At today's Angelus, Pope John Paul said that the liturgy celebrated this morning in St. Peter's Basilica by the bishops and priests of the Byzantine-Ruthenian rite, was to thank “the Lord for the re-establishment, in 1646 at Uzhorod, of full communion between the Ruthenian Church and the Roman Apostolic See.”
“With this anniversary,”he went on, “my thoughts turn to our brothers of the Christian Orient, in a special way to the venerable Orthodox Churches, to whom we are linked by a deep communion of faith, which everyone hopes will reach its fullness, in obedience to the will of God. During my recent stay in the hospital, the expressions of solidarity received from the various brothers of those Churches were of great comfort to me.”
Following the recitation of the Angelus, the Pope greeted various groups present in the piazza. To one he said: “I thank with affection all the 50-year-olds who wished to celebrate their birthday, participating in the thanksgiving for the 50 years of my priesthood.”
Pope John Paul met at noon today with 150 Poles from the local governments of the Malopolska region of Poland to thank them for making him an honorary citizen of this region and to encourage them in all their efforts to “defend the dignity of the human person and the perennial values, strongly rooted in this area”of the country.
The Pope said that linking one's social duties to a Christian attitude of faith was “a just aspiration”for society's leaders. He pointed out that the moral order—“which must be observed in every action in favor of the common good”—could be better understood when it is read “in the light of faith.”
The Holy Father emphasized that among “the principles which must guide believers who have a social mission”is that of “concern for families.” Citing Familiaris Consortio, he said: “The public authorities must do everything possible to ensure that families have all those aids—economic, social, educational, political and cultural assistance— that they need in order to face all responsibilities in a human way.”
At 11:30 a.m. today, the Holy Father came to the window of his private study and addressed the faithful in St. Peter's Square:
“I still remember with emotion, after the wait and preparation with prayer during the month of October, the rite of ordination by the archbishop of Krakow, Adam Stefan Sapieha, in his private chapel. Since then I have let myself be guided by the Lord along the paths that He has opened before me day after day: priestly ministry in the different areas of pastoral activity, responsibility for my diocese as archbishop of Krakow, and later, the service of the Church in Rome as Successor of Peter.”
John Paul II said that “throughout these years I have always started my day with the celebration of the Eucharist, foundation and heart of my entire priestly life, discovering each time with immense gratitude that this is the mysterious and essential link that unites each priest with Christ the Redeemer. In the school of Jesus, Priest and Victim, I have understood better and better that the priest does not live for himself, but for the Church and for the sanctification of the People of God.”
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Following this morning's general audience, the Pope appealed for an end to arms, hatred and ethnic rivalries in Zaire:
“With unspeakable pain I am following the events in northeastern Zaire, where fierce fighting and pillaging forces thousands of Rwandan and Burundian refugees—above all old people, women and children—to wander aimlessly. It is an endless tragedy, which has also involved for some time now the local Zairian populations.
“It is anguishing to see how human beings who sons of God and our brothers are being treated! The Lord will ask for accountability for each one of them!
“In his name I beg for arms to be silenced, for hatred and ethnic rivalries to lessen, and for an end to the shameful manhunt and ask that the path of negotiations be pursued, rendering justice to everyone, with adequate answers to the serious problems which afflict the Great Lakes region.
“I encourage all those who, even at the risk of their own life, continue to give witness of Christian charity at the side of their tested brothers and sisters, and I sincerely hope that the international community will do all in its power to efficaciously bring aid to this all-consuming catastrophe.”
Following is the text of the telegram sent by Pope John Paul to Bishop Faustin Ngabu, president of the Episcopal Conference of Zaire, on the occasion of the death of Archbishop Ngabo:
“Having learned with great emotion of the tragic death of Archbishop Christophe Munzihirwa Mwene Ngabo of Bukavu, I join the pain and the prayers for this valorous pastor of the Church in Zaire, who gave his life in sharing the trial of the people entrusted to him. May God receive him in his Kingdom of Peace! As this tragedy which afflicts the Great Lakes region continues, I implore the Lord to touch the hearts of men so that arms might be silenced and feelings of hatred might disappear, giving space to the search for peace and justice for all. I strongly encourage Christians to be in their brothers'and sisters'midst as tireless witnesses of Christ's charity and mercy. To the bishops of Zaire, to the faithful of the diocese of Bukavu, to the family of the deceased, as well as to his brothers in the Society of Jesus, as a sign of comfort, I impart with a full heart my apostolic blessing.”
The Holy Father's general prayer intention for the month of November is: “For teachers and agents of mass media, that they be aware of their obligation to educate to fraternity and universal solidarity.”
His missionary intention is: “That among all the baptized the sense of mission be extended and intensified.”(VIS)