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ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
TO THE NEW CARDINAL IGNATIUS GONG PIN-MEI,
BISHOP OF SHANGHAI

Monday, 1 July 1991

 

Your Eminence,

I give joyful thanks to Almighty God for your presence here today in the company of members of your family and some of your friends and well-wishers. Your participation in Friday’s Consistory was the realization of an intention which has been with me since the beginning of my Pontificate, since the Consistory of June 30, 1979.

At that time, I felt that the whole Church could not but honor a man who has given witness by word and deed, through long suffering and trials, to what constitutes the very essence of life in the Church: participation in the divine life through the apostolic faith and evangelical love. The bonds of faith, hope and love which unite the baptized with the Lord and with each other have an essential and visible manifestation in the communion which links the particular Churches to the Church of Rome and to the successor of Peter. As the Second Vatican Council stated: "Just as, by the Lord’s will, Saint Peter and the other apostles constituted one apostolic college, so in a similar way the Roman Pontiff as the successor of Peter, and the bishops as the successors of the Apostles are joined together . . . by the bonds of unity, charity and peace" (Lumen Gentium, 22). Your Eminence’s elevation to the College of Cardinals is a tribute to your humble perseverance in this necessary communion with Peter.

By honoring you the Holy See honors the whole faithful Church in China. With what prayerful longing and love do I follow the life of the loyal Chinese Catholic communities!

My desire to have you as a member of the College of Cardinals was, in 1979, and continues today to be the expression of my heartfelt esteem, openness and good will towards the great Chinese family. I express the hope that this event which is a source of joy for the whole Church will be seen as a sign of our desire to foster that dialogue which can benefit the cause of harmony and peace among all the peoples of the world.

In praying for Your Eminence, your family and friends, I gladly invoke abundant divine gifts upon all your fellow-citizens. May God bless the great Chinese family.

 

Copyright 1991 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

 

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