Only One God Is The True God: The Most Blessed Trinity
by Thomas A. Droleskey
Saint Paul the Apostle reminds us in his Epistle to the Hebrews that God spoke to us in the past in many different ways in the Old Testament as a means of preparing His rational creatures for the Incarnation of His Co-Equal and Co-Eternal Son, Who was sent to redeem us on the wood of the Holy Cross by paying back in His own Most Precious Blood the debt of sin that was owed to Him in His Infinity as God:
 God, who, at sundry times and in divers manners, spoke in times past to the fathers by the prophets, last of all,  In these days hath spoken to us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the world.  Who being the brightness of his glory, and the figure of his substance, and upholding all things by the word of his power, making purgation of sins, sitteth on the right hand of the majesty on high.  Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath inherited a more excellent name than they.  For to which of the angels hath he said at any time, Thou art my Son,
today have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he
shall be to me a Son? (Hebrews 1: 1-5.)
Although we can only know the ineffable mystery of the doctrine of the Most Blessed Trinity because it was revealed to us by the Second Person of the Most Blessed man Man whilst He walked the face of this earth, God did speak to us "at sundry times and in divers manners" about the very nature of His essence consisted of Three Divine Persons in One Godhead. The first such reference is found in the Book of Genesis in the account of the Special Creation of man by God:
And he said: Let us make man to our image and likeness: and let him have dominion over the fishes of the sea, and
the fowls of the air, and the beasts, and the whole earth, and every
creeping creature that moveth upon the earth. (Genesis 1: 26.)
Another such reference is to be found in Chapter Eighteen of the Book of Genesis wherein Abraham sees three men standing near him, whereupon he is moved to adore them:
 And the Lord appeared to him in the vale of Mambre as he was sitting at the door of his tent, in the very heat of the day.  And
when he had lifted up his eyes, there appeared to him three men
standing near him: and as soon as he saw them he ran to meet them from
the door of his tent, and adored down to the ground. And he said: Lord, if I have found favour in thy sight, pass not away from thy servant:  But I will fetch a little water, and wash ye your feet, and rest ye under the tree.  And I will set a morsel of bread, and strengthen ye your heart,
afterwards you shall pass on: for therefore are you come aside to your
servant. And they said: Do as thou hast spoken. (Genesis 18 1-5.)
Human reason alone cannot ascertain the fact that God is a Trinity of Divine Persons from all eternity. While it is possible for men to use natural reason to conclude that there must be a First Cause, God, Who has created the universe and given it order, perfection, beauty and movements according to His creative powers, it is not possible for any man to conclude by the use of his reason that the Most Blessed Trinity is the one and only true God Who alone is due our worship. It was necessary for Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to reveal this to us:
 Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:
and behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the
world. (Matthew 28: 19-20.)
The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is central to the Catholic Faith. It must be believed exactly as is taught by Holy Mother Church without any deviation, understanding that we will not be able to fully explicate this mystery in Heaven even if it is within God's Holy Providence to us to die in a state of Sanctifying Grace and thus be able to behold Him face-to-face in the glory of the Beatific Vision. The souls of the just behold the Beatific Vision. They bask in the glory of the Most Blessed Trinity, being in states of complete happiness as it is indeed our very Last End to behold the Beatific Vision of God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost for all eternity in Heaven? Understand it?
Ah, it is enough for the souls in Heaven to behold the Beatific Vision and to be ever grateful to the Blessed Virgin Mary, she who is the daughter of God the Father, the Blessed Mother of God the Son and the Spouse of God the Holy Ghost, for sending them the graces won for them by the shedding of her Divine Son's Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross to save their souls and thus rest in peace in the very presence of the Most Holy Trinity for all eternity.
The very inner life of the Most Blessed Trinity was flooded into our souls when we were baptized.
Every prayer and good work begins and ends with the invocation of the Names of the Three Persons of the Most Blessed Trinity as we make the Sign of the Cross with reverence and devotion, meditating upon this great mystery as we do so.
Every true offering of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass is an act of adoration offered to the Most Blessed Trinity wherein the Sacrifice of the Son to the Father in Spirit and in Truth is re-presented or perpetuated in an unbloody manner.
Everything we do, therefore, must be Trinitarian of its very nature.
That is, we give all honor and glory to God--Father, Son and Holy Ghost--in everything we do by offering up unto Him through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary whatever good it is we are able to accomplish by means of the graces she sends us and to endure with patience, love and great gratitude every evil that befalls us, thanking Him abundantly when people speak ill about us and accuse us of things that we have not done. Why should we be any better than Our Lord, Who suffered in silence to redeem us?
Isn't the possession of the glory of the Beatific Vision in Heaven worth being humiliated and ground down to nothing in the eyes of men as we rejoice in this suffering and than God for making it possible for us to pay back but a small part o the terrible debt we owe for our own forgiven Mortal Sins, if any, and for our Venial Sins and our own general attachment to sin. Shouldn't we strive more and more to make reparation for our sins and those of the whole world by enduring our own crosses with complete of serenity of heart, mind and soul?
