Pope John Paul II applaudes a performance by Catholic University's symphony orchestra in 1987.
Highlights of Papal Visit
Oct. 18, 1995 VATICAN CITY
"Dear brothers and sisters, During my recent visit to the United States of America, I celebrated the Eucharist with the Catholic communities of Newark, Brooklyn, New York and Baltimore. The United States, as a nation of rich ethnic and cultural diversity, is being challenged to strengthen those truths and values on which the country was founded and without which a genuine democracy cannot prevail.
Throughout my visit, I was impressed by the efforts of America's Catholics to promote a true civilization of love. At Newark, I recalled that America has been, from the beginning, a society marked by hospitality to the newcomer and to those in need. Today that same tradition needs to be affirmed with regard to the unborn, the elderly and the marginalized. In Brooklyn, I spoke of the need to strengthen family life in openness to the mystery of God and his plan, while, at the Mass in New York's Central Park, I encouraged young people to respond to the truth and love of Christ and to bear witness to their faith by building a society worthy of the human person. Finally, at Baltimore, I urged America's Catholics to work for the renewal of their society in light of the Gospel and to recognize that authentic freedom is fulfilled in truth.
May the United States remain ever faithful to its calling as a nation of freedom, virtue and openness to life! As the dawn of the third Christian millennium approaches, I pray that America's Catholics will continue to serve Christ and to proclaim the Gospel of hope with the generosity and dynamism that they have always shown.
I gladly greet the priests taking part in the Institute of Continuing Formation at the Pontifical North American College. My cordial greeting also goes to the pilgrimage from the Archdiocese of New Orleans led by their former pastor, Archbishop Hannan. Upon all the English-speaking visitors, including the pilgrims from England, Scotland, Denmark, the Philippines, Taiwan, Australia, Canada and the United States, I invoke the grace and peace of Christ our savior. "
Here are excerpts from Pope John Paul II's messages during October 4-8 visit to the United States.
Wednesday, Oct. 4:
- At the Newark International Airport, the Holy Father said: "Opportunities for justice, reconciliation and development are visible in parts of the world where they were barely discernible even a few years ago - almost within our reach, it seems, but so difficult to grasp. Ancient rivalries and suspicions still compromise the cause of peace. We must find ways to set them aside. If we do not, history and the Lord of history will judge us harshly. Especially since the events of 1989, the role of the United States in the world has taken on new prominence. Your widespread influence is at once political, economic, military, and, due to your communications media, cultural. It is vital for the human family that in continuing to seek advancement in many different fields of science, business, education and art and wherever else your creativity leads you - America keeps compassion, generosity and concern for others at the very heart of its efforts."
- At Sacred Heart Cathedral, Newark, Pope John Paul II said: "The powerful always need to remember that they owe their position to God - to the one who is stern with the arrogant but who shows kindness to the humble. Nations and governments - like individuals - need to acknowledge that the Lord rules the world with justice; with fairness he rules the people and guides the nations."
Thursday, Oct. 5:
- At the United Nations the Holy Father said freedom is the measure of man's dignity and greatness. "Freedom is not simply the absence of tyranny or oppression. Nor is freedom a license to do whatever we like. Freedom has an inner logic which distinguishes it and ennobles it: freedom is ordered to the truth and is fulfilled in man's quest for truth and in man's living in the truth."
- The Pope's complete address to the United Nations
- In his homily at Giants' Stadium in New Jersey, he asked if America is becoming less sensitive and caring toward the poor, weak and needy."It must not. Today as before, the United States is called to be a hospitable society, a welcoming culture. If America were to turn in on itself, would this not be the beginning of the end of what constitutes the very essence of the American experience."
Friday, Oct. 6:
- At the Aqueduct Racetrack, Queens, N.Y., the pope called for a culture that honors marriage and the family.He said:"Society must strongly reaffirm the right of the child to grow up in a family in which , as far as possible, both parents are present. Fathers of families must accept their full share for the lives and upbringing of their children. Both parents must spend time with their children, and be personally interested in their moral and religious education. Children need not only material support from their parents, but more importantly a secure, affectionate and morally correct family environment."
- At St. Joseph's Seminary, Yonkers, N.Y., he told seminarians"You will not become priests to be served or to lord it over others, but to serve others, especially the poorest of the poor, the materially poor and the spiritually poor. Open the doors of your hearts in order that Christ may enter and bring you joy. The Church needs joyful priests capable of bringing true joy to God's people with the good news -good news in all its truth and transforming power."
On his first visit as pontiff to the United States in 1979, Pope John Paul II visits Catholic University, the nation's only university established by the U.S. Catholic bishops.
