FROM ALAN McELWAIN IN ROME
OPE PAUL was suddenly overcome and wept when he spoke at an audience this week of the "indiscipline and lack of obedience and filial love" demonstrated within the Church today. His emotional and totally unexpected outburst came at the end of a prepared speech that he had made to members of the General Council of the Pontifical Commission for Latin America.
The Pope had put aside his script and his listeners were expecting him to leave when he surprised them by telling them of his distress over the unrest among the "sons of the Church" today.
There was bitterness in his heart, he said, which he felt "especially at night" as reports from various Vatican offices reached him. His bitterness did not come so much from the very pressing and disturbing world problems but from those created by members of the Church itself.
The Pope, on top of other pressing problems, is known to have been increasingly worried by reports of regular defections from the clergy, rifts between bishops and priests and the growing attitude of rebellion among both priests and laity over the Church's failure, in their opinion, to tackle post-ecumenical questions and to push right ahead with the implementation of crucial Council decisions.
Aid for Latin America In his prepared speech, the Pope praised the collaboration between Latin-America's Church authorities and the representatives of the Episcopates in Spain, France, Italy, Switzerland, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Ireland and Canada who work for Latin America.
The Pope spoke warmly of the "apostolic personnel"— diocesan priests and members of religious orders, both men and women, who go from Europe and North America to serve in churches in Latin America and also the LatinAmerican ecclesiastics who go to Europe and North America to complete their training.
He spoke also of the special seminaries, training centres and courses established to give the best possible aid to Latin America and also of "European Week." This was observed for the second time last month, when priests, religious and laymen about to leave for Latin America are brought together to study and pray "in an atmosphere of brotherly charity."
Pope Paul praised the economic aid which was also greatly contributing to the solution of many problems. He gave a warning, however, that the Papal Commission could not succeed on its own.
Appeal to bishops
He. called upon individual bishops for their support and said he hoped the number of dioceses now ready to pass "from the phase of surplus to that of sacrifice" would increase. The bishops "must not remain content with the praiseworthy accomplishments of the national organisations: they, and the entire Christian community, may look with pride upon their people abroad, who are doing the Church a greater and more arduous service, but they must consider these people as a vanguard to be generously supported.
"They must also prepare to send others to replace them when, duty accomplished, they return to their dioceses."
Pope Paul also stressed that the responsibility of the LatinAmerican Bishop receiving priests from abroad was bound up with that of the Bishop who sent them. Frequent contact between the bishops was of the greatest importance for the success and moral wellbeing of the priests. This was also true of those from Latin America who were training abroad.