Baal, Yes, Most Holy Trinity, No
by Thomas A. Droleskey
As is well known, I was a papaloter for a long time during what I realize now to have been the false "pontificate" of Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II, projecting my own desire for the restoration of the Church into the mind and the heart of a man who had defected from the Faith in his young (see
"Connecting" with Betrayal). Only a handful of Catholics saw clearly that Wojtyla/John Paul II had been a Modernist throughout the course of his priesthood and throughout his life as a bishop. The rest of us were content to believe that the dark days under Giovanni Montini/Paul VI were over and that "order" was going to be restored to what we thought was the Catholic Church.
This is what I wrote in
Singing the Old Songs about seventeen months ago now:
To wit, all of my own former efforts to project Catholicity into the mind and the heart of the late Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II were founded in looking at bits and pieces of the puzzle, refusing to admit that the false "pontiff" expressed most publicly a belief in various condemned propositions (including false ecumenism, the new ecclesiology, inter-religious dialogue, religious liberty, separation of Church and State, praising false religions for the "good" that they do and how they can contribute to "world peace," etc.). Undeterred by these inconvenient little facts, I sang "the old songs" to defend Wojtyla/John Paul II for far too long. This is how the "old songs" went:
1. It was within a week of his election on October 16, 1978, that John Paul II said that he wanted to see priests back in their clerical garb and women religious back in their habits. He's traditionally-minded, I told people repeatedly.
2. He tried to put catechesis back on the "right track" with the issuance of the post-synodal exhortation Sapientia Christianae
3. He told off the Communists in Poland in June of 1979, saying in a "homily" at an outdoor "Mass" in Victory Square in Warsaw that no one could ever remove Christ as the center of history. See, he's not an appeaser like Paul VI, I said triumphantly.
4. John Paul II whacked the American bishops over the head but good during his first pilgrimage to the United States of America in October of 1979, using some of their own pastoral letters against them, knowing full well that they were not enforcing their own documents. He told Catholic educators assembled at The Catholic University of America on October 7, 1979, and I was one of those educators in attendance that day, that the Church needed her theologians to be "faithful to the magisterium." I gloated as John Paul II said this, staring in the direction of the notorious dissenter named Father Charles Curran, a priest of the Diocese of Rochester, New York, who was sitting two rows in back of me, dressed in a jacket and tie. It was later that same day that the "pope" denounced abortion as the nine justices of the Supreme Court of the United States of America sat in the very front row of chairs on the Capitol Mall during an outdoor "Mass," saying in a most stirring manner, "And when God gives life, it is forever!"
5. Two months thereafter, in December of 1979, Father Hans Kung was declared by the then named Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to be ineligible to hold a chair in theology at Tubingen University in Germany (all right, all right, "other arrangements" were made to permit Kung to stay). "Let the heads roll," I told my classes at Allentown College of Saint Francis de Sales that day. "Let the heads of the dissenters roll."
6. John Paul II wanted to correct abuses in the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service, using his Holy Thursday letter, Dominicae Cenae, February 24, 1980, going so far as to state:
As I bring these considerations to an end, I would like to ask forgiveness-in my own name and in the name of all of you, venerable and dear brothers in the episcopate-for everything which, for whatever reason, through whatever human weakness, impatience or negligence, and also through the at times partial, one-sided and erroneous application of the directives of the Second Vatican Council, may have caused scandal and disturbance concerning the interpretation of the doctrine and the veneration due to this great sacrament. And I pray the Lord Jesus that in the future we may avoid in our manner of dealing with this sacred mystery anything which could weaken or disorient in any way the sense of reverence and love that exists in our faithful people.
See, I said proudly, to one and all. He's going to "fix" things, isn't he? The issuance of Inaestimabile Donum two months later, which I would wave in the faces of "disobedient" conciliar priests for about a decade before it began to dawn on me that there was going to be no enforcement of "rules" in an ever-changing and ever-changable liturgical abomination, was "proof," I said at the time, of how the "pope" is "turning things around in right direction. I wasn't the only one. The Angelus, a publication of the Society of Saint Pius X, commented favorably on some of these things itself in 1980.
7. "Pope" John Paul II personally opened a Perpetual Adoration Chapel in the Piazza Venezia in Rome at the behest of Mother Teresa of Calcutta, also mandating daily periods of Solemn Eucharistic Adoration in each of the four major basilicas in Rome. He used his pilgrimage to South Korea in 1984 to state that he wanted to see Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration established in all of the parishes of the world.
8. Father Charles Curran was finally denied in 1986 the right to teach as a theologian in Catholic institutions and Father Matthew Fox, O.P., was forbidden to teach in Catholic institutions by John Paul II's "defender of the faith," Joseph "Cardinal" Ratzinger, and dismissed from the Order of Preachers in 1992 for his New Age "creation spirituality" beliefs.
9. John Paul II would take various American "bishops" to task during the quinquennial (or ad limina apostolorum) visits, pointedly asking the late "Bishop" John Raymond McGann of the Diocese of Rockville Center in 1983 why sixteen of his diocese's parishes did not have regularly scheduled confessions during the recently concluded Easter Triduum. Being dissatisfied with McGann's answer ("Our priests are very busy, Your Holiness"), John Paul said, "Excellency, I was not too buy to hear Confessions in Saint Peter's on Good Friday." McGann got into further trouble later that day in April of 1983 when he was talking at lunch with John Paul and the other New York Province "bishops" about how most young people today do not know their faith and are thus in theological states of error, inculpable for their ignorance. John Paul II put down his soup spoon and said, "I agree with you. You are correct. However, the bishops and priests who are responsible for these young people being in states of error go directly to Hell when they die." McGann turned ashen, reportedly having difficulty eating for three days. "Ah, what a pope we have," I said when learning of this from Roman contacts.
10. Silvio Cardinal Oddi, then the Prefect of the Congregation for the Clergy, told me personally in his office on the Via della Concilazione on October 10, 1984, the very day that the first "indult" for the Immemorial Mass of Tradition was issued, "I want the Mass of Saint Pius V back! The Pope wants the Mass of Saint Pius V back! We will get the Mass of Saint Pius V back!" Cardinal Oddi explained that there was much opposition to what the "pope" wanted to, that he had to move cautiously and with conditions. He made it clear, however, that it was the mind of the "pope" for the "old Mass" to return.
My cheerleading for the last conciliar "pontiff" to have been a true bishop was not without some justification as I selectively refused to to accept the fact that his embrace of the new ecclesiology and false ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue and inter-religious "prayer" meetings and religious liberty and separation of Church and State and his treating the "ministers" of false religions as valid servants of God placed him outside the pale of the Catholic Church.
To wit, I heard Wojtyla/John Paul II give quite what I thought was a reprimand to dissenting theologians such as Charles Curran, who was sitting two rows in back of me, at the Catholic University of American Field House on Sunday, October 7, 1979, the very day that, as I learned much later, Father Anthony Cekada of the Society of Saint Pius X was warning people at Saint Athanasius Church in Vienna, Virginia, not to be fooled by the actor from Poland. Here are the words uttered by Wojtyla/John Paul II in my own hearing that certainly fooled me into thinking that the young "pontiff" bode well for the "restoration" of the Church:
The relationship to truth explains therefore the historical bond between the university and the Church. Because she herself finds her origin and her growth in the words of Christ, which are the liberating truth (cf. Jn 8 :32), the Church has always tried to stand by the institutions that serve, and cannot but serve the knowledge of truth. The Church can rightfully boast of being in a sense the mother of universities. The names of Bologna, Padua, Prague and Paris shine in the earliest history of intellectual endeavor and human progress. The continuity of the historic tradition in this field has come down to our day.
An undiminished dedication to intellectual honesty and academic excellence are seen, in a Catholic university, in the perspective of the Church's mission of evangelization and service. This is why the Church asks these institutions, your institutions, to set out, without equivocation, your Catholic nature. This is what I have desired to emphasize in my Apostolic Constitution Sapientia Christiana, where I stated: "Indeed, the Church's mission of spreading the Gospel not only demands that the Good News be preached ever more widely and to ever greater numbers of men and women, but that the very power of the Gospel should permeate thought patterns, standards of judgment, and the norms of behavior; in a word, it is necessary that the whole of human culture be steeped in the Gospel. The cultural atmosphere in which a human being lives has a great influence upon his or her way of thinking and, thus, of acting. Therefore, a division between faith and culture is more than a small impediment to evangelization, while a culture penetrated with the Christian spirit is an instrument that favors the spreading of the Good News" (Sapientia Christiana, I). The goals of Catholic higher education go beyond education for production, professional competence, technological and scientific competence; they aim at the ultimate destiny of the human person, at the full justice and holiness born of truth (cf. Eph 4:24).
