(During the upcoming days, I will be keeping all of us refreshed as to the happenings of the pontificate of John Paul I during his 33 day reign in 1978.)
On August 31, 1978, Papa Luciani gave an address to the diplomatic corps assigned to the Vatican. Here is an excerpt:
“…our activity, at the service of the international community is also — we would say, chiefly — situated on another level, one that could be more specifically called pastoral and which belongs properly to the Church. It is a matter of contributing, through documents and commitments of the Apostolic See and of our collaborators throughout the Church, to forming consciences — chiefly the consciences of Christians but also of those men and women of good will, and through these forming a wider public opinion — regarding the fundamental principles that guarantee authentic civilization and real brotherhood between peoples. These principles are: respect for one’s neighbor, for his life and for his dignity, care for his spiritual and social progress, patience and the desire for reconciliation in the fragile building up of peace; in short all the rights and duties of life in society and international life, as they have been set forth in the Council’s Constitution Gaudium et Spes and in so many messages by the late Pope Paul VI. Such attitudes, which in the logic of evangelical love the Christian faithful take or should take for their salvation, contribute to the gradual closer transformation of human relationships, the social fabric, and institutions. They help peoples and the international community to ensure more effectively the conditions for the common good and to discover the final meaning of their forward march….”
Luciani emphasizes the role of the Church in forming consciences and ensuring the common good in the modern world.
Sounds a lot like the man who followed him to the Chair of Peter, and who took Luciani’s name, Pope John Paul II, doesn’t it?
How I wish we could have had Luciani with us longer! But God has his plan which is far grander that anything I could wish……