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International Airport of Sydney, Australia
Monday, 30 November 1970


In accordance with Our programme, We are making your city the second long stopping point on Our journey on this side of the world. In greeting Australia with all Our heart and expressing Our good wishes for a happy celebration of the second centenary of Captain James Cook’s expedition in this area, We wish also to display for the whole of Oceania Our feelings of esteem, concern and affection.

We are happy to present Our respectful greetings to the eminent personalities present: the Governor-General who represents Her Majesty the Queen, and the representatives of the Commonwealth Government, the Government of the State of New South Wales, and the City of Sydney.

We have special joy in greeting the members of the episcopate of Australia, New Zealand, Papua-New Guinea and the Islands of the Pacific; they have come to welcome Us under the leadership of the worthy President of the Australian Episcopal Conference, Our venerable brother, Cardinal Gilroy, Archbishop of Sydney. In the performance of Our duty, We have come here first and foremost to meet Our brothers in the episcopate who live in this part of the world, in order to show them how concerned We are to share in their pastoral responsibility.

This meeting offers Us the long-awaited occasion for making personal contact also with the whole of the Australian Catholic community, which is so dynamic and so dear to Us. We express Our paternal affection for them. Let all the Catholics of Australia know that the Pope prays for them, that he follows the progress they make in faith and charity, in being witnesses among their brothers to the love of Christ for all men without distinction.

To all the inhabitants of this continent We express Our friendship. We greet in a special way Our brothers of the Christian Churches. Like us, they turn their gaze towards Christ. May God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ grant them peace, love and faith (Cfr. Eph. 6: 23).

To all We wish peace: the peace of a conscience delivered from evil, and concord within families and among social groups. Christ, whose Gospel is a Gospel of peace (Eph. 6: 15), commands us to diffuse without ceasing his message; he invites men to dedicate themselves to establish those conditions which will assure to all that stability in peace on which everything else depends.

May God bless Australia and bless you all in your worthy undertakings.


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