If then your universities and colleges are institutionally committed to the Christian message, and if they are part of the Catholic community of evangelization, it follows that they have an essential relationship to the hierarchy of the Church. And here I want to say a special word of gratitude, encouragement and guidance for the theologians. The Church needs her theologians, particularly in this time and age so profoundly marked by deep changes in all areas of life and society. The Bishops of the Church, to whom the Lord has entrusted the keeping of the unity of the faith and the preaching of the message—individual Bishops for their dioceses; and Bishops collegially, with the Successor of Peter, for the universal church—we all need your work, your dedication and the fruits of your reflection. We desire to listen to you and we are eager to receive the valued assistance of your responsible scholarship.
But true theological scholarship, and by the same token theological teaching, cannot exist and be fruitful without seeking its inspiration and its source in the word of God as contained in Sacred Scripture and in the Sacred Tradition of the Church, as interpreted by the authentic Magisterium throughout history (cf. Dei Verbum, 10). True academic freedom must be seen in relation to the finality of the academic enterprise, which looks to the total truth of the human person. The theologian's contribution will be enriching for the Church only if it takes into account the proper function of the Bishops and the rights of the faithful. It devolves upon the Bishops of the Church to safeguard the Christian authenticity and unity of faith and moral teaching, in accordance with the injunction of the Apostle Paul: "Proclaim the message and, welcome or unwelcome, insist on it. Refute falsehood, correct error, call to obedience ..." (2 Tim 4 :2). It is the right of the faithful not to be troubled by theories and hypotheses that they are not expert in judging or that are easily simplified or manipulated by public opinion for ends that are alien to the truth. On the day of his death, John Paul I stated: "Among the rights of the faithful, one of the greatest is the right to receive God's word in all its entirety and purity ..." (September 28, 1979). It behooves the theologian to be free, but with the freedom that is openness to the truth and the light that comes from faith and from fidelity to the Church.
In concluding I express to you once more my joy in being with you today. I remain very close to your work and your concerns. May the intercession of Mary, Seat of Wisdom, sustain you always in your irreplaceable service of humanity and the Church. God bless you. ( To the Catholic University in Washington, October 7, 1979.)
All of that sounded pretty Catholic to me, and it was as far as it went. Modernism is, after all, a mixture of truth and error. What I did not realize at the time, and did not realize for about twenty-six and one-half years thereafter, was that the Catholic Church can never give us any admixture of truth and error, as Pope Gregory XVI noted in Singulari Nos, May 25, 1834:
As for the rest, We greatly deplore the fact that, where the ravings of human reason extend, there is somebody who studies new things and strives to know more than is necessary, against the advice of the apostle. There you will find someone who is overconfident in seeking the truth outside the Catholic Church, in which it can be found without even a light tarnish of error. Therefore, the Church is called, and is indeed, a pillar and foundation of truth. You correctly understand, venerable brothers, that We speak here also of that erroneous philosophical system which was recently brought in and is clearly to be condemned. This system, which comes from the contemptible and unrestrained desire for innovation, does not seek truth where it stands in the received and holy apostolic inheritance. Rather, other empty doctrines, futile and uncertain doctrines not approved by the Church, are adopted. Only the most conceited men wrongly think that these teachings can sustain and support that truth.
Blissfully believing that Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II was the great "defender" despite such travesties as the Assisi event and "papal" extravaganza "liturgies" that I was "sure" pained the "pontiff" as much as they pained me, I ignored those things that pointed to the fact that Wojtyla/John Paul II was a Modernist and chose to "hang my hat" on such exhortations as the following one that he gave to the American "bishops" at the Minor Seminary of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles, California, on September 16, 1987, heedless of the fact that the warning he gave to dissenting Catholics applied just as much to himself as he, Wojtyla/John Paul II, spoke of the Church as "communio" and pointed with pride to the falsehood of episcopal collegiality. I chose to believe what I wanted to believe:
It is sometimes reported that a large number of Catholics today do not adhere to the teaching of the Church on a number of questions, notably sexual and conjugal morality, divorce and remarriage. Some are reported as not accepting the Church’s clear position on abortion. It has also been noted that there is a tendency on the part of some Catholics to be selective in their adherence to the Church’s moral teachings. It is sometimes claimed that dissent from the Magisterium is totally compatible with being a "good Catholic" and poses no obstacle to the reception of the sacraments. This is a grave error that challenges the teaching office of the bishops of the United States and elsewhere. I wish to encourage you in the love of Christ to address this situation courageously in your pastoral ministry, relying on the power of God’s truth to attract assent and on the grace of the Holy Spirit which is given both to those who proclaim the message and to those to whom it is addressed.
We must also constantly recall that the teaching of Christ’s Church - like Christ himself - is a "sign of contradiction". It has never been easy to accept the Gospel teaching in its entirety, and it never will be. The Church is committed, both in faith and morals, to make her teaching as clear and understandable as possible, presenting it in all the attractiveness of divine truth. And yet the challenge of the Gospel remains inherent in the Christian message transmitted to each generation. Archbishop Quinn has made reference to a principle with extremely important consequences for every area of the Church’s life: "... the revelation of God par excellence is found in the Cross of Christ which makes God’s folly wiser than human wisdom. Often human wisdom in a given age appears to have the last word. But the Cross brings a perspective that changes judgements radically". Yes, dear brothers, the Cross - in the very act of revealing mercy, compassion and love - changes judgements radically.
6. A number of other general points may be made. First, the Church is a community of faith. To accept faith is to give assent to the word of God as transmitted by the Church’s authentic Magisterium. Such assent constitutes the basic attitude of the believer, and is an act of the will as well as of the mind. It would be altogether out of place to try to model this act of religion on attitudes drawn from secular culture.
Within the ecclesial community, theological discussion takes place within the framework of faith. Dissent from Church doctrine remains what it is, dissent; as such it may not be proposed or received on a equal footing with the Church’s authentic teaching.
Moreover, as bishops we must be especially responsive to our role as authentic teachers of the faith when opinions at variance with the Church’s teaching are proposed as a basis for pastoral practice.
I wish to support you as you continue to engage in fruitful dialogue with theologians regarding the legitimate freedom of inquiry which is their right. You rightly give them sincere encouragement in their difficult task, and assure them how much the Church needs and deeply appreciates their dedicated and constructive work. They, on their part, will recognize that the title Catholic theologian expresses a vocation and a responsibility at the service of the community of faith, and subject to the authority of the pastors of the Church. In particular your dialogue will seek to show the unacceptability of dissent and confrontation as a policy and method in the area of Church teaching. (To the Bishops of the United States of America, September 16, 1987.)
This is all sounded very good at the time to me, then approaching thirty-six years of age, as I was so focused on the "bad bishops" and the "bad theologians" and "disobedient" priests and religions that I did not realize--and could not accept when challenged to do so (as I was so challenged by members of the Society of Saint Pius X and the Society of Saint Pius V on Long Island in 1986 and 1987; indeed I was challenged by relatives, who were going to a Society of Saint Pius X Mass each Sunday in New Hartford, New York, about the Judeo-Masonic influences at the "Second" Vatican Council as early as Thursday, November 25, 1976, the day after I turned twenty-five years of age)--the fact that Wojtyla/John Paul II was a Modernist himself and that the source of all of the liturgical "abuses" I hated so much and fought so fiercely was the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service itself. And, of course, the same is true today for those still attached to the structures of the counterfeit church of conciliarism who point with pride to those times that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI appears to speak as a Catholic while they prefer to ignore the many ways that he defects from the Catholic Faith, starting with his denial of the nature of dogmatic truth as defined solemnly by the teaching authority of the Catholic Church and to which he had to swear when he took The Oath Against Modernism before his ordination to the sub-diaconate, the diaconate and the priesthood.
All of this came to mind yesterday when Father Markus Ramolla was giving a very fine sermon, “The Sign of the Cross,” at Saint Gertrude the Great Church in West Chester, Ohio, yesterday, Trinity Sunday, June 7, 2009. Father Ramolla made the excellent point that a Catholic bishop or priest always makes the Sign of the Cross when he gives a blessing in the Name of the Most Holy Trinity to others. This is something, of course, that Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II did not do when speaking before non-Christians during between the time of his "election" on Monday, October 16, 1978, and the time of his death on Friday, April 1, 2005 (or Saturday, April 2, 2005), and it is something that Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI does not do at the present time when speaking before non-Christians.
To his credit, Wojtyla/John Paul II had it within his own personal constitution to make the Sign of the Cross when passing before crowds of people in his "popemobile." Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, however, does not do so on a regular basis. He waves at the crowd. It is not part of his own personal constitution to make the very sign of our Holy Faith on a regular basis when he passes before crowds of people. We saw him personally wave at the crowds lined along either side of the Via della Concilazione on Friday, May 13, 2005, without once making the Sign of the Cross as he passed by in his "popemobile" after taking "possession" of the Basilica of San Giovanni Laterano and announcing that he was placing his conciliar "predecessor" on the "fast track" for "beatification" and "canonization," announcing as well that the Modernist William Levada was being appointed to succeed himself as the prefect of the conciliar Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
To wit, Ratzinger/Benedict XVI never once made the Sign of the Cross when he prayed privately at the site of the former twin towers of the World Trade Center, now referred to as "Ground Zero," in the Borough of Manhattan in the City of New York, New York, on Sunday, April 20, 2008. I don't know about you, my friends, but it must take an awful lot of effort for a man raised as a Catholic and who believes himself to be the Vicar of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on earth not to make the Sign of the Cross before and after a private prayer and before uttering a public prayer which he did not mention the Holy Name of Our Lord Jesus Christ. This is what I wrote at the time:
Put on the Mind of Christ? How did Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI put on the Mind of Christ when he uttered a "prayer" at the former site of the twin towers of the World Trade Center in the Borough of Manhattan without once mentioning the Holy Name of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and without even making the Sign of the Cross (!) before and after he prayed privately, no less after he uttered the Masonic prayer. Yes, he gave a blessing in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Fine. His simple act of refusing to make the Sign of the Cross in private prayer and in his non-denominational prayer is not the Mind of Christ. Our Lady herself made the Sign of the Cross when she appeared to Saint Bernadette Soubirous to lead her in the praying of the Rosary in the Grotto of Massabielle 150 years ago. The Sign of the Cross is the very sign of our Faith. (See for yourself, April 20, 2008 - Ceremony at Ground Zero .) (All is Quicksand Without Our Lady)
We are to make the Sign of the Cross before and after every prayer that we utter. Ratzinger/Benedict did not do when uttering this non-denominational prayer on Sunday, April 20, 2008:
O God of love, compassion, and healing,
look on us, people of many different faiths and traditions,
who gather today at this site,
the scene of incredible violence and pain.
We ask you in your goodness
to give eternal light and peace
to all who died here—
the heroic first-responders:
our fire fighters, police officers,
emergency service workers, and Port Authority personnel,
along with all the innocent men and women
who were victims of this tragedy
simply because their work or service
brought them here on September 11, 2001.
We ask you, in your compassion
to bring healing to those
who, because of their presence here that day,
suffer from injuries and illness.
Heal, too, the pain of still-grieving families
and all who lost loved ones in this tragedy.
Give them strength to continue their lives with courage and hope.
We are mindful as well
of those who suffered death, injury, and loss
on the same day at the Pentagon and in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Our hearts are one with theirs
as our prayer embraces their pain and suffering.
God of peace, bring your peace to our violent world:
peace in the hearts of all men and women
and peace among the nations of the earth.
Turn to your way of love
those whose hearts and minds
are consumed with hatred.
God of understanding,
overwhelmed by the magnitude of this tragedy,
we seek your light and guidance
as we confront such terrible events.
Grant that those whose lives were spared
may live so that the lives lost here
may not have been lost in vain.
Comfort and console us,
strengthen us in hope,
and give us the wisdom and courage
to work tirelessly for a world
where true peace and love reign
among nations and in the hearts of all.
(Prayer during the visit to Ground Zero in New York, April 20, 2008.)
Catholics always pray in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. This, however, is not the mind of the conciliar "pontiffs," demonstrating that they are not of one mind and one heart with the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, or His Most Blessed Mother, who made the Sign of the Cross with reverence in the Grotto of Massabielle near Lourdes, France, or His foster-father, Saint Joseph, who blessed the crowds assembled during the Miracle of the Sun with the Sign of the Cross.
Although there are many examples of the conciliar "pontiffs" speaking to those who deny the Sacred Divinity of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ by asking the blessing of "God" upon such people without invoking the Holy Name of the Most Blessed Trinity, it might be useful to provide just a few examples to provide readers with a "permanent record" that will be readily accessible in the future to show to relatives and friends who might be as prone at this time to do what I did for far, far too long: to defend the indefensible by refusing to recognize apostasy when it is right in front of their very faces.
The first example comes from Wojtyla/John Paul II's visit to Kenya, most likely the birthplace of Barack Hussein Obama, in 1980. Wojtyla/John Paul II's address to Hindus expressed "respect" for the "religious values embraced" by the followers of this false religion.
The presence here today of members of the Hindu community gives me great pleasure. In visiting the people of Kenya, I am happy to become acquainted with all those who live in this land and have a part in the life of this nation.
Your own roots are found in the venerable history of Asia, for which I have much respect and esteem. In greeting you I willingly recall the fact that the Second Vatican Council, in its Declaration “Nostra Aetate” manifested the fraternal attitude of the whole Catholic Church to non-Christian religions. In this she showed her task of fostering unity and love among individuals and nations and her commitment to advance fellowship among all human beings. Special reference in the document was made to Hinduism and to the religious values embraced by its followers.
And today the Catholic Church is willingly associated with all her brethren in a dialogue on the mystery of man and the mystery of God. The purpose of life, the nature of good, the path to happiness, the meaning of death and the end of our human journey - all these truths form the object of our common service of man in his many needs, and to the promotion of his full human dignity.
And under the sign of this human dignity and brotherhood I greet you today with sincerity and fraternal love. (To the members of the Hindu community, Nairobi, Kenya, May 7, 1980.)
Under the "sign of this human dignity and brotherhood I greet you today with sincerity and fraternal love"? That's a little different than the Sign of the Cross. The Catholic Church has nothing to "learn" from members of a false religion about the "mystery of man and the mystery of God." She has the totality of Divine Revelation and stands in no need of having to enter in a "dialogue on the mystery of man and the mystery of God" with people whom Saint Francis Xavier simply exhorted to convert unconditionally to the true Faith.
Wojtyla/John Paul II's address to Muslims in Ghana a day later was redolent of "respect" for this false religion, which blasphemes Our Lord by denying His Sacred Divinity and calling him but a mere "prophet," as he spoke in Judeo-Masonic terms advancing the "great cause of human dignity be advanced through our fraternal solidarity and friendship:"
At this time I wish to express my respect for the Muslim representatives present here. Through you I send my cordial greetings to the entire Muslim community throughout Ghana.
During my recent visit to Turkey I had the occasion to speak special words of friendship for my Islamic brothers and sisters. My words were the expression of a contact that was fostered by the Second Vatican Council, and that found an important reference in the memorable Message to Africa of Paul VI in 1967. On that occasion he stated: "We also wish to express our esteem for all the followers of Islam living in Africa, who have principles in common with Christianity, which give us glad hope of an effective dialogue. Meanwhile, we express our wish that Muslims and Christians live as neighbours mutual respect will be constantly present in social life also, and common action to promote the acceptance and the defence of man’s fundamental rights"
Yes, mutual respect based on mutual understanding and directed to the joint service of humanity is a great contribution to the world.
Hence today I renew my own sentiments of esteem and those of the whole Catholic Church for the Muslims of Ghana and of all Africa, praying that the Almighty and Merciful God will grant peace and brotherhood to all the members of the human family. And may the harmony of creation and the great cause of human dignity be advanced through our fraternal solidarity and friendship. (To the Muslim Leaders of Ghana, Accra, May 8, 1980.)
No mention of the Most Holy Trinity, Whose very existence was rejected by the violent false prophet named Mohammed, in this address. Just an invitation that the "Almighty and Merciful God will grant peace and brotherhood to all the members of the human family." Ratzinger/Benedict spoke in similar terms during his pilgrimage last month to Jordan and Israel, referring to a mosque in Jordan as a "jewel" and the mosque of the Dome of Rock in Jerusalem as "sacred," utter blasphemies in the sight of the Most Holy Trinity (see
"When He Cometh, Shall He Find, Think You, Faith on Earth?").
Wojtyla/John Paul II referred to his much-mocked "civilization of love" when he gave the following address to Mohammedans in Nigeria in 1982, invoking once again the 'Almighty and Merciful God" so as not to offend his Mohammedan listeners:
This speech, this text, was intended for Muslim religious leaders. I am now addressing the same words to you, who are representing the whole population of Kaduna State, and especially the Muslim population.
1. I am happy to have this encounter with you, the Muslim religious leaders in Nigeria. I warmly greet you and through you I send my greetings to the many millions of Muslims of this great country. I have come to Nigeria to visit my brothers and sisters of the Catholic Church, but my journey would be incomplete without this meeting. Be assured therefore that I am very pleased at this opportunity to express to you my sentiments of fraternal respect and esteem.
2. All of us, Christians and Muslims, live under the sun of the one merciful God.
We both believe in one God who is the Creator of Man. We acclaim God’s sovereignty and we defend man’s dignity as God’s servant. We adore God and profess total submission to him. Thus, in a true sense, we can call one another brothers and sisters in faith in the one God. And we are grateful for this faith, since without God the life of man would be like the heavens without the sun.
Because of this faith that we have in God, Christianity and Islam have many things in common: the privilege of prayer, the duty of justice accompanied by compassion and almsgiving, and above all a sacred respect for the dignity of man, which is at the foundation of the basic rights of every human being, including the right to life of the unborn child.
We Christians have received from Jesus, our Lord and Master, the fundamental law of love of God and love of neighbour. I know that this law of love has a profound echo in your hearts too, for in your sacred book, together with the invitation to faith, you are exhorted to excel in good works (cf. Sura 5,51).
3. In the world today there are many dangers which threaten the family, that precious nucleus of society wherein each human life begins and develops. I would assure you that Christians have a special concern for the family, for its unity, enrichment and protection. I speak of this concern with you because I am confident that you too are aware of the importance of the values of the family and wish to cooperate with Christians in efforts aimed at strengthening and supporting family life.
Permit me to mention some additional areas where Christians and Muslims can cooperate more.
We can engage in dialogue, in order to understand each other better at both the level of the scholars and in person-to-person relationships, in the family and in places of work and play.
We can promote more honesty and discipline in private and public life, greater courage and wisdom in politics, the elimination of political antagonisms, and the removal of discrimination because of a person’s race, colour, ethnic origin, religion or sex.
Both of us can spearhead the principle and practice of religious freedom, ensuring its application especially in the religious education of children. When the right of each child to worship God is complemented by his or her right to religious education, then all society is enriched and its members are well equipped for life. Religious education takes on increased importance today, since certain elements in society seek to forget and even to destroy the spiritual aspect of man.
4. Why do I speak of these issues with you? Because you are Muslims, and like us Christians, you believe in the one God who is the source of all the rights and values of mankind. Furthermore I am convinced that if we join hands in the name of God we can accomplish much good. We can work together for harmony and national unity, in sincerity and greater mutual confidence. We can collaborate in the promotion of justice, peace and development. It is my earnest hope that our solidarity of brotherhood, under God, will truly enhance the future of Nigeria and all Africa, and add to the good ordering of the world as a universal civilization of love.
May the Almighty and Merciful God turn his face towards you and bless you. May he guide you. May he fill you with his peace and give joy to your hearts. ( To the Muslim religious leaders, Kaduna, Nigeria, February 14, 1982.)
"Thus, in a true sense, we can call one another brothers and sisters in faith in the one God. And we are grateful for this faith, since without God the life of man would be like the heavens without the sun"? Faith in the one God? This is what Pope Leo XIII said was necessary for people to share the same Faith in true God of Revelation, whose contents belong exclusively to the Catholic Church and to no false religion whatsoever:
Agreement and union of minds is the necessary foundation of this perfect concord amongst men, from which concurrence of wills and similarity of action are the natural results. Wherefore, in His divine wisdom, He ordained in His Church Unity of Faith; a virtue which is the first of those bonds which unite man to God, and whence we receive the name of the faithful - "one Lord, one faith, one baptism" (Eph. iv., 5). That is, as there is one Lord and one baptism, so should all Christians, without exception, have but one faith. And so the Apostle St. Paul not merely begs, but entreats and implores Christians to be all of the same mind, and to avoid difference of opinions: "I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no schisms amongst you, and that you be perfect in the same mind and in the same judgment" (I Cor. i., 10). Such passages certainly need no interpreter; they speak clearly enough for themselves. Besides, all who profess Christianity allow that there can be but one faith. It is of the greatest importance and indeed of absolute necessity, as to which many are deceived, that the nature and character of this unity should be recognized. And, as We have already stated, this is not to be ascertained by conjecture, but by the certain knowledge of what was done; that is by seeking for and ascertaining what kind of unity in faith has been commanded by Jesus Christ. (Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896.)
Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II was an apostate. I was too blinded by the times that he sounded like a Catholic to recognize the fact that no one who spoke as he did before non-Catholics could remain a member of the Catholic Church in good standing. I had simply refused to take seriously these words of Pope Leo XIII, contained in the afore-cited Satis Cognitum, Number 9:
The Church, founded on these principles and mindful of her office, has done nothing with greater zeal and endeavour than she has displayed in guarding the integrity of the faith. Hence she regarded as rebels and expelled from the ranks of her children all who held beliefs on any point of doctrine different from her own. The Arians, the Montanists, the Novatians, the Quartodecimans, the Eutychians, did not certainly reject all Catholic doctrine: they abandoned only a certain portion of it. Still who does not know that they were declared heretics and banished from the bosom of the Church? In like manner were condemned all authors of heretical tenets who followed them in subsequent ages. "There can be nothing more dangerous than those heretics who admit nearly the whole cycle of doctrine, and yet by one word, as with a drop of poison, infect the real and simple faith taught by our Lord and handed down by Apostolic tradition" (Auctor Tract. de Fide Orthodoxa contra Arianos).
The practice of the Church has always been the same, as is shown by the unanimous teaching of the Fathers, who were wont to hold as outside Catholic communion, and alien to the Church, whoever would recede in the least degree from any point of doctrine proposed by her authoritative Magisterium. Epiphanius, Augustine, Theodore :, drew up a long list of the heresies of their times. St. Augustine notes that other heresies may spring up, to a single one of which, should any one give his assent, he is by the very fact cut off from Catholic unity. "No one who merely disbelieves in all (these heresies) can for that reason regard himself as a Catholic or call himself one. For there may be or may arise some other heresies, which are not set out in this work of ours, and, if any one holds to one single one of these he is not a Catholic" (S. Augustinus, De Haeresibus, n. 88). (Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, June 29, 1896.)
Although I will append several other examples of Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II's respect for false religions at the end of the brief Litany of Saints that is included at the end of each of the articles on this site, one other example will suffice before examining two of Wojtyla/John Paul II's and Ratzinger/Benedict's addresses at Talmudic synagogues.
Wojtyla/John Paul II's embrace of the falsehood of "inter-religious" dialogue, of which he was an important "founding father" (see
"Connecting" with Betrayal and
"Thumbs Up" From a Communist for an Apostate), was on full display in his 1984 journey to the Republic of Korea (South Korea). His address to members of non-Christian religions made reference to Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ while expressing his "high esteem" of the "admirable traditions" represented by false religions that deny Our Lord's Sacred Divinity. He also appeased the Buddhists in attendance by referring to the "Lord Buddha," something that no true Successor of Saint Peter had ever dared to do before he, an imposter on the Throne of Saint Peter, spoke so blasphemously:
In preparing to come to Korea I looked forward with particular expectation to this meeting with you, spiritual leaders in this venerable land.
You are aware that the chief reason for my visit is the responsibility that has been entrusted to me of guiding and confirming the faith of the followers of Jesus Christ who are members of the Catholic Church. But I wanted also to express to you my high esteem of the millennia of precious cultural heritage and admirable traditions of which you are the guardians and living witnesses. Thank you for giving me this opportunity by your presence today.
1. The Catholic Church is endeavouring to engage in friendly dialogue with all the great religions that have guided mankind throughout history. This we shall continue to do, so that our mutual understanding and collaboration may increase, and so that the spiritual and moral values we uphold may continue to offer wisdom and inner strength to the men and women of our time.
In fact, religions today have a more than ever vital role to play in a society in rapid evolution such as Korea. In a sense, just as the individual must find his true self by transcending himself and strive to achieve harmony with the universe and with others, so too must a society, a culture, the community of human beings, seek to foster the spiritual values that are its soul. And this imperative is all the more urgent, the deeper the changes that affect life today.
2. In this regard, the world looks to Korea with particular interest. For the Korean people throughout history have sought, in the great ethical and religious visions of Buddhism and Confucianism, the path to the renewal of self and to the consolidation of the whole people in virtue and in nobility of purpose. The profound reverence for life and nature, the quest for truth and harmony, self-abnegation and compassion, the ceaseless striving to transcend - these are among the noble hallmarks of your spiritual tradition that have led, and will continue to lead, the nation and the people through turbulent times to the haven of peace.
Our diversity in religious and ethical beliefs calls upon all of us to foster genuine fraternal dialogue and to give special consideration to what human beings have in common and to what promotes fellowship among them (Cf. Nostra Aetate, 1). Such concerted effort will certainly create a climate of peace in which justice and compassion can flourish.
3. We Catholics have just celebrated the Jubilee Year of the Redemption. In that period of grace we have endeavoured to live the gift of reconciliation granted us in Christ and have made efforts to reconcile ourselves with God and with our fellow man. Would it not be a good thing indeed, if also between believers of different traditions and between religions themselves a similar meeting of minds and hearts could be realized by our common good will and our duty to serve the human family’s well-being?
When the Catholic Church proclaims Jesus Christ and enters into dialogue with believers of other religions, she does so in order to bear witness to his love for all people of all times - a love that was manifested on the Cross for the reconciliation and salvation of the world. It is in this spirit that the Church seeks to promote deeper fellowship with all peoples and religions.
4. May I address a particular greeting to the members of the Buddhist tradition as they prepare to celebrate the festivity of the Coming of the Lord Buddha? May your rejoicing be complete and your joy fulfilled.
I renew to you my sincere sentiments of esteem and good will. May we all be enlightened for the wise accomplishment of the grave responsibilities that are ours. Thank you. ( To spiritual leaders of non-Christian religious communities, May 6, 1984.)
Yes, the "pope" who was "devoted" to Our Lady's Psalter, which he dared to change, the "pope" who could sound so Catholic in front of Catholic audiences, the "pope" who spoke sternly to the American "bishops" in 1979 and 1987 and during several of their quinquennial or ad limina apostolorum visits to the Vatican, tripped all over himself when promoting conciliarism's respect for false religions, each of which is hated by God, as refused to seek with urgency the unconditional conversion of non-Catholics to the true Church. Along with his equally apostate "successor" in the conciliar structures, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, Wojtyla/John Paul II gave esteem and respect to "religions" that are from the devil and that can never be the source of personal sanctification or salvation and which are, of course, actual hindrances to the pursuit of the common temporal good as it must be undertaken in light of man's Last End: the possession of the glory of the Beatific Vision of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost for all eternity in Heaven.
Such esteem rendered unto false religions runs counter to what Pope Pius XII said in Ci Riesce, December 6, 1953:
Her deportment has not changed in the course of history, nor can it change whenever or wherever, under the most diversified forms, she is confronted with the choice: either incense for idols or blood for Christ. The place where you are now present, Eternal Rome, with the remains of a greatness that was and with the glorious memories of its martyrs, is the most eloquent witness to the answer of the Church. Incense was not burned before the idols, and Christian blood flowed and consecrated the ground. But the temples of the gods lie in the cold devastation of ruins howsoever majestic; while at the tombs of the martyrs the faithful of all nations and all tongues fervently repeat the ancient Creed of the Apostles. (Pope Pius XII, Ci Riesce, December 6, 1953.)
Yes, it should be noted as a matter of intellectual honesty that Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II was more forthright in mentioning the Holy Name of the Divine Redeemer, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, before non-Catholics than has been his successor, Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI. That the late conciliar "pontiff" gave any esteem at all to false religions, no less spoke about "respecting" different "religious traditions," speaks of apostate behavior that is simply not consonant with being a member of the Catholic Church in good standing. No true pope of the Catholic Church has ever spoken or act as these conciliar "apostates" have spoken or acted. All protestations to the contrary, Wojtyla/John Paul II and Ratzinger/Benedict have spoken and acted as though they pretty much agree with their mentor Hans Urs von Balthasar's falsehood of "universal salvation."
Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II would be disqualified from "beatification" and "canonization" by the Catholic Church solely on the grounds of his false doctrine and apostate pastoral praxis. The contents of his correspondence with Dr. Wanda Poltawska, which have been the subject of much unwarranted speculation, much of it of a salacious nature, are really irrelevant in light of what he, Wojtyla/John Paul II believed, taught and did throughout the course of his fifty-eight years as a priest, his forty-six years as a bishop and his twenty-six years, five months, sixteen days as the head of the counterfeit church of conciliarism. The fact that his "canonization" process is a mess of "off-again/on-again" reports in the media is just another indication of the massive confusion wrought by the whole apostate ethos of conciliarism
(For the latest "on-again story about Wojtyla/John Paul II's cause, see John Paul II’s beatification cause could pass final hurdles in 2009. We can be sure that the next "off-again" story will come soon enough. Nothing will be known for sure until Ratzinger/Benedict makes his decision, which will probably be to proceed with "beatification" and to place Wojtyla's "feast" on the universal calendar of the conciliar church, including for those attached to the Motu communities.)
In addition to all of the other evidence of the denial of the doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity by Wojtyla/John Paul II and Ratzinger/Benedict XVI in the presence of non-Catholics (Ratzinger/Benedict gave a discourse on Trinity Sunday about the necessity of believing in the true God, Who he does not preach in presence of non-Catholics), there is, of course, the little matter of treating the false religion of Talmudic Judaism as a perfectly valid means of salvation that is actually pleasing to God.
Here are two examples, the first from Wojtyla/John Paul II and the second from Ratzinger/Benedict, of how the conciliar "pontiffs" have denied the doctrine the doctrines of the Catholic Faith in front of Talmudic audiences in Talmudic synagogues:
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.)
Distinguished Jewish Authorities, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I greet all those who have already been mentioned. Shalom lêchém!
It has been my deep desire, during my first Visit to Germany since my election as the Successor of the Apostle Peter, to meet the Jewish community of Cologne and the representatives of Judaism in Germany. By this Visit I would like to return in spirit to the meeting that took place in Mainz on 17 November 1980 between my venerable Predecessor Pope John Paul II, then making his first Visit to this Country, and members of the Central Jewish Committee in Germany and the Rabbinic Conference.
Today, too, I wish to reaffirm that I intend to continue with great vigour on the path towards improved relations and friendship with the Jewish People, following the decisive lead given by Pope John Paul II (cf. Address to the Delegation of the International Jewish Committee on Interreligious Consultations, 9 June 2005).
The Jewish community in Cologne can truly feel "at home" in this city. Cologne is, in fact, the oldest site of a Jewish community on German soil, dating back to the Colonia of Roman times, as we have come to know with precision.
The history of relations between the Jewish and Christian communities has been complex and often painful. There were blessed times when the two lived together peacefully, but there was also the expulsion of the Jews from Cologne in the year 1424.
And in the 20th century, in the darkest period of German and European history, an insane racist ideology, born of neo-paganism, gave rise to the attempt, planned and systematically carried out by the regime, to exterminate European Jewry. The result has passed into history as the Shoah.
