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Brisbane (Australia), 25 November 1986

Lord Mayor
Dear Friends,

1. Before leaving this thriving City of Brisbane, I am happy to have this last chance to greet all of you who have gathered here in King George Square.

The purpose of my journey to Australia, like my pastoral visits to many other countries of the world, is to express my love for Jesus Christ and to make him better known and loved. In a special way, I have come in order to offer support and encouragement to my brothers and sisters of the Catholic Church. It is important to me to visit the local Churches and to experience first-hand their vitality, their difficulties and their hopes.

At the same time, I am pleased that my pastoral journeys give me an opportunity to meet members of other Christian Communions and other religions, and many people of good will. To everyone I meet, I seek to be a friend and servant of peace.

2. Of special concern to the Church are the rights and dignity Os the human person. I am confident that you share this same concern. There are many sides to it. and these vary greatly between countries, particularly between developing countries and those that are more highly developed, like Australia. Everywhere however there is a temptation at times to measure human progress by economic and technological progress, while ignoring its spiritual and ethical dimensions. My own deep conviction, as I stated in my first Encyclical Letter, is this: "What is in question is the advancement of persons, not just the multiplying of things people can use. It is a matter... not so much of ‘having more’ as of ‘being more’ ". The ultimate criteria for true human progress are the law of God our Creator and the good of each person.

3. It is important to remember, too, that the destiny of the world does not rest entirely in our hands. God is the Creator of all. and God’s providence rules human history. It is our duty however to work together for the good of the entire human family by making proper use of our natural talents. We must make sure that we understand the needs of the whole world and that we do not exclude anyone from our love. We are very much responsible for our actions, and also for the good we fail to do. At the same time we must ask God’s help for our own lives and for the whole world, and realize that: "his power, working in us, can do infinitely more than we can ask or imagine". Our dependence on God, our need for him and his loving concern for us are all part of the truth of life.

I wish to express to you all my deep gratitude for the wonderful hospitality I have received in this State of Queensland. Thank you for your warm welcome.

May the Lord fill your hearts with his peace and joy. God bless you all!


© Copyright 1986 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana