Page 1, 29th December 1978

29th December 1978
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Page 1, 29th December 1978 — Pope calls for peace
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Pope calls for peace

in New Year THE CHRISTMAS message is for every human being 'wherever he may work, create, suffer, fight, sin, love, hate or doubt said Pope John Paul II in his Urbi et Orbi address from St Peter's balcony on Christmas Day.

"Christmas is the feast of man. A human being is born,he said, "If we celebrate with such solemnity the birth of Jesus it is to bear witness that every human being is somebody unique and unrepeatable. If our human statistics, our human categories, political and economic and social systems, our mere human

possibilites fail to ensure that man be born, live and act as one who is unique and unrepeatable then all this is ensured by God. For God and before God the human being is always unique and unrepeatable somebody thought of and chosen from eternity by his own name."

In his first Christmas message Pope Wojtyla told the 100.000 people gathered in St Peter's Square that in spite of the fact that two thousand years seperate us from the birth of Jesus he is always ahead of us, always goes before us. We must run after him and try to reach him. He is our peace, the peace of man, peace for men he loves." God is pleased with man he said and this was why he had sent his son and because of this it was forbidden to destroy man, humiliate him or hate him.

After his address the Pope wished everyone a happy Christmas in 24 languages which observers say is a new papal record. The languages included several Eastern European languages -Russian and Japanese and he also gave a longer message in Polish.

The Pope also asked people to pray with him for peace since next Sunday is the World Day of Peace.

On Boxing Day the Pope made a surprise appearance on the balcony of St Peters. He said "No doubt you come to see if the Pope was home the day after Christmas, Well, here I am."

Peace also dominated what the Pope did over Christmas as well as what he said. Last Friday he announced that he was sending Cardinal Antonio Samore, a Curial diplomat to negociatc between Argintina and Chile in their dispute over three islands in the Beagle Channel on the Southern tip of Latin America. Despite the complexities of the issue said Pope Wojtyla he felt he could not refuse the requests of thc two governments.

He also announced that he would be going to Puebla in Mexico for the opening of the Conference of Latin America bishops in January. He said the theme of the CELAM meeting was so important that

there was 'nothing to explain concerning the reason for my decision".

On Saturday the Pope met the Communist mayor of Rome, Guilio Argan, for 40 minutes in private audience.

Speaking of the 1978 World Day of Peace message Pope Wojtyla said that human affairs should be handled 'humanely, not with violence and he called for dialogue between opposing ideologies. He said that particular groups should take into account the legitimate rights of other groups and spoke of the need to protect inalienable human rights.

Taking this year's theme for Peace Sunday which was chosen by Pope Paul before he died, "To reach peace, Teach peace", the Pope said. "There is no peace without justice and freedom, without a courageous commitment to promote both."

A letter sent to the people of his former archdiocese of Krackow, Poland was censored by Government

officials and references to St Stanislaus were removeed. The Pope referred to Stanislaus, Patron Saint of Poland, as a symbol of human and national values.

But the bishops of Krackow diocese ignored the ban and read out the uncensored version of the Pope's message.




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