"Be not afraid" - papal quotes

 

The following is a selection of memorable quotes by Pope John Paul during his papacy.

"Be not afraid. Open wide the doors to Christ." - from his first public address after his election on October 16, 1978.

"Physical condition or advancing of age are not obstacles to a perfect life. God does not look at external things but at the soul." - on his 83rd birthday in 2003.

"I am a young person aged 83" - speaking to Spanish youths in Madrid in May, 2003

"If I want to know anything about my health, I have to read the newspapers." - joking with reporters in 1998 aboard a flight to Cuba.

"I'm all in one piece. I'm not dead yet" - during his first public audience after dislocating his shoulder in 1993.

"You have to admire my loyalty." - quipping to medical staff at Rome's Gemelli hospital, where he was admitted in 1994 for the sixth time in his pontificate to repair a broken thigh bone.

"The Pope cannot remain a prisoner of the Vatican. I want to go to everybody...from the nomads of the steppes to the monks and nuns in their convents...I want to cross the threshold of every home." - speaking to reporters early in his reign.

"Is it not Christ's will that this Pope, this Slav Pope, should manifest at this precise moment the spiritual unity of Europe?" - during his 1979 visit to Poland.

"Young people of Ireland, I love you." - in Galway during his 1979 visit to Ireland.

"No to war! War is not always inevitable. It is always a defeat for humanity" - to diplomats on January 13th, 2003 ahead of the Iraq war.

"Violence never again! War never again! Terrorism never again! In the name of God, may every religion bring upon the earth justice and peace, forgiveness and life. Love." - addressing a special peace meeting in Assisi, Italy in 2002, after the September 11 attacks against the United States.

"Things really have to change here." - delivering a public lecture on inequality to a stony faced President Jean-Claude Duvalier in Haiti during a trip there in 1983.

"God once said 'Do not kill'. No human group, Mafia or whatever, can trample on this most sacred law of God." - denouncing the Mafia during a trip to Sicily in 1993.

"Christians and Muslims - generally we have understood each other badly. Sometimes in the past we have opposed each other and even exhausted ourselves in polemics and wars. I believe that God is calling us today to change our old habits." - during a visit to Casablanca, Morocco, in 1985.

"You are our dearly beloved brothers, and in a certain way it could be said that you are our elder brother." - addressing Jews during his historic visit to Rome's synagogue in 1986.

"He was never a Christian and he never pretended to be a Christian, but I learned a lot from him." - speaking of Mahatma Ghandi during a visit to India in 1986.

"To this day, Auschwitz does not cease to admonish, reminding us that anti-Semitism is a great sin against humanity." - speaking of the Nazi death camp in his 1994 book "Crossing the Threshold of Hope".

"People need to know that there is no place in the priesthood and religious life for those who would harm the young." - addressing US cardinals at a crisis meeting in April 2002 on child sex scandals involving US priests.

"I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful." - from a 1994 letter confirming the ban on women priests.

"A nation that kills its own children has no future." - referring to Poland's 1996 debate about liberalising abortion.

"It is not possible for us to avoid all criticism nor is it possible for us to please everyone." - during a 1979 trip to the United States.

"It has never been easy to accept the Gospel teaching in its entirety and it never will be." - addressing American Catholics in the United States in 1987.

"I hate to go" - his last words in Poland before leaving for Rome at the end of his last trip home on August 19, 2002.

"What have they done to me?" - note written by Pope after a tracheotomy on February 24th, 2005 to ease his breathing problems robbed him of his voice.