ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Monday, 8 March 1982
I am happy to have the opportunity this morning to welcome your distinguished Delegation led by Congressman David Obey. I know that you have come to Europe on a study mission that is concentrating on the Polish situation.
During the past days you have made many useful contacts, and through your study of economic and other issues you are preparing a review of the United States humanitarian assistance to Poland. When you return home, you will have much useful information to report to the Congress and people of the United States.
The question at this time of humanitarian assistance to Poland, as well as to other needy peoples, is indeed a matter of the greatest importance. The fact that you are endeavoring to give it such a high priority is a credit to you and to your country. I am deeply aware of the solidarity of the American people with the Polish people in this difficult moment through which Poland is passing. Day after day I personally see the expressions of solidarity and practical help that come from the United States, and in particular from the heart of her people - a people intent on responding generously and repeatedly to the needs of those who are afflicted by suffering of various kinds; a people intent on bearing witness to the unity of the human family; a people intent on transforming international crises into an exercise of fraternal love and concern.
Yes, I am deeply grateful to the American people for what they have already done and are continuing to do in the face of a great challenge. And I wish to express my profound thanks to you and to the Congress of the United States to whom you are in a position to report with first-hand information about the magnitude of needs in Poland and the plight of Polish refugees outside.
In manifesting to you sentiments of the deepest gratitude, I know that I am speaking for millions of people who can only silently and in prayer formulate their own sentiments of thanks. On my part I ask God to reward you for your solicitude and generosity, and to sustain you in a cause that continues to be intimately linked to the dignity of human beings – both those who assist and those who are assisted. May God bless you and your families, and your noble and zealous efforts.