Saturday, Oct. 7:
- In his homily at Central Park in New York, the pope said "Stand up for the life of the aged and the handicapped against attempts to promote assisted suicide and euthanasia! Stand up for purity! Resist the pressures and temptation of a world that too often tries to ignore a most fundamental truth: that every life is a gift from God our Creator, and that we must give an account to God of how we use it either for good or evil"
- He praised Cardinal John J. O'Connor, archbishop of New York and trustee of The Catholic University of America for delivering welcome news: "The Church in New York will begin to prepare for the millennium by declaring 1996 a year of evangelization. What a wonderful beginning."
Sunday, Oct. 8:
- In the pope's homily at Oriole Park in Baltimore, Md., he said a shared commitment is necessary to sustain Democracy"The basic question before a democratic society is, How ought we to live together? In seeking an answer, can society exclude moral truth and moral reasoning? Can the biblical wisdom which played such a formative part in the founding of your country be excluded from that debate? Would not doing so mean that America's founding documents no longer have any defining content, but are only the formal dressing of changing opinion? Would not doing so mean that tens of millions of Americans could no longer offer the contribution of their deepest convictions to the formation of public policy? Surely it is important for America for the moral truths that which make freedom possible should be passed on to each new generation. Every generation of Americans needs to know that freedom-freedom- consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought."
- The pope had lunch with Cardinal William H. Keeler, archbishop of Baltimore and trustee of The Catholic University of America, and Baltimore-area families at Our Daily Bread soup kitchen. He praised Cardinal Keeler for "sensitive leadership in the local Church."
News Source Advisory
Reporters: Experts from The Catholic University of America are available to discuss Pope John Paul II's messages. Call them directly or the Catholic University's Office of Public Affairs. 202-319-5600; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
- Jude Dougherty, dean, Catholic University's School of Philosophy, 202-319-5259, (H) 301-299-7886.
Pope John Paul II greats Monsignor Michael Bransfield, trustee of Catholic University and rector of the Shrine, and, Cardinal James A. Hickey, archbishop of Washington and Catholic University Chancellor, to the Vatican in 1994.
- The Rev. Patrick Granfield, O.S.B., professor of theology, 202-319-5481.
An expert in papal and Vatican theology, Granfield is the author of The Papacy in Transition and The Limits of the Papacy. He observes that Pope John Paul II has been moving the papacy away from a monarchical bent to a more collegial approach. The pope comes to the United Nations as a "world authority and a voice for morality and the sanctity of life," to counter consumerism, individualism and stress of modern times, Granfield says. "His visit is most significant to members of the Church, but has an impact on members of other faiths."
- Christopher J. Kauffman, professor of church history, 202-319- 5099; 410-242-4499.
Pope John Paul II's visit to Baltimore was the first by a pope. Pope Paul VI was the archbishop of Milan when he visited the city during the 1950s. The visit was symbolic because Baltimore is the first recognized Catholic community in the United States.
Catholic University's Symphony orchestra performs at the Vatican.
- John Grabowski, assistant professor of theology, 202-319-5475.
Grabowski is an expert on moral theology and issues of marriage, the family and human sexuality. Pope John Paul II has written about families as the cornerstone of society, and addressed them directly. The pope addresses this in Familiaris Consortio, in which he set forth a vision for the role of the family in society and the Church.
- Monsignor Frederick R. McManus, professor emeritus of canon law, 202-319-5654; 202-319-5654.
He is an expert in Church law and liturgy. He served as peritus for the Second Vatican Council and Conciliar Commission on the Liturgy; a consultant for the Pontifical Commission for the Revising the Code of Canon Law; a consultant for the Commission for Promoting Christian Unity; and member of the Bishops and Scholars Commission. He is author of numerous books and contributor to the New Catholic Encyclopedia.
- The Rev. Robert Friday, assistant professor of religion and religious education, 202-319-5211; 202-319-8643.
He is a moral theologian who has studied the pope's recent documents including Evangelium Vitae. He can discuss ways the modern Catholic Church in America is affected by the larger issues of the Vatican.
- Msgr. Robert Trisco, professor of Church history, 202-319-5099; 202- 269-8656.
He worked closely with the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, starting with the Second Vatican Council.
The New York Times, The Pope's Visit: A Special Report
Other World Wide Web Sites
Catholic Information Center on the Internet, Papal Visit
Pope John Paul II at the Basicilia of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception.
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Revised: 27 October 1997
All contents copyright © 1997.
The Catholic University of America,
Office of Public Affairs.
All contents copyright © 1997.