ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS
JOHN PAUL II
Saturday, 8 July 1989
It give me great pleasure to meet you, the Officers and men of HMS Turbolent which is currently on an official visit to the port of Naples. In welcoming you, I likewise extend warm greetings to your families and friends at home.
You have wished to make a visit to the Pope as part of your tour, and I am happy to have the opportunity to encourage you to follow the ideals of peace which lie at the very centre of your naval duties. Even though you undergo a strict training in defence and are taught the use of sophisticated weapons, your primary duty is to build peace and save lives. This takes courage and personal commitment.
In the present circumstances of an easing in international tensions and a reduction in the arms race between East and West, your efforts must be doubly directed at fostering this climate of peace. True peace will not be achieved merely by the process of progressive disarmament, much as this is to be welcomed; rather peace is nurtured by respecting the dignity proper to each person and promoting a spirit of brotherhood within the entire human family.
Christ our Brother, who in the words of Saint Paul “is our peace” (Eph. 2, 14), has taught us that the greatest command of all is love, a love which transcends national boundaries and political blocs, and is directed to all.
Today I express a fervent hope which is also a prayer – that in the course of your duties you will always bear witness to the love of God by reaching out the hand of friendship and respect in that spirit of brotherhood which leads to peace.
May the Lord protect you as you sail the seas. May he be your guiding star as you seek to be instruments of his peace.
© Copyright 1989 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana