightly esteemed for their learning and wisdom, for their sensitivity to the deepest, aspirations of the human heart, for their precious artistic achievements.
In you I acknowledge with admiration not only the achievements of the past, but also those of modern Bengal and modern India.
I have looked forward to this meeting in a spirit of fraternal dialogue, with sentiments of solidarity with you who are engaged in many different forms of service to your fellow citizens.
I wish to say to you what the Second Vatican Council declared to the men and women of thought and science: “Happy are those who, while possessing the truth, search more earnestly for it in order to renew it, deepen it and transmit it to others. Happy also are those who, not having found it are working towards it with a sincere heart. May they seek the light of tomorrow with the light of today until they reach the fulness of light” .
May this be our common hope and prayer!
2. This afternoon I visited the Nirmal Hriday, the “Home of the Dying” at Kalighat.
In every country of the world, in every city, town and village, in every family, indeed in every human life, we come face to face with the ever-present reality of human suffering. “The ‘unwritten book’ of the history of humanity speaks constantly of the theme of suffering” .
Individuals and groups and whole populations suffer when they see something good in which they “ought” to share, but which escapes them. At times this suffering becomes especially intense. In certain historical situations the burden of pain borne by the human family seems to grove beyond all possibility of relief.
Elsewhere I have spoken concerning our contemporary world which “as never before has been transformed by progress through man’s work and, at the same time, is as never before in danger because of man’s mistakes and offences” .
Suffering, with its accompanying fear and frustration, becomes especially dramatic and acute when the question is asked: Why? and no adequate response is forthcoming.
I strongly believe that just as all human beings are joined in the experience of pain and suffering, so too all men and women of good will who are the leaders in the field op intellectual and artistic endeavour must join together in a new solidarity in order to respond to the fundamental challenges of our times. In this sense you are invested with an altogether special responsibility for the well-being of your motherland.
The new situation into which the advances of knowledge and technology have thrust the human family requires vision and wisdom equal to the best that humanity has produced under the guidance of its saints and sages. A new civilisation is struggling to be born: a civilisation of understanding and respect for the inalienable dignity of every human person created in the image of God; a civilisation of justice and peace in which there will be ample room for legitimate differences, and in which disputes will be settled through enlightened dialogue, not through confrontation.
3. Religious leaders, by a special title must be sensitive to the sufferings and needs of humanity. ” Men look to the various religions for answers to those profound mysteries of the human condition which, today even as in olden times deeply stir the human heart: What is man? What is the meaning and the purpose of our life? What is goodness and what is sin? What gives rise to our sorrows and to what intent? Where lies the path to true happiness?…” .
There opens up an immense field of dialogue between the various philosophies and religious traditions in answer to these questions, and of mutual collaboration in seeking to respond concretely to the challenges of development and assistance, especially to the poorest.
The saints and true men and women of religion have always been moved try a powerful and active compassion for the poor and the suffering. In our day, as well as seeking to relieve the distress of individuals and groups, our religious and social conscience is challenged by the questions inevitably raised by the growing inequality between developed areas and those which are increasingly dependent, and by the injustice of much needed resources being channelled into the production of terrifying weapons of death and destruction.
Our religious beliefs, which teach us the value and dignity of all life, urge us to commit our energies to the endeavour of men and women of good will, in the first place the poor themselves, to help change those attitudes and structures which are responsible for man-made poverty and oppressive suffering. This requires a mighty investment of intellectual energy and imagination. Herein your contribution in the cause of truth is paramount. As intellectuals, thinkers, writers, scientists artists, you must always be intent on unleashing in the world the power of truth for the service of humanity.
And I am sure that you share a conviction once expressed by Paul of Tarsus: “We cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth” . This in fact is an echo of what is stated in the ancient Upanishads and upheld as the very motto of your revered nation: “Truth alone triumphs – Satyam èva jayatè” .
It is a deep religious intuition that the “service of men is service of God” – as expressed by Swami Vivekananda, one of the renowned figures connected with this city – and That when we go out to our brothers and sisters in fraternal love we receive from them more than we give them. This is an intuition which is also deeply Indian, as witnessed by your holy books and by the testimony of so many religious men and women.
I wish to reaffirm the Catholic Church’s commitment to the processes of development which lead to greater justice for all. I invite the Catholic community of Bengal and all India to work wholeheartedly for this goal, and I express the hope that followers of all religious persuasions will in the construction of a new civilisation of peace and love.
4. In speaking to you, men and women of the academic world, representatives of the world of art and the sciences, religious leaders I cannot but underline the Catholic Church’s esteem for the manifold cultural life which you represent. The Church rejoices at the creative richness which has characterised the culture of India during its history of thousands of years. During this time it has preserved a marvellous continuity and a subtle unity in the midst of a wide variety of manifestations.
Its vitality and relevance are borne out by the fact that it has moulded many sages and saintly mystics, poets and artists, philosophers and statesmen of great excellence. Yes, the Church looks in admiration upon your contribution to humanity and feels so close to you in so many expressions of your ethics and your asceticism. She attests to her profound respect for the spiritual vision of man that is expressed century after century through your culture and in the education that transmits it. And she is pleased that, from the beginning, Christianity has become incarnate on Indian soil and in Indian hearts.
Yes, culture is the embodiment of the spiritual experiences and desires of a people. It refines and unfolds the spiritual and native qualities of each human group. It creates the customs and institutions which seek to render social life more human and more conducive to the common good. It gives concrete expression to truth, goodness and beauty in a multitude of artistic forms .
Here it is fitting to make reference in particular to the rich cultural heritage of Bengal and of the city of Calcutta, graced with a great variety of ethnic communities, each making its specific contribution to the general culture.
In spite of a succession of traumatic experiences consequent upon natural disasters and political events, Bengal has been renowned for the vitality of its cultural and artistic life. In song, poetry, drama, dance and the graphic arts this culture gives expression to the original values present in the life of the people. It is a culture deeply rooted in the soil of this region. One notes warm hospitality, openness to others, and the strength of family life.
