ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL
Saturday, 22 March 1980
With pleasure I accept the Letter with which His Excellency President Soeharto accredits Your Excellency as your country’s Ambassador to the Holy See and I express my gratitude for his kind good wishes, which I cordially reciprocate.
The changes in every walk of human life to which Your Excellency has made reference are indeed striking. They are causing bewilderment in many minds, both in the countries that are considered economically more advanced and in those that are looked on as less developed in this aspect. The bewilderment is mingled with fear: fear not only of the strange and unknown but also of the real dangers arising from the products of man’s own genius.
But these changes also provide new possibilities for betterment, possibilities that will prevail if the advances in science and technology are matched by a corresponding development in moral attitudes, so that man becomes truly better, that is to say more mature spiritually, more aware of the dignity of his humanity, more responsible, more open to others, especially the neediest and the weakest, and readier to share with others and assist them.
In view of the message of truth and love that the Church has the duty to bring to the world, she has the obligation to try to ensure this moral development, to make every endeavour to see that the right course is set for the whole of development and progress.
In Indonesia, the Church will most willingly work for the good of the people and their human advancement. She has long been doing so through such institutions as her hospitals and schools and with generous collaboration by missionary personnel unselfishly assisting the local Church.
May God grant that your noble people will continue to advance in material prosperity and above all in spiritual riches, harmoniously joining their endeavours in pursuit of the true welfare of all. I invoke his blessings on the whole of Indonesia, on its leaders and on yourself and your important mission.
*AAS 72 (1980), p. 298-299.
Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. III, 1 pp. 671-672.
L’Attivitą della Santa Sede 1980 p. 186.
L'Osservatore Romano 23.3.1980 pp.1-2.
L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.18 p.13.
© Copyright 1980 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana