ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI
Airport of Djakarta, Indonesia
We are happy that this journey gives Us the occasion to make a stop in this great and beautiful land of Indonesia where none of Our predecessors ever set foot, but where Catholics have been present for more than four hundred years, striving to do good to those around them.
It was in fact in the year 1546 that one of our greatest saints, Francis Xavier, after skirting the coasts of Sumatra and Java, came to fix his residence for a while at Amboina and Ternate, laying the foundation of the future work of his brothers and successors.
In leaving family and country to come here, this servant of God acted not from political ambition. He was not trying to acquire riches by trade or to seek glory or the pleasure of seeing new things and speaking of them to the world. His wish was to do good, the greatest good possible to his fellowmen, because he knew that was what God wished of him.
Ourself have no other intention on Our various journeys to all points of the
globe. What We try to do with all Our poor strength is to work for the bettering
of men’s lot, with the aim of bringing about the reign of peace and the triumph
of justice, without which no peace is enduring.
We consider it consequently a duty and a joy to praise the Government and people for the fine example thus given to the world of a high religious sense, and of collaboration and reciprocal enrichment in diversity. In fact We have pleasure in repeating here: «We acknowledge with respect the spiritual and moral values of the various non-Christian religions, for we desire to join with them in promoting and defending common ideals in the spheres of religious liberty, human brotherhood teaching and education, social welfare, and civic order» (Ecclesiam suam, AAS., LVI (1963), p. 655). The Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in religions. «She looks with sincere respect upon those ways of conduct and of life, those rules and teachings which, though differing in many particulars from what she holds and teaches, nevertheless often bring a ray of the Truth that enlightens all men» (Nostra aetate, 2).
«Upon the Moslems the Church looks with esteem. They adore one God,
living and subsisting in himself, merciful and all-powerful, one who has made
heaven and earth and who has spoken to men» (Ibid.,
3). She admires those who in Hinduism
«seek release from the anguish of our condition through ascetical practices or
deep meditation or a loving, trusting flight towards God»
It was with these sentiments that We stated: «The Church must enter into dialogue with the world in which it lives. It has something to say, a message to give, a communication to make» (Ecclesiam suam, A.A.S., LVI (1964), p. 639).
We are happy to have here beside Us a man of your people and of your blood: Cardinal Darmojuwono, in whose hands is the highest Catholic authority of your country. Besides him there are other bishops born in your country, and an ever-increasing number of priests are preparing themselves to succeed the missionaries. The latter too have generously given up all in order to help your people in every field within their power; they live your life, and have adopted as their own your customs and interests. The best reply that can be given to those who see in the Catholic Church a strictly European organization is this: the Church is catholic, that is to say, universal; in every land she gives the proof of it as you have here before your eyes.
Our appreciative greeting
goes to the devoted missionaries scattered throughout your islands. We greet
with no less emotion the growing generation of priests and bishops of your own
country. As father We give Our blessing to the numerous faithful around Us and
to the many more who have not been able to come. We greet with respect the
representatives elf all the other religions who have honoured us by their
presence. We thank the authorities of the country who made this meeting possible
and who have welcomed Us with so much courtesy. Let them rest assured that they
will find in all their Christian subjects most devoted helpers for the
realization of the noble ideals which they have conceived for the ever greater
and ever more rapid progress of Indonesia, which is so generously endowed by God
with beauty, and an abundance of resources of every kind.