Against the background of great suffering and social problems all of this helps us to believe in the forces of hope and in the triumph, under God, of the human spirit.
5. In preparing for this visit I have learned that Bengal was pioneer in introducing modern education on a large scale. This is not to say that you do not have to contend today with serious problems in the field of education and culture. It is facing these problems with courage and resourcefulness that you show the integrity of your spiritual and intellectual leadership.
I am pleased to know that the Christian Churches have contributed to the cultural development of Bengal through their educational institutions. I wish to encourage the Catholic educators of all India to make their schools and centres of higher education ever better instruments at the service of justice development and harmony in social life, inspiring an ever-increasing awareness of the vocation to serve the integral well-being of people, especially the young and the poor.
In order to fulfil this task with completeness these institutions are called to a twofold fidelity. Fidelity, in the first place, to the Gospel message of universal brotherhood and solidarity under the loving providence of our heavenly Father, and fidelity to what is best and most valuable in Indian culture.
Christians in India know that their vocation is not only to give, but also to receive. Theirs is a pilgrimage to the depths of the human spirit, a pilgrimage which enriches their vision and insight into religious truth and into the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
My dear friends: in the Catholic Church you will find a willing partner in the dialogue of truth and in the service of man; you will find a persevering ally to encourage you in making your irreplaceable contribution to humanity. Catholics in every part of the world are exhorted by the Second Vatican Council ” that through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, and in witness of Christian faith and life, they acknowledge, preserve and promote the spiritual and moral goods found among these people, as well as in their social and cultural values” .
The Catholic Church in turn looks to you, men and women of the world of culture, to defend and promote the spiritual and moral well-being of your people, in the common cause of safeguarding and fostering human dignity, social justice, peace and freedom in the world.
To conclude, I would like to raise to God this significant prayer uttered by one of the great sons of this very region, Rabindranath Tagore: “Give us strength to love, to love fully, our life in its joys and sorrows, in its gains and losses, in its rise and fall. Let us have strength enough fully to see and hear Thy universe and to work with full vigour therein. Let us fully live the life Thou hast given us, let us bravely take and bravely give. This is our prayer to Thee” .
And may Almighty God help us to build together a civilisation of harmony and love for every human being! ( To the representatives of other religions in the College of Saint Francis Xavier of Calcutta, February 3 , 1986.)
Just as a reality check, my friends, please see One or the Other for some quotations from Saint Francis Xavier, whose work in India was blasphemed by Wojtyla/John Paul II’s remarks above (and below).
1. I have been longing to visit India, the land of many religions and of a rich cultural heritage, and I have looked forward to this meeting. I am very happy to have this occasion of spiritual fellowship with you.
India is indeed the cradle of ancient religious traditions. The belief in a reality within man which is beyond the material and biological, the belief in the Supreme Being which explains, justifies, and makes possible man’s rising above all aspects of his material self – these beliefs are deeply experienced in India. Your meditations on things unseen and spiritual have made a deep impression on the world. Your overwhelming sense of the primacy of religion and of the greatness of the Supreme Being has been a powerful witness against a materialistic and atheistic view of life.
The Indian rightly thinks that religion has a profound meaning for him. His very being experiences impulses, instincts, questions, longings and aspirations which testify to the greatest of all human quests: the quest for the Absolute, the quest for God. In my first Encyclical after being elected Pope, I made reference to the fact that the Second Vatican Council’s Declaration on non-Christian Religions “is filled with deep esteem for the great spiritual values, indeed for the primacy of the spiritual, which in the life of mankind finds expression in religion and then in morality, with direct effects on the whole of culture” .
2. The Catholic Church recognises the truths that are contained in the religious traditions of India. This recognition makes true dialogue possible. Here today the Church wishes to voice again her true appreciation of the great heritage of the religious spirit that is manifested in your cultural tradition. The Church’s approach to other religions is one of genuine respect; with them she seeks mutual collaboration. This respect is twofold: respect for man in his quest for answers to the deepest questions of his life, and respect for the action of the Spirit in man.
As an inner attitude of the mind and heart, spirituality involves an emphasis on the inner man and it produces an inward transformation of the self. The emphasis on the spiritual nature of man is an emphasis on the sublime dignity of every human person. Spirituality teaches that at the core of all outward appearances there is that inner self which in so many ways is related to the Infinite. This spirituality of inwardness which is so predominant in the Indian religious tradition achieves its complement and fulfilment in the external life of man. Gandhi’s spirituality is an eloquent illustration of this. He says: “Let me explain what I mean by religion… that which changes one’s very nature, which binds one indissolubly to the truth within and which ever purifies. It is the permanent element in human nature which counts no cost too great in order to find full expression and which leaves the soul utterly restless until it has found itself, known its Maker and appreciated the true correspondence between the Maker and itself ” .
3. In a world filled with poverty, disease, ignorance and suffering, genuine spirituality can not only change the mind of man but also change the whole world for the better. Genuine spirituality is seriously concerned with bringing relief to all those who are suffering or in want. In the Christian Scriptures there is a particular passage which, I believe, the followers of all religious traditions will agree with: “He who says he is in the light and hates his brother is in the darkness still. He who loves his brother abides in the light, and in it there is no cause for stumbling” .
The abolition of inhuman living conditions is an authentic spiritual victory, because it brings man freedom, dignity, and the possibility of spiritual life. It enables him to rise above the material. Every man, no matter how poor or unfortunate, is worthy of respect and freedom by reason of his spiritual nature. Because we believe in man, in his value and in his innate excellence, we love him and serve him and seek to relieve his sufferings. As a sage of Tamilnadu, Pattinattar, puts it:
“Believe the One above. Believe that God is.
Know that all other wealth is naught. Feed the hungry.
Know that righteousness and good company are beneficial;
Be content that God’s will be done.
A sermon this is unto thee, O Heart!” .
