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APOSTOLIC PILGRIMAGE
OF HIS HOLINESS PAUL VI
TO WEST ASIA, OCEANIA AND AUSTRALIA

ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI
TO THE CATHOLIC COMMUNITY

Pago-Pago, West Samoa
Monday, 30 November 1970

 

Our stay is drawing to a close. We are now on Our way to Australia. We would not like the short time We have been able to devote to you to be interpreted as a sign of less interest in you. The Catholic Church belongs to all. We came to you purposely - just as We went to big nations -concerned to bring equally to all the message of brotherly love which We received from Jesus Christ, the Master.

Dear people of Pago-Pago, We want to thank in your persons all the inhabitants of this great Oceania, scattered over a multitude of islands on the surface of the broadest of oceans. From your heart you have shown Us so much kindness. Your welcome was a testimony to a very hospitable spirit. The distance which separates you from the great centres where the world’s destinies are decided seems so great; for this reason We do not conceal from you that We have a certain preference for you, just as the Lord found pleasure in being among those who were lowly and humble. Besides. has not this always been the Church’s attitude? The long-standing presence here of some of the most courageous and unselfish missionaries in the world is a proof of it.

We pray the Lord, whose favour is not limited by distance or human technology, to bless your families, your villages and all your islands.

It is Our wish that the Gospel spirit may permeate your customs and institutions, for the victory of brotherhood, the source of peace and prosperity.

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