POPE JOHN opened his broadcast by drawing a "happy. likeness" between the acclamation of the Vatican Council Fathers and the angelic voices ringing out each Christmastide in praise of the divine encounter between heaven and earth.
He divided his address into three main related themes: the glory of the Lord in the angels' song; the coming of peace on earth; the triumph and sacrifice
of the Church for the benefit of the whole world.
Here are some of his main passages:
I. Gloria In excelsis Deo. This is the liturgical climax of the Christmas hymn, and in this same hymn, the Catholic Church, united in Council, bursts forth like the flowering of a new humanity reconciled to its creator, and regenerated by Christ in joy and peace among men and peoples.
Consider the emotion the Fathers of the Council felt as they began their work every day with these words in the Mass, Gloria in Excelsis De(). repeated in many tongues, according to the various rites . . . Roman and Ambrosian. Greek and Slavonic, Armenian, Antiochene a n d Alexandrian, Byzantine, Chaldean, Melchite, Syrian. Maronite and many others.
It was thus that it appeared to us and thus that we delighted in this conspiracy of praise.
2. Peace on earth. Besides the glory which it gives to God in the highest heavens, the mystery and commemoration of Christ's birth has for us pilgrims here below a message of peace to all the earth.
The word "heaven" is not rare in the pages of the Old and New Testaments, but the word "earth" is far more frequent. And of all the earth's treasures the most precious and the most noteworthy is that of peace.
But a ilecessary condition of peace is the goodwill of each and everyone. Where this is lacking it is vain to hope for happiness.
Let peace, then, he our objective at all times. Let us aim. at creating peace around us so that it may spread throughout the entire world. Let us shield it from all that could harm it and take care not to endanger it by anything that could disrupt or compromise it.
Oh, how great a duty is this for every Pope, now and always! The constant endeavour of the four years of our humble service —as we strive to make it and will continue to strive to the end —is to act as the servant of the servants of God. who is in truth the Lord and Prince of Peace.
As we are speaking now for the radio and television, we think that all upright men of goodwill who are listening will like to hear again the appeal we made for peace and for the mutual understanding and concord of nations in our broadcast message of 25th October.
We renew today this solemn
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