The Catholic Church has time and again expressed the conviction that all people, both believers and non-believers, must unite and collaborate in the task of bettering this world where all live together. “This certainly cannot be done without a dialogue that is sincere and prudent” . Dialogue which proceeds from the “internal drive of charity” is a powerful means of collaboration between people in eradicating evil from human life and from the life of the community, in establishing right order in human society and thus contributing to the common good of all men in every walk of life.
4. Dialogue between members of different religions increases and deepens mutual respect and paves the way for relationships that are crucial in solving the problems of human suffering. Dialogue that is respectful and open to the opinions of others can promote union and a commitment to this noble cause. Besides, the experience of dialogue gives a sense of solidarity and courage for overcoming barriers and difficulties in the task of nation-building. For without dialogue the barriers of prejudice, suspicion and misunderstanding cannot be effectively removed. With dialogue, each partner makes an honest attempt to deal with the common problems of life and receives courage to accept the challenge of pursuing truth and achieving good. The experience of suffering, disappointment, disillusionment and conflict are changed from signs of failure and doom to occasions for progress in friendship and trust.
Again, dialogue is a means of seeking after truth and of sharing it with others. For truth is light, newness and strength. The Catholic Church holds that “the search for truth, however, must be carried out in a manner that is appropriate to the dignity of the human person and his social nature, namely by free enquiry with the help of teaching or instruction, communication and dialogue. It is by these means that men share with each other the truth they have discovered, or are convinced they have discovered, in such a way that they help one another in the search for truth” . Modern man seeks dialogue as an apt means of establishing and developing mutual understanding, esteem and love, whether between individuals or groups. In this spirit of understanding, the Second Vatican Council urges Christians to acknowledge, preserve and promote the spiritual and moral values found among non-Christians, as well as their social and cultural values .
The fruit of dialogue is union between people and union of people with God, who is the source and revealer of all truth and whose Spirit guides men in freedom only when they meet one another in all honesty and love. By dialogue we let God be present in our midst; for as we open ourselves in dialogue to one another, we also open ourselves to God. We should use the legitimate means of human friendliness, mutual understanding and interior persuasion. We should respect the personal and civic rights of the individual. As followers of different religions we should join together in promoting and defending common ideals in the spheres of religious liberty, human brotherhood, education, culture, social welfare and civic order. Dialogue and collaboration are possible in all these great projects.
5. In the context of religious pluralism, the spirit of tolerance, which has always been part of the Indian heritage, is not only desirable but imperative and must be implemented in a framework of practical means of support. It is the teaching of the Church that the human person has a right to religious freedom. This freedom means that all men are to be immune from coercion on the part of individuals or social groups or any human power, so that no one is forced to act against his convictions or is prevented from acting in accordance with his convictions in religious matters, whether privately or publicly, whether alone or in association with others, within due limits . The world notes with great satisfaction that in the Preamble to her Constitution India has assured to all her citizens liberty of thought, expression, belief, faith and worship. It therefore becomes a duty incumbent on all citizens, especially on leaders in religious life, to support and guard this precious principle which specifically includes the right “to profess, practise and propagate religion”. The way to do so is to show its effectiveness in the reality of public life. Everyone is called upon to uphold this religious liberty and to work for peace and harmony among people of different religious traditions, among societies, and among nations.
6. It is my humble prayer that the remarkable sense of “the sacred” which characterises your culture may penetrate the minds and hearts of all men and women everywhere. In this way God will be honoured and the human family will experience ever more fully its oneness and its common destiny. Peoples will feel the urgency of a global solidarity in the face of the enormous challenges facing mankind. The wisdom and strength which comes from religious commitment will further humanise man’s path through history.
May the Most High God, the Creator and Father of all that exists, man’s highest good, bless us in our task and guide our steps to peace!
With sincere gratitude for the generous hospitality with which you have received me, I wish you the fullness of peace in joy and in love!
In other words, my friends, Baal, yes, the Most Holy Trinity, no!
Distinguished Ministers and Members of Government,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am pleased to have this opportunity to meet you, the respected leaders of the major religious communities represented among the people of Indonesia. As the Bishop of Rome, Successor of the Apostle Peter to whom Christ entrusted a responsibility for all his disciples, I have come on this pastoral visit to Indonesia in order to strengthen the faith of my Catholic brothers and sisters (Cfr. Luc. 22, 32). I have come to meet them, to pray with them, and to assure them that they are an important part of the Catholic Church spread throughout the world.
My visit is not restricted, however, to Indonesia’s Catholics. This country embraces within its far-flung boundaries a number of peoples, with a great richness of languages and customs. There are the traditional, indigenous religious cultures which still are found in many places. Ancient religious traditions such as Buddhism and Hinduism nourish their adherents with the age-old wisdom of the East. Confucianism too has added its characteristic note, while Islam has become the religious path of the majority of Indonesians. The Catholic Church has been present here for centuries and can give thanks to God for the deep faith of generations of Indonesian Catholics. Other Christian communities also have had a long history in this nation. This impressive heritage of religious traditions is widely recognized as a significant dimension of Indonesia’s life as a nation, one that calls for profound respect from all its citizens.
For this reason, I am happy to greet you, the representatives of those communities with which Indonesia’s Catholics are in close contact. I come to you as a man of peace concerned, like yourselves, for the growth of peace and true harmony among all the peoples of the earth. I come to you as a man of faith who believes that all peace is a gift from God. It is this peace of God “which passes all understanding” (Phil. 4, 7) that I invoke upon all the people of Indonesia.
One of the principal challenges facing modern Indonesia is that of building a harmonious society from the many diverse elements which are the source of the nation’s present promise and future greatness. Indonesia’s Catholics find a deep motivation for their contributions to this enterprise in the vision of universal harmony which the Christian faith offers them. By our belief in the one God who is the Creator of heaven and earth, of all that is seen and unseen, we who follow Christ are inspired to work for the advancement of peace and harmony among all people.
This Christian vision is in no way alien to the vision of unity which is characteristic of many other religions. Many religious traditions view the universe as an organic whole, whose parts are knit together in a great web of relations. From this vision is derived a respect for nature, sensitivity in human relationships, a high esteem for love and cooperation within families, a strong sense of justice and the recognition of the rights of each person. Belief in God as the Creator of all things is a powerful stimulus to promote a respectful dialogue among the adherents of the various religions. Undoubtedly, “when Christians and the followers of other religions are united in their belief in the Creator, there exists a sound basis for mutual understanding and peaceful exchange” (Ioannis Pauli PP. II Allocutio ad Indonesiae episcopos limina Apostolorum visitantes 7, die 20 maii 1989: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II XII, 1  1290).
This sort of respectful dialogue and exchange can play a powerful role in the building up of a peaceful and unified society. I wish to express my hope that Indonesia’s religious believers will take the lead in showing that profound respect for others which can foster enduring harmony among the diverse peoples of this nation.
In this regard I am very encouraged by the ideals and practical structures established by the Indonesian Constitution of 1945 concerning the freedom of each citizen to profess the religion of his or her choice and to enjoy freedom of worship. It is the teaching of the Catholic Church that this right to religious freedom is grounded in the very dignity of the human person created by God (Cfr. Dignitatis Humanae, 2). Religious freedom is indeed a fundamental human right, one which should be enjoyed by all religious communities, as well as individuals. Hence, it is very important that this right be protected, “ that the State should effectively ensure and promote the observance of religious freedom, especially when, alongside the great majority who follow one religion, there exist one or more minority groups of another faith (Ioannis Pauli PP. II Nuntius ob diem ad pacem fovendam dicatum, pro a. D. 1989, 8, die 8 dec. 1988: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Polo II, XI, 4  1788).
Distinguished friends: today more than ever the world has become sensitive to the yearning of all peoples to be free, to experience the liberty to live in accordance with the dictates of conscience, to search for the truth without constraint, and to express one’s convictions in a society which promotes authentic progress and a constructive dialogue among people of different beliefs. It is true that this yearning for freedom, unless it is disciplined and directed by a sensitivity to spiritual values and the objective principles of human morality, can degenerate into a permissiveness which enslaves rather than liberates. But this is the very reason why all religious believers should support the cause of authentic liberation by providing that spiritual vision which must necessarily inform any genuine growth in freedom. In a very real sense, it can be said that the responsibility for building a society of cooperation, tolerance and unity within diversity falls to the present generation as a sacred trust, and that Indonesia’s religious leaders have a weighty responsibility in this regard.
So too, do Indonesia’s young people. For this reason I would appeal to them with the words I addressed to young Muslims in Morocco in 1985. “Normally”, I said, “young people look towards the future, they long for a more just and more human world… (But) young people can build a better future if they first put their faith in God and if they pledge themselves to build this new world in accordance with God’s plan, with wisdom and trust” (Ioannis Pauli PP. II Allocutio Albae domi, in Marochio, ad iuvenes muslimos, 6. 4, die 19 aug. 1985: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, VIII, 2  501 s. 500).
This is no small challenge. Indeed, the project of working together in respectful collaboration often involves adopting new perspectives, putting past tensions or hostilities behind and looking towards the future. Each of us is called to adopt an attitude of generous service to one another and in favour of all. As the Second Vatican Council has impressed upon Catholics: “we cannot truly pray to God the Father of all if we treat any people in other than a brotherly fashion” (Nostra Aetate, 5).
In a culturally diverse society, “to treat others in a brotherly fashion” means to live in dialogue. This can take on a number of forms. “Before all else, dialogue is a manner of acting, an attitude and a spirit which guides one’s conduct. It implies concern, respect, and hospitality towards the other” (Secret. pro Non Christianis “Notae quaedam de Ecclesiae rationibus ad asseclas aliarum religionum”, 1984, n. 29: AAS 76  824). In other words, it involves what is often called the “dialogue of life”, where people strive to live in an open and neighbourly spirit, sharing their joys and sorrows, their human problems and preoccupations.
But there is also the “dialogue of deeds”: collaboration for the integral development of all citizens. To this can be added the important dialogue of theological exchange, by which the partners aim to grow in understanding of their respective religious heritages, and to appreciate each other’s spiritual values. And finally, there can be the dialogue of religious experience by which persons rooted in their own religious traditions share their spiritual riches, such as prayer and contemplation (Cfr. ibid. 29-35: “l. c.” pp. 824-825).
In this context, a particular question merits attention. It is that of truth itself, its demands on those who believe, and its requirements for a sincere and respectful dialogue. Unless these issues are faced forthrightly and honestly, an enduring and fruitful collaboration among believers will not be possible.
The voice of conscience commits the human person at the deepest level to think and act in accordance with the truth. To act against one’s conscience would be to betray both the truth and our very selves. Religious believers therefore can never be expected to compromise the truth that they are committed to uphold in their lives.
Yet a firm adherence to the truth of one’s convictions in no way implies being closed to others. Rather it is an invitation to open oneself to the dialogue which we have already described. This is so for two reasons.
First, knowledge of the truth commits us to share the gift we have received with others. In the Holy Bible, Christians read that “God desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (Cfr. 1Tim. 2, 4). The Catholic Church is profoundly convinced that the truth, wherever it is found, can serve as a path to the one God, the Father of all. For this reason, she rejects nothing which is true and holy in other religions (Cfr. Nostra Aetate, 2).
The Church does not waver in her belief that Jesus Christ, the eternal Son of God, is “the Way, the Truth and the Life” (Io. 14, 6) and the definitive revelation of God to humanity. Yet, in the service to the truth that she has received, and in a spirit of respect and dialogue, the Church does not hesitate to cooperate with all men and women of good will for the spiritual and moral elevation of mankind and the dawn of a just and peaceful human society.
