ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS
JOHN PAUL II
Hall of the Throne
I am glad to have the opportunity of meeting my Brother Bishops, and the priests, Religious and laity of Japan who are here to share this moment of joy with Cardinal Shirayanagi. In naming the Archbishop of Tokyo to the College of Cardinals it was my intention to strengthen further the bonds of faith and communion between the Catholic Church in Japan and this Apostolic See.
Your Eminence, as a Bishop you have already expressed your dedicated commitment to the ministry entrusted to you in the motto Impendam et superimpendar. Now as a Cardinal your concern for the growth and well-being of the Church takes on greater intensity insofar as you share more closely in the solicitude for all the Churches which characterizes the Ministry of Peter.
My thoughts go to the entire Catholic community in Japan, strengthened in spirit by the blood of your martyrs, who professed their faith in Christ in spite of seemingly overpowering obstacles. Today the challenges which you face are different, but no less demanding of true discipleship and unfailing courage. I commend you all to the loving intercession of Mary Queen of Martyrs, and upon you, your families and communities I invoke abundant divine blessings.
(Upon all of you may the grace of God come down in abundance! I bless you with all my heart. Let us thank God!)
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