IN the first public address of his pontificate. broadcast from the Vatican on Saturday, Pope Paul VI has promised that the Second Vatican Council will he resumed. and that he will throw the whole of his energies into furthering the work started, in so many fields. by Pope John XXIII.
He pledged himself to work for social justice and international peace, for the ecumenical movement. and for the renovation of (he Church's structure, that the Church itself might rise as a standard for the nations of the earth in the space-age.
He laid special stress on the needs of backward countries, and spoke with special affection of missionaries and lay actionists, of young people, of the sick and imprisoned, of exiles, of Catholics behind the Curtain, and of the separated brethren.
Here are some of the Holy Father's main points:
1. The Council: 1 he pre-eminent factor in our pontificate will be the continuation of the Second Vatican Council, on which all men of good will have their eyes fixed.
This will he the principal task on which we intend to spend all the energies which the Lord has given to re., so that the Catholic Church, which shines in the world as the standard raised over far-off nations. may attract all men to itself. through the majesty of its organism. through the youthfulness of its spirit. through the renovation of its structure, and through the multiplicity of its forces out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation.
2. Social questions: The unequivocal order of the love of one's neighbour. the acid test of love of Clod. demands of all men a fairer solution to social problems. It requires far-seeing action and care for underdeveloped countries. where the standard of living is often unworthy of the human being. It calls for a voluntary study on a universal scale for the betterment of living conditions.
The new epoch, which the conquests of space have opened to mankind. will he singularly blessed by the Lord if men truly know how to recognise each other as brothers rather than as rivals, and build a world order in the holy fear of God. in respect for His laws. and in the gentle light of charity and mutual collaboration.
3. Peace: Our work, with the (Continued on hack page, col 5)
help of God moreover, will he to make every effort to preserve the great blessing of peace among nations a peace which is not only the absence of warlike rivalries or of armed clashes, but a reflection of the order desired by God the Creator and Redeemer, a constructive and tenacious will for understanding and brotherhood, an unshakable display of good will ready for every trial, the uninterrupted desire for active harmony, inspired by the true good of mankind with unfeigned charity.
4. Christian Unity: Finally, our pontifical service will be to continue with every effort the great work begun with so much hope and with such happy omens by our predecessor John XXIII for the fulfilment of that unum sint awaited so much by all and for which he offered his life • ..
We open our arms to all those people who glory in the name of Christ. We call them by the sweet name of brothers. May they know that they will find in us constant understanding and good will, that they will find in Rome the paternal house that exalts and values with new splendour the treasures of their history, of their cultural patrimony, of their spiritual heritage.
Saluting the Cardinals of the Church, Pope Paul went on to express his esteem for the Roman Curia and its work at the first session of the Council. He then turned with special words of affection for the priests and religiotis 'who, Untiringly and silently. often without help in their solitude, devote their lives to the propagation of the Kingdom of God on earth.'
5. The Persecuted Church: We particularly desire that our brothers and sons in those parts of the world where the Church is prevented from exercising its rights should feel us close to them. They have been called • upon to share more intimately the Cross of Jesus. which will he followed. we are sure. by the radiant dawn of resurrection.
They will be able to return finally to the full practice of their pastoral ministry which, through its institution. is for the benefit not only of individual souls, but also of the nations where it is carried out..
And finally the Pope declared:
May there pass over the world a great flame of faith and love that will fire all men of good will, that will illuminate the roads of mutual collaboration and bring to humanity again and always an abundance of divine approval and the strength of God. without whose help nothing is worth while and nothing is holy.
And we salute . . . the hold and generous young people. in whom rests sure hope for a better future . . . all craftsmen and labourers . . . men of culture and of study, of teaching and of science . . . the humble and the great of the earth.
In the name of Our Lord! Let us move ahead in peace!