Respectful dialogue with others also enables us to be enriched by their insights, challenged by their questions and impelled to deepen our knowledge of the truth. Far from stifling dialogue or rendering it superfluous, a commitment to the truth of one’s religious tradition by its very nature makes dialogue with others both necessary and fruitful.
Here in Indonesia, the establishment by the Ministry for Religious Affairs of a national forum for communication and dialogue between religions may be viewed as a positive step. The great task of serving the truth invites you to join hands in cooperation. I offer my prayers for the success and the continuing fruitfulness of the good work that you have begun.
Dear brothers and sister: with each passing day, the unity of the human family becomes more and more apparent, even when that unity is dramatically threatened by the forces of war, violence and repression. Where spiritual values such as mutual respect, peaceful collaboration, and reconciliation are present, not only is the unity of individual groups strengthened, but the life of entire nations can well be changed and the course of history altered.
The challenge is ours. Together let us strive for mutual understanding and peace. On behalf of all mankind, let us make common cause of safeguarding and fostering those values which will build up the spiritual and moral health of our world. Let us generously serve the will of God, as we have come to know it, in a spirit of dialogue, respect and cooperation.
May God bless you all with his peace! ( Meeting with the leaders of the major religious communities of Indonesia (October 10, 1989)
I have looked forward to this meeting with you, the leaders of the various religions professed by the people of the Sudan. My Pastoral Visit to the Catholic Church in this Nation gives me the opportunity to extend the hand of friendship to you, and to express the hope that all the citizens of the Sudan, irrespective of differences between them, will live in harmony and in mutual cooperation for the common good.
Religion permeates all aspects of life in society, and citizens need to accept one another, with all their differences of language, customs, culture and belief, if civic harmony is to be maintained. Religious leaders play an important role in fostering that harmony.
Here in the Sudan I cannot fail to emphasize once more the Catholic Church’s high regard for the followers of Islam. Sudanese Catholics recognize that their Muslim neighbours prize the moral life, and worship the One God, Almighty and Merciful–especially through prayer, almsgiving and fasting. They appreciate the fact that you revere Jesus and his Mother Mary (Cf. Nostra Aetate, 3). They acknowledge that there are very solid reasons for greater mutual understanding, and they are eager to work with you in order to restore peace and prosperity to the Nation. I hope that this meeting will contribute to a new era of constructive dialogue and goodwill.
I would also like to offer a special greeting to my Christian brothers from other Churches and Ecclesial Communities: “The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit” (Phil. 4: 23). As you are well aware, the Catholic Church is deeply committed to the search for ecumenical understanding, in the perspective of fulfilling the will of our Lord Jesus Christ, “that they may be one” (Jn. 17: 21). I am happy to know that here in the Sudan good ecumenical relations exist and that there are many instances of cooperation. I am confident that the Lord will bless your efforts to proceed further along that path.
To all of you, respected religious leaders of the Sudan, I express once more my esteem, and I repeat that the Catholic Church is irrevocably committed to ecumenical and interreligious dialogue. May God inspire thoughts of peace in the hearts of all believers.
Baraka Allah as–Sudan!
1. I am very pleased to have this opportunity during my visit to Sri Lanka to meet representatives of the various religions which have lived together in harmony for a very long time on this Island: especially Buddhism, present for over two thousand years, Hinduism, also of very long standing, along with Islam and Christianity. This simultaneous presence of great religious traditions is a source of enrichment for Sri Lankan society. At the same time it is a challenge to believers and especially to religious leaders, to ensure that religion itself always remains a force for harmony and peace. On the occasion of my Pastoral Visit to the Catholics of Sri Lanka, I wish to reaffirm the Church’s, and my own, deep and abiding respect for the spiritual and cultural values of which you are the guardians.
Especially since the Second Vatican Council, the Catholic Church has been fully committed to pursuing the path of dialogue and cooperation with the members of other religions. Interreligious dialogue is a precious means by which the followers of the various religions discover shared points of contact in the spiritual life, while acknowledging the differences which exist between them. The Church respects the freedom of individuals to seek the truth and to embrace it according to the dictates of conscience, and in this light she firmly rejects proselytism and the use of unethical means to gain conversions.
2. The Catholic community hopes that through a continuing “dialogue of life” all believers will co–operate willingly in order to defend and promote moral values, social justice, liberty and peace. Like many modern societies, Sri Lanka is facing the spiritual threat represented by the growth of a materialistic outlook, which is more concerned with “having” than with “being”. Experience makes it clear that mere technological progress does not satisfy man’s inner yearning for truth and communion. Deeper spiritual needs have to be met if individuals, families, and society itself are not to fall into a serious crisis of values. There is ample room for co–operation among the followers of the various religions in meeting this serious challenge.
For this reason, I appeal to you and encourage you, as the religious leaders of the Sri Lankan people, to consider the concerns which unite believers, rather than the things which divide them. The safeguarding of Sri Lanka’s spiritual heritage calls for strenuous efforts on the part of everyone to proclaim before the world the sacredness of human life, to defend the inalienable dignity and rights of every individual, to strengthen the family as the primary unit of society and the place where children learn humanity, generosity and love, and to encourage respect for the natural environment. Interreligious co–operation is also a powerful force for promoting ethically upright socio–economic and political standards. Democracy itself benefits greatly from the religiously motivated commitment of believers to the common good.
3. Perhaps nothing represents a greater threat to the spiritual fabric of Sri Lankan society than the continuing ethnic conflict. The religious resources of the entire nation must converge to bring an end to this tragic situation. I recently had occasion to say to an international group of religious leaders: “violence in any form is opposed not only to the respect which we owe to every fellow human being; it is opposed also to the true essence of religion. Whatever the conflicts of the past and even of the present, it is our common task and common duty to make better known the relation between religion and peace” (John Paul II, Address for the Opening of the Sixth World Assembly of the World Conference on Religion and Peace, 2) . The only struggle worthy of man is “the struggle against his own disordered passions, against every type of hatred and violence; in short against everything that is the exact opposite of peace and reconciliation” (John Paul II, Message for the World Day of Peace 1992, 7).
4. Very dear esteemed friends: I am certain that the principles of mercy and non–violence present in your traditions will be a source of inspiration to Sri Lankans in their efforts to build a peace which will be lasting because it is built upon justice and respect for every human being. I express once more my confidence that your country’s long tradition of religious harmony will grow ever stronger, for the peace and well–being of individuals, for the good of Sri Lanka and of all Asia.
[At the end of the meeting the Holy Father added the following words:]
And now I offer you a gift memorable of these days and of the meeting. I am very grateful for your presence and very grateful for this meeting with you that we are together… not against, but together!
Not to be together is dangerous. It is necessary to be together, to dialogue. I am very grateful for that. I see in your presence the signs of the goodwill and of the future, the good future, for Sri Lanka and for the whole world. And so I can return to Rome, more hopeful. Thank you. (Meeting with representatives of other religions (January 21, 1995)
It is a great joy for me to visit once again the beloved land of India and to have this opportunity in particular to greet you, the representatives of different religious traditions, which embody not only great achievements of the past but also the hope of a better future for the human family. I thank the Government and the people of India for the welcome I have received. I come among you as a pilgrim of peace and as a fellow-traveller on the road that leads to the complete fulfilment of the deepest human longings. On the occasion of Diwali, the festival of lights, which symbolizes the victory of life over death, good over evil, I express the hope that this meeting will speak to the world of the things which unite us all: our common human origin and destiny, our shared responsibility for people’s well-being and progress, our need of the light and strength that we seek in our religious convictions. Down the ages and in so many ways, India has taught that truth which the great Christian teachers also propose, that men and women “by inward instinct” are deeply oriented towards God and seek him from the depths of their being (cf. Saint Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, III, q. 60, art. 5, 3). On this basis, I am convinced that together we can successfully take the path of understanding and dialogue.
2. My presence here among you is meant as a further sign that the Catholic Church wants to enter ever more deeply into dialogue with the religions of the world. She sees this dialogue as an act of love which has its roots in God himself. “God is love”, proclaims the New Testament, “and whoever remains in love remains in God and God in him. . . Let us love, then, because he has loved us first. . . no-one who fails to love the brother whom he sees can love God whom he has not seen” (1 Jn 4:16, 19-20).
It is a sign of hope that the religions of the world are becoming more aware of their shared responsibility for the well-being of the human family. This is a crucial part of the globalization of solidarity which must come if the future of the world is to be secure. This sense of shared responsibility increases as we discover more of what we have in common as religious men and women.
Which of us does not grapple with the mystery of suffering and death? Which of us does not hold life, truth, peace, freedom and justice to be supremely important values? Which of us is not convinced that moral goodness is soundly rooted in the individual’s and society’s openness to the transcendent world of the Divinity? Which of us does not believe that the way to God requires prayer, silence, asceticism, sacrifice and humility? Which of us is not concerned that scientific and technical progress should be accompanied by spiritual and moral awareness? And which of us does not believe that the challenges now facing society can only be met by building a civilization of love founded on the universal values of peace, solidarity, justice and liberty? And how can we do this, except through encounter, mutual understanding and cooperation?
3. The path before us is demanding, and there is always the temptation to choose instead the path of isolation and division, which leads to conflict. This in turn unleashes the forces which make religion an excuse for violence, as we see too often around the world. Recently I was happy to welcome to the Vatican representatives of the world religions who had gathered to build upon the achievements of the Assisi Meeting in 1986. I repeat here what I said to that distinguished Assembly: “Religion is not, and must not become a pretext for conflict, particularly when religious, cultural and ethnic identity coincide. Religion and peace go together: to wage war in the name of religion is a blatant contradiction”. Religious leaders in particular have the duty to do everything possible to ensure that religion is what God intends it to be – a source of goodness, respect, harmony and peace! This is the only way to honour God in truth and justice!
Our encounter requires that we strive to discern and welcome whatever is good and holy in one another, so that together we can acknowledge, preserve and promote the spiritual and moral truths which alone guarantee the world’s future (cf. Nostra Aetate, 2). In this sense dialogue is never an attempt to impose our own views upon others, since such dialogue would become a form of spiritual and cultural domination. This does not mean that we abandon our own convictions. What it means is that, holding firmly to what we believe, we listen respectfully to others, seeking to discern all that is good and holy, all that favours peace and cooperation.
4. It is vital to recognize that there is a close and unbreakable bond between peace and freedom. Freedom is the most noble prerogative of the human person, and one of the principal demands of freedom is the free exercise of religion in society (cf. Dignitatis Humanae, 3). No State, no group has the right to control either directly or indirectly a person’s religious convictions, nor can it justifiably claim the right to impose or impede the public profession and practice of religion, or the respectful appeal of a particular religion to people’s free conscience. Recalling this year the fiftieth anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, I wrote that “religious freedom constitutes the very heart of human rights. Its inviolability is such that individuals must be recognized as having the right even to change their religion, if their conscience so demands. People are obliged to follow their conscience in all circumstances and cannot be forced to act against it (cf. Article 18)” (Message for the 1999 World Day of Peace, 5).
5. In India the way of dialogue and tolerance was the path followed by the great Emperors Ashoka, Akbar and Chatrapati Shivaji; by wise men like Ramakrishna Paramahamsa and Swami Vivekananda; and by luminous figures such as Mahatma Gandhi, Gurudeva Tagore and Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan, who understood profoundly that to serve peace and harmony is a holy task. These are people who, in India and beyond, have made a significant contribution to the increased awareness of our universal brotherhood, and they point us to a future where our deep longing to pass through the door of freedom will find its fulfilment because we will pass through that door together. To choose tolerance, dialogue and cooperation as the path into the future is to preserve what is most precious in the great religious heritage of mankind. It is also to ensure that in the centuries to come the world will not be without that hope which is the life-blood of the human heart. May the Lord of heaven and earth grant this now and for ever. (Meeting with the Representatives of the Other Religions and of the Other Christian denominations, Vigyan Bhawan, New Delhi, November 7, 1999)
Dear Chief Rabbi of the Jewish community in Rome; dear president of the Union of Italian Jewish Communities; dear president of the community in Rome; dear rabbis, dear Jewish and Christian friends and brethren taking part in this historic celebration:
First of all, I would like, together with you, to give thanks and praise to the Lord who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth and who chose Abraham in order to make him father of a multitude of children, as numerous ”as the stars of heaven and as the sand which is on the seashore,” to give thanks and praise to Him because it has been His good pleasure, in the mystery of His providence, that this evening there should be a meeting in this your ”major temple” between the Jewish community that has been living in this city since the times of the ancient Romans and the Bishop of Rome and universal pastor of the Catholic Church.
