ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Wednesday, 20 February 1980
Venerable friends, representatives of Buddhism and Shinto in Japan,
I am very happy to welcome you today. I greet you first of all as sons of the noble and industrious people of Japan. Your country has made outstanding progress in many fields. At the same time it has remained attached to its own lifestyle, with its emphasis on respect, harmony and art.
The Catholic Church expresses her esteem for your religions and for your high spiritual values, such as purity, detachment of heart, love for the beauty of nature, and benevolence and compassion for everything that lives.
It gives me great joy to know that you have come here to carry forward your dialogue and collaboration with the Holy See’s Secretariat for Non-Christians. The themes you are discussing together, each from the standpoint of his own religion, are the relationship between man and nature and the relationship between religion and culture. I am deeply convinced that these are themes of great importance for the future of our world. Indeed, this conviction of mine is reflected in my first Encyclical Letter "Redemptor Hominis". Be assured, then, that I shall follow this dialogue and subsequent ones with interest and appreciation.
On this earth we are all pilgrims to the Absolute and Eternal, who alone can save and satisfy the heart of the human person. Let us seek his will together for the good of all humanity. Thank you for your visit. I hope your staty in Rome will be a happy one. Please convey my cordial greetings and blessings to your families and friends in Japan.
© Copyright 1980 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana