ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II
Saturday, 13 April 1985
Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am very pleased that you would wish to have this meeting with me during your visit to Europe. For me it is a happy occasion to extend to you the hospitality of the Vatican, and to offer you a word of fraternal encouragement and friendship. I know that you consider me a friend of the American people and I am happy to be looked upon as such.
It is extremely evident from history and from an accurate reading of “the signs of the times” that the American people have a special mission of service in the world. God has abundantly blessed your forebears and the land they settled in: it is no wonder that he permits so many people throughout the world to place so much hope in America. How many refugees and immigrants have found new life in your land!
I am sure that this visit of yours to Europe is in fact placed under the sign of solidarity - a solidarity that you wish to manifest as representatives of the American people, a solidarity that transcends your national boundaries and reaches out to peoples everywhere.
I am sure that every day you pose questions to yourselves: What can we do to be of service to our people? And what can we do to enable our people to fulfill their role of service to their fellow human beings? In a word: How can we advance the great cause of human solidarity? In your search, you certainly come face to face with immense problems, urgent needs, critical situations. But in all of this you must remain conscious of your mission: service and solidarity. And certainly in this service and solidarity there is great human enrichment for the American people, who are themselves confirmed in their traditions and strengthened in their own identity.
But in order to make a lasting contribution of service, in order to promote the true solidarity of peoples, America must remain faithful to herself as “one Nation under God”, being truly conscious - in the expression of your own Declaration of Independence - of “Nature’s God”, of the “Creator”, of “the Supreme Judge” and of “the Protection of Divine Providence”.
In the awareness of this dependence on God, America is then able to sustain the defense of those rights which your Founding Fathers reverently spoke of as “Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness”.
As Senators of the United States you are in a splendid position to make a monumental contribution to the defense of life, the preservation of liberty and the attainment of true human happiness for countless men, women and children - millions of whom are yet unborn. It is my prayer that the effectiveness of your service will be recorded for future generations in the annals of the Congressional history of the United States. And through you and your fellow legislators may the cause of human solidarity be advanced among the peoples of the earth.
© Copyright 1985 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana