ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Tuesday, 20 November 1984
Ladies and Gentlemen, dear Friends,
through the Embassy of the United States of America I was informed that you would be visiting Rome, and it is now a pleasure for me to greet you in the Vatican.
I welcome you as members of the Committee on Ways and Means of the House of Representatives, together with your principal advisors and collaborators. Permit me at this time to offer you a word of fraternal support, encouragement and friendship. And, because by reason of your activities you are in fact representatives of your country, my sentiments are meant for all the people of the United States. The friendship of which I speak has been fostered by numerous personal contacts over the past years and, of course, by my unforgettable Pastoral Visit in 1979.
The role that you perform as representatives of the American people, exercising as you do a sacred trust, brings with it an immense responsibility toward your fellow-citizens and a formidable accountability. At the same time you have enviable opportunities for serving your people in particular areas such as unemployment, social security, aid to the elderly and indigent, and assistance to families in need. And each true service rendered in these ways to promote "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" is a contribution to the whole fabric of America.
You are likewise the instruments of America’s openness to others and of her concern for a world in need. A spirit of human solidarity motivates you to assist other nations, at times those from which your own forebears came - nations, that, on their part, have contributed to making America what she is today. In looking beyond yourselves and finding so many other in greater need, you are in fact helping to consolidate the internal identity of your own United States. Is not America fully herself when, craving justice, she endeavors to promote conditions for freedom and world peace, and, assisting others, she offers to the world a witness of friendship and fraternal love?
May the God of peace and Father of us all enable you to contribute effectively to world peace, and may his own peace find a home in your hearts and in the hearts of your loved ones.