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

DEPARTURE CEREMONY

ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI

Sydney, Australia
Thursday, 3 December 1970

 

We do not wish to leave the hospitable soil of Australia without addressing to all a greeting filled with emotion and gratitude for the remarkable welcome given Us.

First of all We express Our warm gratitude to His Excellency the Governor-General, to the Prime Minister and to the members of the national Government; also to the State authorities and those of the City of Sydney. We thank them for their courtesy and the care they have taken to make Our stay a pleasant one. Let them be assured that their efforts were crowned with complete success.

We thank Our venerable brother, the Cardinal Archbishop of Sydney, and the bishops of the whole of Australia and of places much more distant for the very many marks of respectful attachment which they have shown to Our humble person. We wished Our journey to be of a spiritual order, and this memorable meeting has enabled Us to see for Ourself here the magnitude of the task to be accomplished and the apostolic energy which is being applied to ensure a successful outcome.

Our thanks go to the priests, the religious, and all Our dear Catholic children of Australia for the loving eagerness with which they expressed their filial affection for Us. Our thanks go to all whom We had the opportunity to meet, men and women, young and old. We take away with Us a grand memory deep in Our heart. Great strides have been made here in a remarkably short time towards a better understanding between believers of different religions. The atmosphere of freedom and mutual respect which is found in your country has been a comfort to Us; We would like it to be found everywhere else in a similar degree for the greater benefit of the peoples themselves.

The dynamism characteristic of young countries permeates your whole life. May God keep it fresh within you, so that you may be able to face up to al1 your responsibilities, both within and beyond your frontiers. The hour has come for the great fellowship of men with each other, and for the setting up of a United and fraternal World community.

We thank God for so fruitful a stay, and We invoke upon you his abundant blessings.

Farewell, Australia.

                        

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