The victims of this unspeakable and previously unimaginable crime amounted to 11,000 named individuals in Cologne alone; the real figure was surely much higher. The holiness of God was no longer recognized, and consequently, contempt was shown for the sacredness of human life.
This year, 2005, marks the 60th anniversary of the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps, in which millions of Jews - men, women and children - were put to death in the gas chambers and ovens.
I make my own the words written by my venerable Predecessor on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz and I too say: "I bow my head before all those who experienced this manifestation of the mysterium iniquitatis. " The terrible events of that time must "never cease to rouse consciences, to resolve conflicts, to inspire the building of peace" (Message for the Liberation of Auschwitz, 15 January 2005).
Together we must remember God and his wise plan for the world he created. As we read in the Book of Wisdom, he is the "lover of life" (11: 26).
This year also marks the 40th anniversary of the promulgation of the Second Vatican Council's Declaration Nostra Aetate, which opened up new prospects for Jewish-Christian relations in terms of dialogue and solidarity. This Declaration, in the fourth chapter, recalls the common roots and the immensely rich spiritual heritage that Jews and Christians share.
Both Jews and Christians recognize in Abraham their father in faith (cf. Gal 3: 7; Rom 4: 11ff.), and they look to the teachings of Moses and the prophets. Jewish spirituality, like its Christian counterpart, draws nourishment from the psalms. With St Paul, Christians are convinced that "the gifts and the call of God are irrevocable" (Rom 11: 29; cf. 9: 6, 11; 11: 1ff.). In considering the Jewish roots of Christianity (cf. Rom 11: 16-24), my venerable Predecessor, quoting a statement by the German Bishops, affirmed that "whoever meets Jesus Christ meets Judaism" (Insegnamenti, Vol. III/2, 1980, p. 1272).
The conciliar Declaration Nostra Aetate therefore "deplores feelings of hatred, persecutions and demonstrations of anti-Semitism directed against the Jews at whatever time and by whomsoever" (n. 4). God created us all "in his image" (cf. Gn 1: 27) and thus honoured us with a transcendent dignity. Before God, all men and women have the same dignity, whatever their nation, culture or religion.
Hence, the Declaration Nostra Aetate also speaks with great esteem of Muslims (cf. n. 3) and of the followers of other religions (cf. n. 2).
On the basis of our shared human dignity the Catholic Church "condemns as foreign to the mind of Christ any kind of discrimination whatsoever between people, or harassment of them, done by reason of race or colour, class or religion" (n. 5).
The Church is conscious of her duty to transmit this teaching, in her catechesis for young people and in every aspect of her life, to the younger generations which did not witness the terrible events that took place before and during the Second World War.
It is a particularly important task, since today, sadly, we are witnessing the rise of new signs of anti-Semitism and various forms of a general hostility towards foreigners. How can we fail to see in this a reason for concern and vigilance?
The Catholic Church is committed - I reaffirm this again today - to tolerance, respect, friendship and peace between all peoples, cultures and religions.
In the 40 years that have passed since the conciliar Declaration Nostra Aetate, much progress has been made, in Germany and throughout the world, towards better and closer relations between Jews and Christians. Alongside official relationships, due above all to cooperation between specialists in the biblical sciences, many friendships have been born.
In this regard, I would mention the various declarations by the German Episcopal Conference and the charitable work done by the "Society for Jewish-Christian Cooperation in Cologne", which since 1945 have enabled the Jewish community to feel once again truly "at home" here in Cologne and to establish good relations with the Christian communities.
Yet much still remains to be done. We must come to know one another much more and much better.
Consequently, I would encourage sincere and trustful dialogue between Jews and Christians, for only in this way will it be possible to arrive at a shared interpretation of disputed historical questions, and, above all, to make progress towards a theological evaluation of the relationship between Judaism and Christianity.
This dialogue, if it is to be sincere, must not gloss over or underestimate the existing differences: in those areas in which, due to our profound convictions in faith, we diverge, and indeed, precisely in those areas, we need to show respect and love for one another.
Finally, our gaze should not only be directed to the past, but should also look forward to the tasks that await us today and tomorrow. Our rich common heritage and our fraternal and more trusting relations call upon us to join in giving an ever more harmonious witness and to work together on the practical level for the defence and promotion of human rights and the sacredness of human life, for family values, for social justice and for peace in the world.
The Decalogue (cf. Ex 20; Dt 5) is for us a shared legacy and commitment. The Ten Commandments are not a burden, but a signpost showing the path leading to a successful life.
This is particularly the case for the young people whom I am meeting in these days and who are so dear to me. My wish is that they may be able to recognize in the Decalogue our common foundation, a lamp for their steps, a light for their path (cf. Ps 119: 105).
Adults have the responsibility of handing down to young people the torch of hope that God has given to Jews and to Christians, so that "never again" will the forces of evil come to power, and that future generations, with God's help, may be able to build a more just and peaceful world, in which all people have equal rights and are equally at home.
I conclude with the words of Psalm 29, which express both a wish and a prayer: "May the Lord give strength to his people, may he bless his people with peace".
May he hear our prayer! (Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI, Visit to the Synagogue of Cologne: Greetings, August 19, 2005.)
These speeches are just a little different than Saint Peter's discourse to the Jews on Pentecost Sunday and Saint Stephen the Protomartyr's discourse before he was stoned to death as the first Catholic martyr. These speeches are patent denials of Catholic doctrine, proclaimed by one council after another.
Indeed, a very good analysis of the denial of Catholic doctrine by Wojtyla/John Paul II on April 13, 1986, was done by Atila Sinke Guimaraes and posted on the anti-sedevacantist Tradition in Action website. Here are two brief excerpts from this comprehensive analysis:
During the ceremony, John Paul II received a copy of the Torah, a sacred book of the Jews, and a menorah, a seven-branch candelabrum.
The ceremony ended, according to booklet distributed in the synagogue, with the text of a brief profession of “faith” that the Jews chanted together. I think it was a simplified formula of a longer profession of “faith,” the above-mentioned Ani Ma’amin that had already been sung. Here are the words of the canticle, as recorded in the Jewish booklet, chanted by the Hebrew choir as John Paul II was leaving the synagogue: “I believe with perfect faith in the coming of the Messiah!
“And even if he takes a long time coming, I will wait every day until he comes!” The insult to Our Lord Jesus Christ is blatant. By chanting this at the end of the ceremony, the Jews categorically denied that Christ is God and the Messiah, and reaffirmed the old errors of their religion. If they thus affront the Word Incarnate, one can only imagine how scornfully they look on the Pope, the Vicar of Christ.
After leaving the synagogue, John Paul II embraced the chief rabbi for a third time.
In brief, the consequences of these psalms and hyms said in the synagogue in the presence of the Supreme Pontiff of the Catholic Church were: * The implicit reaffirmation, by the Jews, of their doctrinal errors, namely the negation of the divinity of Jesus Christ and the Most Holy Trinity.
* The symbolic reaffirmation that they are the only true followers of God.
* The actual affirmation of numerous, thinly-veiled insults cunningly made against the Holy Church and Catholics: that Catholics follow false gods, foster a torrential furor against Jews, are beasts whose teeth grind the Jews as their prey, were accomplices of the Nazi persecutions, and so on. Finally, as an aggravating factor it should be noted that following customary Vatican procedures, this ceremony must have been prepared beforehand and agreed upon by competent organs of the Holy See. That is, the Vatican and probably also the Pope knew beforehand that these affronts would be made and approved them.. . . .
The conclusion to the analysis of this visit, in my view, is clear and painful. John Paul II went to the synagogue of Rome for these purposes:
* to try to annul the foundation in Revelation for the crime of Deicide;
* to condemn the wise 2,000-year-old conduct of Holy Mother Church in relation to the Jews;
* to praise their false faith and anathematize whomsoever should criticize or censure the followers of Caiphas from the religious standpoint.