I likewise feel it is my duty to thank the Chief Rabbi, Prof. Elio Toaff, who from the first moment accepted with joy the idea that I should make this visit, and who is now receiving me with great openness of heart and a profound sense of hospitality, and in addition to him I also thank all those members of the Jewish community in Rome who have made this meeting possible and who in so many ways have worked to insure that it should be at one and the same time a reality and symbol.
Reflecting on Significance
Many thanks therefore to you all.
Toda rabba [ Hebrew for ''Many thanks'' ] .
In the light of the word of God that has just been proclaimed and that lives forever, I would like us to reflect together, in the presence of the Holy One – may he be blessed! – on the fact and the significance of this meeting between the Bishop of Rome, the Pope, and the Jewish community that lives and works in this city, which is so dear to you and to me.
I had been thinking of this visit for a long time. In fact, the Chief Rabbi was kind enough to come and see me in February 1981 when I paid a pastoral visit to the nearby parish of San Carlo ai Catenari. In addition, a number of you have been more than once to the Vatican on the occasion of the numerous audiences that I have been able to have with representatives of Italian and world Jewry, and still earlier, in the time of my predecessors Paul VI, John XXIII and Pius XII.
I am likewise well aware that the Chief Rabbi, on the night before the death of Pope John, did not hesitate to go to St. Peter’s Square, and, accompanied by members of the Jewish faithful, he mingled with the crowd of Catholics and other Christians in order to pray and keep vigil, as it were, bearing witness in a silent but very effective way, to the greatness of the soul of that Pontiff, who was open to all people without distinction and in particular to the Jewish brethen.
The heritage that I would now like to take up is precisely that of Pope John, who on one occasion as he passed by here – as the Chief Rabbi has just mentioned – stopped the car so that he could bless the crowd of Jews who were coming out of this very temple. And I would like to take up his heritage at this very moment when I find myself not just outside but, thanks to your generous hospitality, inside, the synagogue of Rome.
This gathering in a way brings to a close, after the pontificate of John XXIII and the Second Vatican Council, a long period which we must not tire of reflecting upon in order to draw from it the appropriate lessons. Certainly, we cannot and should not forget that the historical circumstances of the past were very different from those that have laboriously matured over the centuries. The general acceptance of a legitimate plurality on the social, civil and religious levels has been arrived at with great difficulty.
Nevertheless, a consideration of centuries-long cultural conditioning could not prevent us from recognizing that the acts of discrimination, unjustified limitation of religious freedom, oppression, also on the level of civil freedom, in regard to the Jews were, from an objective point of view, gravely deplorable manifestations. Yes, once again, through myself, the church, in the words of the well-known declaration ”Nostra Aetate,” ”deplores the hatred, persecutions, and displays of anti-Semitism directed against the Jews at any time and by anyone.” I repeat, ”By anyone.”
I would like once more to express a word of abhorrence for the genocide decreed against the Jewish people during the last war, which led to the holocaust of millions of innocent victims.
When I visited on 7 June 1979 the concentration camp at Auschwitz and prayed for the many victims from various nations, I paused in particular before the memorial stone with the inscription in Hebrew and thus manifested the sentiments of my heart: ”This inscription stirs the memory of the people whose sons and daughters were destined to total extermination. This people has its origin in Abraham, who is our father in faith, as Paul of Tarsus expressed it. Precisely this people, which received from God the commandment, ”Thou shalt not kill,” has experienced in itself to a particular degree what killing means. Before this inscription it is not permissible for anyone to pass by with indifference.”
The Jewish community of Rome, too, paid a high price in blood.
Church Offered Refuge
And it was surely a significant gesture that in those dark years of racial persecution the doors of our religious houses, of our churches, of the Roman Seminary, of buildings belonging to the Holy See and of Vatican City itself were thrown open to offer refuge and safety to so many Jews of Rome being hunted by their persecutors.
Today’s visit is meant to make a decisive contribution to the consolidation of the good relations between our two communities, in imitation of the example of so many men and women who have worked and who are still working today, on both sides, to overcome old prejudices and to secure ever wider and fuller recognition of that ”bond” and that ”common spiritual patrimony” that exists between Jews and Christians.
This is the hope expressed in the fourth paragraph of the council’s declaration ”Nostra Aetate,” which I have just mentioned, on the relationship of the church to non-Christian religions. The decisive turning-point in relations between the Catholic Church and Judaism, and with individual Jews, was occasioned by this brief but incisive paragraph.
We are all aware that, among the riches of this paragraph No. 4 of ”Nostra Aetate,” three points are especially relevant. I would like to underline them here before you in this truly unique circumstance.
The Bond With Judaism
The first is that the church of Christ discovers her ”bond” with Judaism by ”searching into her own mystery.” The Jewish religion is not ”extrinsic” to us, but in a certain way is ”intrinsic” to our own religion. With Judaism, therefore, we have a relationship which we do not have with any other religion. You are our dearly beloved brothers, and in a certain way, it could be said that you are our elder brothers.”
