ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS
JOHN PAUL II
Monday, 2 April 1990
Dear Brother Bishops,
I am pleased to greet the Board of Trustees and members of the Papal Foundation in the United States. Our meeting today affords me a welcome opportunity of extending to each one of you my deep gratitude for your generous efforts aimed at offering direct assistance to the Successor of Peter in his ministry to the Church throughout the world. I thank you for the spirit of self-sacrifice with which you have undertaken the commitments asked of you.
Through your Chairman, Cardinal John Krol, and the other American Cardinals, as well as through Archbishop McCarrick and the other Bishops who have given so freely of their time, you have been made aware of the great needs of the Holy See. These needs arise from the very nature of the ministry entrusted to the Pope. In his "concern for all the Churches" (Cfr. 2 Cor. 11, 28), the Successor of Peter must reach out to God’s people the world over, fulfilling a charge given to him by the Lord himself. You are also familiar with the conscientious attempts of the Holy See, especially in recent years, to exercise responsible stewardship of the resources at its disposal. I assure you that these attempts will continue, in accordance with the increasing demands made upon all the offices of the Roman Curia.
As you know, the Second Vatican Council set before the Church a vast program of pastoral renewal. Particularly striking is the vision of the Council fathers presented in the Pastoral Constitution on the Church in the Modern World. Here we find an immense challenge for the Church to bring to humanity the light of the Gospel. By bearing witness and giving voice to the faith of the whole People of God, the Council fathers determined that they could provide no more eloquent proof of their solidarity with the entire human family than by engaging with it in fruitful dialogue about the problems which it must face, in order to put at its disposal those saving means which the Church herself, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, has received from her Founder (Cfr. Gaudium et Spes, 3).
It is incumbent upon the Bishop of Rome, as head of the College of Bishops, to foster and promote this dialogue, in conformity with the unique service he renders to the universal Church. I am confident that you are sensitive to this special role which I have been called to play within the "household of faith" (Cfr. Gal. 6, 10), since it is precisely this sensitivity which has motivated you to take up the challenges laid before you.
I therefore take this occasion to encourage you in your selfless efforts. And at the same time, I cannot fail to admit that your presence here is a source of encouragement to me, as I am informed of your ardent desire to work for the good of the Church and of your fervent devotion to the Successor of Peter, who ever remains " the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity of the Bishops and of all the faithful " (Lumen Gentium, 23).
To each of you and to all your families and loved ones at home I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing as a pledge of grace and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ.
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