33 Years Ago Today – Papa Luciani and Unity in the Church

On this day, 33 years ago, Pope John Paul I spoke to the cardinals who had elected him. It took place in the Consistory Hall on a Wednesday.

He spoke rather eloquently about Church unity, and his commitment to fostering it.

Here is an excerpt:

This unity transcends space, ignores racial difference and enriches us with the true values present in diverse cultures. Though peoples differ in geographical location, in language and mentality, through this one communion, they become a single great family. How could one but feel a wave of a brightening hope in face of the marvelous spectacle your presence offers to a reflective spirit? ….

Your presence places before us an eloquent image of the Church of Christ….. It is for this unity that we know we have been established both as a sign and as an instrument (cf. Lumen Gentium n. 8, 32). It is our goal to dedicate our total energy to the defence of this unity and indeed its increase. … We would only wish to reconfirm in this moment together with you all, the commitment of our total availability to the guidance of the Spirit for the good of the Church, It was this that each of you promised on the day of your elevation to the Cardinalate, to serve “even to the shedding of blood.”  (Bold print mine.)

Luciani was to dedicate his “total energy” to defending the unity of the Church. I think he did just that, spending himself completely in the span of a month.

He indeed brought the Church together in marvelous fashion.

Papa Luciani, pray for us.

About Deacon Bob

Moderator: Deacon Bob Yerhot of the Diocese of Winona-Rochester, Minnesota.
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