The second point noted by the Council is that no ancestral or collective blame can be imputed to the Jews as a people for ”what happened in Christ’s passion.” Not indiscriminately to the Jews of that time nor to those who came afterward nor to those of today. So any alleged theological justification for discriminatory measures or, worse still, for acts of persecution is unfounded. The Lord will judge each one ”according to his own works,” Jews and Christians alike.
The third point that I would like to emphasize in the Council’s declaration is a consequence of the second. Notwithstanding the church’s awareness of her own identity, it is not lawful to say that the Jews are ”repudiated or cursed,” as if this were taught or could be deduced from the sacred Scriptures of the Old or the New Testament. Indeed, the Council had already said in this same text of ”Nostra Aetate,” but also in the dogmatic Constitution Lumen Gentium referring to St. Paul in the Letter to the Romans, that the Jews are beloved of God, who has called them with an irrevocable calling.
On these convictions rest our present relations. On the occasion of this visit to your synagogue, I wish to reaffirm them and to proclaim them in their perennial value.
For this is the meaning which is to be attributed to my visit to you, the Jews of Rome.
It is not, of course, because the differences between us have now been overcome that I have come among you. We know well that this is not so.
First of all, each of our religions, in the full awareness of the many bonds which unite them to each other, and in the first place that ”bond” which the council spoke of, wishes to be recognized and respected in its own identity, beyond any syncretism and any ambiguous appropriation.
Path Is Still at Beginning
Furthermore, it is necessary to say that the path undertaken is still at the beginning and, therefore, a considerable amount of time will still be needed, notwithstanding the great efforts already made on both sides, to remove all forms of prejudice, even subtle ones, to readjust every manner of self-expression and, therefore, to present always and everywhere, to ourselves and to others, the true face of the Jews and of Judaism as likewise of Christians and of Christianity and this at every level of outlook, teaching and communication.
In this regard, I would like to remind my brothers and sisters of the Catholic Church, also those living in Rome, of the fact that the guidelines for implementing the Council in this precise field are already available to everyone in the two documents published respectively in 1974 and 1985 by the Holy See’s Commission for Religious Relations with Judaism. It is only a question of studying them carefully, of immersing oneself in their teachings and of putting them into practice.
Perhaps there still remain between us difficulties of the practical order waiting to be overcome on the level of fraternal relations. These are the result of centuries of mutual misunderstanding and also of different positions and attitudes, not easily settled, in complex and important matters.
Jesus a Son of Your People
No one is unaware that the fundamental difference from the very beginning has been the attachment of us Catholics to the person and teaching of Jesus of Nazareth, a son of your people, from which were also born the Virgin Mary, the Apostles who were the ”foundations and pillars of the church” and the greater part of the first Christian community. But this attachment is located in the order of faith, that is to say, in the free assent of the mind and heart guided by the spirit, and it can never be the object of exterior pressure in one sense or the other. This is the reason why we wish to deepen dialogue in loyalty and friendship, in respect for one another’s intimate convictions, taking as a fundamental basis the elements of the revelation which we have in common as a ”great spiritual patrimony.”
It must be said, then, that the ways opened for our collaboration in the light of our common heritage, drawn from the law and the prophets, are various and important. We wish to recall first of all a collaboration in favor of man, his life from conception until natural death, his dignity, his freedom, his rights, his self-development in a society which is not hostile but friendly and favorable, where justice reigns and where, in this nation, on the various continents and throughout the world, it is peace that rules, the shalom hoped for by their lawmakers, prophets and wise men of Israel.
More in general, there is the problem of morality, the great field of individual and social ethics. We are all aware of how acute the crisis is on this point in the age in which we are living. In a society which is often lost in agnosticism and individualism and which is suffering the bitter consequences of selfishness and violence, Jews and Christians are the trustees and witnesses of an ethic marked by the Ten Commandments, in the observance of which man finds his truth and freedom. To promote a common reflection and collaboration on this point is one of the great duties of the hour.
And finally, I wish to address a thought to this city in which there live side by side the Catholic community with its Bishop and the Jewish community with its authorities and its Chief Rabbi.
Let this not be a mere ”co-existence,” a kind of juxtaposition, interspersed with limited and occasional meetings, but let it be animated by fraternal love.
The problems of Rome are many. You know this well. Each one of us, in the light of that blessed heritage to which I alluded earlier, is conscious of an obligation to work together, at least to some degree, for their solution. Let us seek, as far as possible, to do so together. From this visit of mine and from the harmony and serenity which we have attained may there flow forth a fresh and health-giving spring like the river that Ezekiel saw gushing from the eastern gate of the Temple of Jerusalem, which will help to heal the wounds from which Rome is suffering.
In doing this, I venture to say, we shall each be faithful to our most sacred commitments and also to that which most profoundly unites and gathers us together: faith in the one God who ”loves strangers” and ”renders justice to the orphan and the wise,” commanding us too to love and help them. Christians have learned this desire of the Lord from the Torah, which you here venerate, and from Jesus, who took to its extreme consequences the love demanded by the Torah. Rediscovered Brotherhood
All that remains for me now, as at the beginning of my address, is to turn my eyes and my mind to the Lord, to thank him and praise him for this joyful meeting and for the good things which are already flowing from it, for the rediscovered brotherhood and for the new and more profound understanding between us here in Rome and between the church and Judaism everywhere, in every country, for the benefit of all.
Therefore I would like to say with the Psalmist, in his original language which is also your own inheritance:
Hodu la Adonai Ki tob Ki le olam hasdo Yomar-na Yisrael Ki le olam hasdo Yomeru-na yire Adonai Ki le olam hasdo.
O give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His steadfast love endures forever! Let Israel say, ”His steadfast love endures forever.” Let those who fear the Lord say, ”His steadfast love endures forever.”
Amen. (Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, Speech at the Synogogue of Rome, April 13, 1986, purchased from The New York Times for a single purchase price of $3.95; I don’t know if this link, TEXT OF JOHN PAUL II’S SPEECH AT ROME SYNAGOGUE: ‘YOU ARE OUR ELDER BROTHERS’, will work for you.)