Dom Prosper Gueranger explained the beauty of the Most Blessed Trinity in his explication of today's feast, Trinity Sunday, and how we must avoid Mortal Sin, which casts out the very inner life of God from our souls. If this should, God forbid, occur, it is only God Himself who impel us to move back to Him in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance:
Blessed union! whereby God is in man, and man is in God! Union that brings us to adoption by the Father, to brotherhood with the Son, to our eternal inheritance! But how has this indwelling of God in His creature been formed? Gratuitously, by God's eternal love. And how long will it last? For ever, unless man himself refuse to give love for love. Mortal sin is admitted into the soul, the divine indwelling is at an end: the very moment that sanctifying grace is lost, the Three divine Persons who had taken up their abode in that soul, and were united with her, abandon her; God is no longer in her, save by His immensity; the soul does not possess Him as she did before. Then Satan again sets up his wretched kingdom within her, the kingdom of his vile trinity: concupiscence of the flesh, concupiscence of the eyes, and pride of life. Woe to the man who would dare to defy his God by such rebellion and put evil in the places of infinite good; Hell and eternal torments are the consequences of the creature's contempt of his Creator. God is a jealous God; if we drive Him from the dwelling of our souls, the deep abyss must be our everlasting abode.
But is this rupture beyond the hope of reconciliation? Ye, as far as sinful man's powerful is concerned; for he can never, of himself, recover his position with the blessed Trinity, which God's gratuitous bounty had prepared, and His incomprehensible goodness achieved. But, as the Church teaches us, in her liturgy. God never shows His power more, than when He has pity on a sinner and pardons him; it is this powerful mercy of God which can work the prodigy of a reconciliation; and He really does work it, as often as a sinner is converted. When the august Trinity deigns to return into the soul of repentant man, the angels and saints in heaven are filled with joy, as the Gospel assures us; for the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, have testified Their love love, and sought their glory, by making him just who had been a sinner; by coming again to dwell in this lost sheep; in this prodigal, who had, but a few days before, been tending swine; in this thief who, but just now, had with his fellow culprit, been insulting on the cross the innocent Crucified.
Adoration, then, and love, be to Thee, O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, O Perfect Trinity, who has vouchsafed to reveal Thyself to mankind; O eternal and infinite Unity, who hast delivered our forefathers from the yoke of their false gods! Glory be to Thee, as it was in the beginning, before any creature existed; as it is now, at this very time, while we are living in the hope of that true life, which consists in seeing Thee face to face; and as it shall ever be, in those everlasting ages, when a blissful eternity shall have unite us in the bosom of Thine infinite Majesty. Amen. (Dom Prosper Gueranger, O.S.B., The Liturgical Year: Time After Pentecost, Volume I, pp. 128-131.)
We must prefer death than to do anything, whether by omission or commission, that denies or hides the doctrine of the Most Blessed Trinity in order to please men.
Yet this is, of course, what is done very day in the religiously pluralistic United States of America as those who deny this supreme doctrine use the word God to refer to whatever concept of divinity they happen to believe exists. This same Judeo-Masonic, generic sense of "one God fits all" is what prompts even many Catholics to refuse to speak of the Most Blessed Trinity in public, going so far on some occasions as to never make the Sign of the Cross in public when they are in "mixed company" in order not to "offend" non-Catholics.
Although it is a grave sin to offend the Most Blessed Trinity by any act of omission or commission, something that comes quite naturally here in the pluralistic and religiously indifferentist United States of America, these sins against the First Commandment have become more common in the past fifty years because the conciliar "popes" have championed the cause of such sins by their blasphemous words and sacrilegious actions.
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 this when uttering the following 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, 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 in 2009 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.
The conciliar church's blasphemous and sacrilegious displays that so offend the honor and glory of the Most Blessed Trinity should offend each one of us. They offend God. Why not each one of us? Each has been condemned by the Catholic Church in no uncertain terms. Here is a cogent summary of her teaching in this regard:
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 in the past few years, 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.
We must, therefore, make reparation for our sins and
those of the whole world, recognizing as well that we have indeed
perhaps been accessories (by counsel, by command, by consent, by
provocation, by praise or flatter, by concealment, by partaking, by
silence, by defense of the ill done) to the sins of others, including
the sins of the conciliar revolutionaries against the First Commandment
if we have been silent in the wake of these grave sins that offend God
so gravely and mislead souls so severely.
Our goal in life is to praise the Most Blessed
Trinity for all eternity in Heaven. We can only do that, however, if we
please God here on earth never making any compromises with
the ethos of conciliarism that has suborned grave sins against the First
Commandment on a regular basis.
Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., wrote the following meditation in The Light of the World that should serve as an inspiration to us:
Today's feast is celebrated in honor of the Father
and the Son and the Holy Ghost, the Triune God, in thanksgiving for His
eternal mercy, because of which He has created us, redeemed us, and
"O depth of the riches of the wisdom and of the
knowledge of God" (Epistle). With St. Paul and Holy Mother the Church we
stand in awe at the depth of the divine mercy, of the divine wisdom,
and of the divine knowledge. We are amazed at the great wisdom and love
of God as manifested in His selection of men, particularly in His
selection of the Gentiles in preference to the chosen people of Israel,
as the recipients of His grace and redemption. The heathens were the
first to wander away from God, and God selected the Israelites as His
chosen people. But Israel in turn rejected Christ and salvation, and
because of the infidelity and the unbelief of the Jews, the gospel was
given to the Gentiles. "For God hath concluded all in unbelief (both
Jews and heathens) that He may have mercy on all" (Rom. 11:32). At the
end of time both the Jews and the heathens will belong to Christ. "O
depths of the riches of the wisdom and of the knowledge of God. How
incomprehensible are His judgments, and how unsearchable His ways! For
who hath known the mind of the Lord? Or who hath been His counsellor? Or
who hath first given to Him, and recompense shall be made him? For of
Him and by Him and in Him are all things to Him be glory forever"
(Epistle). "Blessed be the Holy Trinity and undivided unity; we will
give glory to Him because He hath shown His mercy to us" (Introit.)
This is the God to whom we are consecrated. He has
in His infinite mercy made us sharers of His divine life. We have been
baptized "in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy
Ghost" (Gospel), and we share in the inexhaustible riches of the life of
the Holy Trinity: we have even been made"partakers of the divine
nature" (II Pet. 1:4). Therefore by virtue of our baptism we belong, not
to ourselves, not to created things, not to men, not to the world nor
to Satan, but to God. At the time of our baptism we renounced all these
things, and since then we believe in the Father, and in the Son, and in
the Holy Ghost. We have been consecrated to Them, and we belong entirely
to Them. Anything less than God is unworthy of us, and God alone can
satisfy us, not only during our earthly sojourn, but also in heaven,
where we shall one day share the inexhaustible riches of the holy and
blissful life of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. This life
comes to us entirely through the mercy of God. "Blessed be the Holy
Trinity and undivided unity; we will give glory to Him because He hath
shown His mercy to us" (Introit).
This is a day for giving thanks to the Father and the
Son and the Holy Ghost. During the course of the Church year we have
been made aware of the innumerable blessings of love and mercy conferred
by God on us, on the Church, and on all mankind. "For God so loved the
world as to give His only-begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in Him
may not perish, but may have life everlasting" (John 3:16).
This is a day for renewing our consecration to God.
We should renounce the world with our whole heart, and break away
effectually from all that can be displeasing to Him. As on the day of
our baptism, we should repeat: "I believe in the Father, and in the Son,
and in the Holy ghost." This belief implies more than the admission
that the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost exist and constitute God
in three persons. It implies that I live for the Father and the Son and
the Holy Ghost, by whom I have been sanctified, and to whom I have been
consecrated by my baptism. This consecration we renew again today, and
we should ratify it daily and make it more effective through the devout
participation in the Mass. When we say the preliminary prayers at the
foot of the altar, we rid ourselves of all attachments to the world,
reject all infidelity, and renounce all that is alien to our state as
creatures consecrated to God. At the Offertory we lay our hearts at the
side of the bread and wine that we may make a new consecration and
dedication of ourselves to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy
Ghost. During the Consecration of the Mass, the sacrifice fire of our
Lord and Savior will descend from heaven upon our offering, enkindling
it with the fire of His love, and He will bear it up to heaven. We, too,
are consecrated and offered up to the Father. We live, now no longer
for ourselves, but for God alone.
The dedication of ourselves to God is strengthened
and sealed by the Lord at the time of Holy Communion. This earthly
consecration extends through Holy Communion to the eternal communio in
Heaven, where we shall enjoy the companionship of God the Father, God
the Son, and of God the Holy Ghost. Then we shall see Him just as He is,
face to face. For all eternity we shall share His life, His glory, His
divine knowledge, and the mansions of His eternal love. This glorious
reward the Son of God earned for us while on earth, by His life, His
suffering, and His death. "We bless the God of heaven, and before all
living we will praise him: because He hath shown His mercy to us"
(Communion). (Father Benedict Baur, O.S.B., The Light of the World, Volume II, pp. 6-8.)
"We should renounce the world with our whole heart, and break away effectually from all that can be displeasing to Him." We have displeased God many times by means of our own sins. In his
ineffable Mercy, Our Lord sent Our Lady to Saint Dominic de Guzman so
that we could be given her Most Holy Rosary to be chief means after Holy
Mass and Eucharistic piety by which to make reparation for our sins
and those of the whole world.
Shouldn't we want to the console the good
God by our Rosaries as we seek to make reparation for our sins and as we
pray for the day when everyone in the world will start and end their
days with the very Sign of our salvation, the Sign of the Cross, as they
say reverently and devoutly the Name of the Most Holy Trinity in which
we were Baptized and thus had Original Sin flooded out of our immortal
souls as the very inner life of that Most Blessed Trinity was flooded
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 four days from now, may we pray as many Rosaries each day as our state-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 as we begin and end all of our prayers and good works "In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. Amen."
A blessed Trinity Sunday to you all.
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 Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, 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)