Vatican Radio: Propagation by the Airwaves

By Marilyn J. Matelski | Go to book overview

APPENDIX E
Excerpts from Papal Plea, September 11, 1961 1

Possessing the wisdom and the fullness of fatherhood as the humble successor of St. Peter and custodian of the deposit of faith -- which remains always the great divine book open to all men of all nations -- and consequently also the keeper of Christ's gospel, we deem it opportune to offer some personal concrete reflections on the present world situation insofar as it gives rise to uncertainty and fear.

Between two words, war or peace, are entwined the anguish and the hopes of the world, the anxieties and the joy of individual He who cannot forget the history of the more or less distant past, years filled with afflictions and now recorded in old books, and still has a vivid recollection of the bloodstained half century between 1914 and the present, and remembers the suffering of our peoples and our lands -- even if there were peaceful interludes between one tribulation and the next -- trembles at the thought of what could happen to each one of us and to the whole world.

Every war brings upheaval and destruction to persons, regions and the entire world.

What could happen especially now with the frightful effects of new weapons of destruction and ruin which human ingenuity continues to multiply to everyone's loss.

In our youth we were always deeply moved by that ancient cry of despair which, when the army of Charlemagne first appeared on the Alps, Desiderius, the King of the Lombards, gave out while rending his hair:

"The sword, alas, the sword."

What should be said of the modern implements of war derived from the secrets of nature and capable of unleashing unheard of energy to wreak havoc and destruction?

By the mercy of God, we are persuaded that up until the present time there is no serious threat of either immediate or remote war.

In making this reference of our own to a subject that the press of all nations is discussing, we mean nothing more than to take still another opportunity of appealing with confidence to the serene and sure wisdom of all men who guide the nations of the world.

We make this appeal our own, extending it once more to those who bear on their conscience the gravest weight of public and acknowledged responsibilities.

-180-

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