ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA*
Monday, 28 September 1970
On the occasion of this journey of yours to Europe you have wished to pay Us a further visit.
We have welcomed the opportunity thus afforded Us of having a renewed personal contact with you and of expressing to you once again, with even greater insistence, Our deeply felt paternal concern for the cause of peace: to you who are the leader of a nation upon which weighs such a heavy share of responsibility for the present and for the future of the world.
Recent happenings have shown what special need there is at this moment to work for peace.
The suffering which war inflicts not only on the combatants, but also on innocent persons, and on children who have no understanding even of the meaning of the word, has been brought vividly before the eyes of all of us, who, however distant we may be, feel almost that we are in the midst of it. Our heart has suffered with them, as it has always shared and continues to share in the sufferings of the victims of all the wars that disturb the life of mankind.
Our anxiety is now increased by the danger of such a conflict involving more and more countries and assuming the proportions of a vast and fearful conflagration.
This special need demands from all a special effort, without reservations by any party and without any other aim than a just and honourable peace. That same God-given intelligence which enables man to destroy is capable also of finding a way of combatting the dangers, and even of ensuring, in so far as is humanly possible, that they will not come to pass.
This duty belongs in a particular way to those who have greater power in the world. We are therefore happy to have been able to convey to you, Mister President, Our thoughts on the most suitable means of seeking to reestablish peace where it has been upset and to strengthen it where it exists, among other ways by favouring friendly and fruitful relations between peoples and the progress of the developing nations, as is demanded by justice and human solidarity.
We would like to encourage you, Mister President, in undertaking this task, which, though difficult, is truly worthy of being pursued with decisiveness and generosity.
May God guide you and all who have responsibility for peace among nations, that goodwill may overcome enmity.
In the meantime We give expression to Our personal good wishes, and We invoke upon you, your family and all the people of the United States of America the favour and the blessing of the Almighty.
*AAS 62 (1970), p.625-626.
Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. VIII, p.962-963.
L’Attività della Santa Sede 1970 p.426-427.
L’Osservatore Romano, 30.9.1970, p.1.
ORa n. 41 p.3.
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