In contrast, the rabbis, explicitly in their speeches and symbolically in their recitation of psalms and passages from the Bible, made this arrogant retribution:
*they insistently reaffirmed their false faith;
* they condemned the historic attitude of the Church;
* they insulted the honor of the Church and Catholics;
* they proclaimed the need for Jewish hegemony over the whole world,
* they demanded that the Holy See recognize their State, to which they attributed a messianic destiny. This is what was accomplished during the visit of John Paul II to the synagogue of Rome. ”Qui habet aurem, audiat...” [He that hath an ear, let him hear, Apoc. 2:7] (John Paul II visits the Synagogue of Rome)
As I have noted in the past, the late Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre, the founder of the Society of Saint Pius X, was rightly taken aback by Wojtyla/John Paul II's apostate visit to the Rome synagogue:
And most recently, the Pope has been in the synagogue of the Jews in Rome. How can the Pope pray with the enemies of Jesus Christ? These Jews know and say and believe that they are the successors of the Jews that killed Jesus Christ, and they continue to fight against Jesus Christ everywhere in the world. At the end of the Pope's visit, the Jews sang a "hymn" that included the line "I believe with all my heart in the coming of the Messiah," meaning that they refuse Jesus as the Messiah, and the Pope had given permission for this denial of Christ be sung in his presence, and he listened, head bowed! And the Holy See announces that in the near future that he will visit Taize to pray with the Protestants, and he himself said in public at St. Paul Outside the Walls that later this year he will hold a ceremony gathering all of the religions of the world together to pray for peace at Assisi in Italy, on the occasion of the Feast of Peace proclaimed by the United Nations due to take place on October 24.
“Now all these facts are public, you have seen them in the newspapers and the media. What are we to think? What is the reaction of our Catholic Faith? That is what matters. It is not our personal feelings, a sort of impression or admission of some kind. It is a question of knowing what our Faith tells us, faced with these facts. Let me quote a few words - not my words - from Canon Naz’s Dictionary of Canon Law, a wholly official and approved commentary on what has been the Catholic Church’s body of law for nineteen centuries. On the subject of sharing in the worship of non-Catholics (after all, this is what we now see Pope and bishops doing), the Church says, in Canon 1258-1: ‘It is absolutely forbidden for Catholics to attend or take any active part in the worship of non-Catholics in any way whatsoever.’ On this Canon the quasi-official Naz Commentary says, and I quote, ‘A Catholic takes active part when he joins in heterodox; i.e., non-Catholic worship with the intention of honouring God by this means in the way non-Catholics do. It is forbidden to pray, to sing or to play the organ in a heretical or schismatic temple, in association with the people worshipping there, even if the words of the hymn or the song or the prayer are orthodox.’ The reason for this prohibition is that any participation in non-Catholic worship implies profession of a false religion and hence denial of the Catholic Faith. By such participation Catholics are presumed to be adhering to the beliefs of the non- Catholics, and that is why Canon 2316 declares them ‘suspect of heresy, and if they persevere, they are to be treated as being in reality heretics.’
“Now these recent acts of the Pope and bishops, with Protestants, animists and Jews, are they not an active participation in non-Catholic worship as explained by Canon Naz on Canon 1258-1? In which case, I cannot see how it is possible to say that the Pope is not suspect of heresy, and if he continues, he is a heretic, a public heretic. That is the teaching of the Church.
“Now I don’t know if the time has come to say that the Pope is a heretic; I don’t know if it is the time to say that. You know, for some time many people, the sedevacantists, have been saying ‘there is no more Pope,’ but I think that for me it was not yet the time to say that, because it was not sure, it was not evident, it was very difficult to say that the Pope is a heretic, the Pope is apostate. But I recognize that slowly, very slowly, by the deeds and acts of the Pope himself we begin to be very anxious. I am not inventing this situation; I do not want it. I would gladly give my life to bring it to an end, but this is the situation we face, unfolding before our eyes like a film in the cinema. I don’t think it has ever happened in the history of the Church, the man seated in the chair of Peter partaking in the worship of false gods.
“What conclusion must we draw in a few months if we are confronted by these repeated acts of partaking in false worship? I don’t know. I wonder. But I think the Pope can do nothing worse than call together a meeting of all religions, when we know there is only one true religion and all other religions belong to the devil. So perhaps after this famous meeting of Assisi, perhaps we must say that the Pope is a heretic, is apostate. Now I don’t wish yet to say it formally and solemnly, but it seems at first sight that it is impossible for a Pope to be publicly and formally heretical. Our Lord has promised to be with him, to keep his faith, to keep him in the Faith - how can he at the same time be a public heretic and virtually apostatise? So it is possible we may be obliged to believe this Pope is not Pope. (The Angelus, July 1986, transcripts of talks given by Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre on March 30 and April 18, 1986.)
Although the late Archbishop Lefebvre did not ultimately draw the conclusion that Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II had expelled himself from the Catholic Church, the doctrinal and canonical teaching of the Catholic Church clearly states that he had indeed done so by adhering to beliefs condemned by her solemnly. What happened on April 13, 1986, was simply one of many public manifestations of his apostate spirit, an action that was always viewed as anathema by the Catholic Church:
Lastly, the beloved disciple St. John renews the same command in the strongest terms, and adds another reason, which regards all without exception, and especially those who are best instructed in their duty: "Look to yourselves", says he, "that ye lose not the things that ye have wrought, but that you may receive a full reward. Whosoever revolteth, and continueth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that continueth in the doctrine the same hath both the Father and the Son. If any man come to you and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, nor say to him, God speed you: for he that saith to him, God speed you, communicateth with his wicked works". (2 John, ver. 8)
Here, then, it is manifest, that all fellowship with those who have not the doctrine of Jesus Christ, which is "a communication in their evil works" — that is, in their false tenets, or worship, or in any act of religion — is strictly forbidden, under pain of losing the "things we have wrought, the reward of our labors, the salvation of our souls". And if this holy apostle declares that the very saying God speed to such people is a communication with their wicked works, what would he have said of going to their places of worship, of hearing their sermons, joining in their prayers, or the like?
From this passage the learned translators of the Rheims New Testament, in their note, justly observe, "That, in matters of religion, in praying, hearing their sermons, presence at their service, partaking of their sacraments, and all other communicating with them in spiritual things, it is a great and damnable sin to deal with them." And if this be the case with all in general, how much more with those who are well instructed and better versed in their religion than others? For their doing any of these things must be a much greater crime than in ignorant people, because they know their duty better. (Bishop George Hay, The Laws of God Forbidding All Communication in Religion With Those of a False Religion.)
The spirit of Christ, which dictated the Holy Scriptures, and the spirit which animates and guides the Church of Christ, and teaches her all truth, is the same; and therefore in all ages her conduct on this point has been uniformly the same as what the Holy Scripture teaches. She has constantly forbidden her children to hold any communication, in religious matters, with those who are separated from her communion; and this she has sometimes done under the most severe penalties. In the apostolical canons, which are of very ancient standing, and for the most part handed down from the apostolical age, it is thus decreed: "If any bishop, or priest, or deacon, shall join in prayers with heretics, let him be suspended from Communion". (Can. 44)
Also, "If any clergyman or laic shall go into the synagogue of the Jews, or the meetings of heretics, to join in prayer with them, let him be deposed, and deprived of communion". (Can. 63) (Bishop George Hay, (The Laws of God Forbidding All Communication in Religion With Those of a False Religion.)
As I have noted so many times recently, those who remain indifferent to or accepting of blasphemies and sacrileges committed against the honor and glory and majesty of God can no longer call themselves Catholics:
But it is vain for them to adopt the name of catholic, as they do not oppose these blasphemies: they must believe them, if they can listen so patiently to such words. (Pope Saint Leo the Great, Epistle XIV, To Anastasius, Bishop of Thessalonica, St. Leo the Great | Letters 1-59 )
I was indifferent to the blasphemies of Wojtyla/John Paul II for far too long. I was fooled by the fact that the late conciliar "pontiff" spoke as a Catholic to Catholics on many occasions. Shame on me for being so blind.
We know more now, do we not? We see God being offended regularly by these conciliar "popes" who deny the nature of dogmatic truth and believe in other condemned propositions that have been critiqued on this site time and time again. How can we remain attached to men who defy the anathemas of the Catholic Church repeatedly as they offend the Most Holy Trinity so grievously?
The Catholics in Alexandria held steadfast to the true Faith for a long time in the midst of one persecution after another than was waged against them by the Arian bishops and their protectors in the Roman Empire, including Emperor Constantius II and Emperor Julian the Apostate:
It was indeed the hour of darkness, and it seemed as if the powers of evil were let loose upon the world. The Arians, with the Emperor on their side, were carrying everything before them. Nearly all the Bishops who had uphold the Nicene faith were in exile or in prison.
