Page 1, 8th October 1965

8th October 1965
Page 1
Page 1, 8th October 1965 — Tiny white figure of ineffable dignity

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Locations: New York


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Tiny white figure of ineffable dignity

THE outstanding moment of Pope Paul's visit to New York on Monday came just before 3.30 p.m. when he entered the United Nations general assembly hall. The moment which millions awaited had arrived.

For more than half an bout before the Pope was due to speak, the great blue and gold assembly hall had filled to capacity with diplomats and By NORMAN ST. JOHNSTEVAS IN NEW YORK

Foreign Ministers, Press and United Nations officials from all over the world.

Just in front of me were Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy and Cardinal Cushing, sitting with other members of the famous family, a poignant reminder of that inaugural of three years ago when the young President raised the hopes of the nations of the world that a new era of prosperity and peace was to open for all.

A steady stream of wellwishers including Dean Rusk came to pay tribute to the late President's widow. Then there was a stir and a hush and the Pope entered, led in by the Assembly President, Italy's Foreign Secretary, Signor Fanfani.

The Holy Father walked the whole length of the hall to the applause of the delegates, a tiny white figore rf ineffable. dignity, taking his place on the platform, sitting quietly waiting to be called to give his message to the organisation which. with all its faults, carries with it the hopes of mankind.

The Pope's address, moving and profound, was followed with close attention by the whole assembly. It was as though everyone present was conscious of sharing in a moment of history.


Within a few minutes it was clear why he had come. The message he brought with him was full of encouragement and hope; its purpose to place the whole spiritual influence of the papacy and the Catholic Church behind the organisation which is striving to establish an international order and preserve world peace.

The Pope praised the efforts of the U.N. and its achievements —comforting words to delegates who are full of fears about the U.N. and its future.

It was about that future that the Pope had something in particular to say. He stressed that great as have been the achievements of the United Nations, it has only reached the first stage of its history and must press on to set up a world authority with the will and the means to enforce its decisions.

In words reminiscent of Tellhard de Chardin, he hailed the U.N. as the great hope for mankind. "It is the ideal of which mankind dreams on its pilgrimage through time; it is the world's greatest hope; it is, we presume to say, the reflection of the loving and transcendent design of God for the progress of the human family on earth—a reflection in which we see the message of the gospel which is Heavenly become earthly," he said.

The Pope took the opportunity to restate the Catholic attitude to war and peace. War, he said, was unthinkable and he quoted the late President Kennedy's words : "Mankind must put an end to war or war will put an end to mankind." As he did so Cardinal Cushing turned and whispered into Mrs. Kennedy's ear.


Every dispute, declared the Pope, must be settled by reason, not violence—but unilateral disarmers will draw no comfort from his words. While he called upon the nations to give up offensive weapons he declared it the right of every nation to retain defensive ones until an international order had been firmly constructed.

In a moving passage, the Pope Continued on Page 9, Cot. 2

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