St. Antony, over a hundred years old, was on his deathbed. His monks, crowding around the dying Saint, groaned over the evil days that had befallen the Church.
"Fear not," replied the old man, "for this power is of the earth and cannot last. As for the sufferings of the Church, was it not so from the beginning, and will it not be so until the end? Did not the Master Himself say, 'They have persecuted Me, they will persecute you also'? Did not the 'perils from the fallen brethren' begin even even in the lifetime of those who had been the companions of Christ? And yet, did not the Master Himself promise that, although she must live in the midst of persecution, He would be with His Church forever and that the gates of Hell should not prevail against her?"
With these words of hope and comfort on his lips, St. Antony passed to his reward, and they laid him in his lonely desert grave. His coat of sheepskin, given by Athanasius long years before, he sent with his dying blessing to the Patriarch, who cherished it as his most precious possession.
The Alexandrians had not given in without a struggle. They had protested openly against the violence of Syrianus, proclaiming throughout the city that Athanasius was their true Patriarch and that they would never acknowledge another. It was of no use; a new reign of terror began in which all who refused to accept the Arian creed were treated as criminals. Men and women were seized and scourged; some were slain. Athanasius was denounced as a "runaway, an evildoer, a cheat and an impostor, deserving of death." Letters came from the Emperor ordering all the churches in the city to be given up to the Arians and requiring the people to receive without objections the new Patriarch whom he would shortly send them.
As time went on, things grew worse. The churches were invaded; altars, vestments and books were burned and incense thrown on the flames. An ox was sacrificed in the sanctuary; priests, monks and nuns were seized and tortured; the houses of the faithful were broken into and robbed. Bishops were driven into exile and their sees filled by Arians, those who were ready to give the most money being generally chosen. Some of them were even pagans; the people were ready to bear any sufferings rather than hold communion with them. (Mother Frances Alice Monica Forbes, Saint Athanasius, reprinted by TAN Books and Publishers, pp. 64-66.)
Why are we so willing to hold communion with the heretics and blasphemers of today? Why are so willing to hold communion with those who are indifferent to the heretics and blasphemers of today?
Ah, some might retort, Arianism had been condemned by the Fathers of the Council of Nicaea. True enough. Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI's views of dogmatic truth have been condemned and anathematized solemnly by the [First] Vatican Council and by Pope Saint Pius X in Pascendi Dominici Gregis, September 8, 1907, and in The Oath Against Modernism, September 1, 1910, and by Pope Pius XII in Humani Generis, August 12, 1950. His views on Sacred Scripture and against Scholasticism and in favor of the new ecclesiology and false ecumenism and inter-religious dialogue and inter-religious "prayer" and religious liberty and separation of Church and State have been condemned by the authority of the Catholic Church (see
Ratzinger's War Against Catholicism). We just need to ask open our eyes and to see the plain truth that is staring us right in the face.
To this end, of course, we need Our Lady's help. We honor Our Lady today as the Mediatrix of All Graces. It is through her loving hands that the graces won for us by her Divine Son on the wood of the Holy Cross in obedience to God the Father and that are made present in the Sacraments by the working of God the Holy Ghost flow into our own hearts and souls. She, the great foe of heresy, will help us to recognize the plain truth that the jaws of Hell have indeed prevailed against the Church if true and legitimate Successors of Saint Peter can deny Catholic doctrine openly and publicly as they hold give public expression to private views that expelled them from the Church long before their apparent "election." And she will help us to have the courage to cleave exclusively only to those true bishops and true priests in the Catholic catacombs who make no concessions to conciliarism or its blaspheming apostates posing as "popes" and "bishops."
Once again, we need to take heart from the example of Saint Servatus:
Servatus held the bishopric of Tongres (Belgium) at a time when the whole of Christendom had Arian tendencies. The all-powerful emperor, Constantius, was a heretic and supported the heresy; many bishops no longer believed in the divinity of Our Lord; St. Athanasius and St. Hilary, great champions of orthodoxy, were in exile.
The story of the Jewish origins of St. Servatus and his kinship with St. Anne appears legendary. It is not known when he became bishop of Tongres, but by 336, when St. Athanasius spent his exile at Trier, he had already occupied the see. The declaration which he made before the Council of Cologne in 346 informs us both of his meeting with the celebrated Alexandrian doctor and of his own orthodoxy. This is what he says in reference to the bishop of Cologne, deposed on that occasion: "It is not from hearsay that I know what he has been teaching, but from having myself heard it. Our churches are adjacent; many times I have had occasion to contradict him, when he has denied the divinity of Jesus Christ. It has happened in the presence of Athanasius, bishop of Alexandria. .. . I judge that he can no longer be bishop of Christians; and those do not deserve to be considered Christians who remain in communion with him."
After failing in his efforts to reconcile the usurper, Magnetius, with the Emperor Constantius, Servatus made a pilgrimage to Rome. He returned convinced that Tongres would soon fall to the Huns. Hastily he carried the relics of the church to Maestricht, and there, shortly afterwards, he died.The towns of Tongres remained thereafter for nearly a century without a bishop. (Omer Engelbert, The Lives of the Saints, Barnes and Noble, p. 186.)
Even a now deceased conciliar official conceded in 2005 what many in the "resist and recognize" movement, including those in the Society of Saint Pius X, refuse to concede even in principle as being true, no less that this truth applies in these our days, namely, that the See of Peter is indeed vacant in cases of heresy:
It is true that the canonical doctrine states that the see would be vacant in the case of heresy. ... But in regard to all else, I think what is applicable is what judgment regulates human acts. And the act of will, namely a resignation or capacity to govern or not govern, is a human act. (Cardinal Says Pope Could Govern Even If Unable to Speak, Zenit, February 8, 2005; for an explanation of how a long papal vacancy is not excluded by the doctrine of perpetual successors of Saint Peter, please see, Father Martin Stepanich, O.F.M., S.T.D.,
An Objection to Sedevacantism: 'Perpetual Successors' to Peter.)
Holy Mother Church, our spotless, immaculate mother on earth, cannot give us even any teaching with "even a light tarnish of error." We are in the midst of the "operation of error," awash with apostasy and blasphemy that can never be given us by Holy Mother Church, which is why we must be pray for our true bishops and priests so that they will be remain as faithful as Saint Athanasius and that we will remain steadfast in our knowledge that we have the Faith while the blaspheming apostates have the church buildings and other church properties.
In the midst of the "respect" shown for false religions by the conciliar "pontiffs," men who never invoke the doctrine of the Most Holy Trinity in their appearances before non-Catholics, who most need to hear exhortations to convert to the true Faith before they die, it is good to once again take note of Pope Leo XIII;s words in Custodi di Quella Fede, December 8, 1892, and to recognize that they condemn the life work of Karol Wojtyla/John Paul II and Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI:
Everyone should avoid familiarity or friendship with anyone suspected of belonging to masonry or to affiliated groups. Know them by their fruits and avoid them. Every familiarity should be avoided, not only with those impious libertines who openly promote the character of the sect, but also with those who hide under the mask of universal tolerance, respect for all religions, and the craving to reconcile the maxims of the Gospel with those of the revolution. These men seek to reconcile Christ and Belial, the Church of God and the state without God. (Pope Leo XIII, Custodi di Quella Fede, December 8, 1892.)
Keeping close to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary as we prepare for the celebration of the Feast of Corpus Christi in but two days from now, may we pray as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit as we continue to offer up all of our prayers and sufferings and sacrifices to that same Sacred Heart through the Immaculate Heart out of which It was formed and with which It beats as one. May it be our privilege to plant a few seeds for the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as we attempt to make reparation to Jesus through Mary for our sins and those of the whole world
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Our Lady, Mediatrix of All Graces, pray for us.
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon!
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
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 Primus and Felician, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints
Appendix A: 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!
(Meeting with the exponents of Non-Christian religions in the Rajaji Hall of Madras, February 5, 1986.)
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!
(God bless the Sudan!) ( Meeting with the leaders of other religions in the Apostolic Nunciature of Khartoum (February 10, 1993)
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)