Paul VI and the peoples' encounters with the church


 

 

La Pira was invited to conclude the events in Brescia for the fiftieth anniversary of the priesthood of Pope Paul VI (1970). It is an opportunity to present a unified view of the first five years of the pontificate of Montini that La Pira summarizes with the emergence of three facts:

.... the meaning of history: history has a meaning, a direction, there is a "omega point", a "guiding star" which directs and finalizes it;

... The crest of the 'Apocalypse, in the age of alternative and final choices: in the atomic age, space age and a demographic that proposes either the destruction of mankind and the planet itself (Ap 7.1 ss: everything is ready for destruction) or the peace and unity and the millennial fostering of the peoples of the whole earth;

... The Catholic Church - and, therefore, Peter, as an organization, co-essential (in some sense efficient cause, final and exemplary) of this unity, liberation and peace among peoples. 

In this situation, the task of the Church and the Pope is clear to La Pira: work with wisdom and hope that the unity of the churches and the unity of nations will gradually be achieved: 

... The inevitable convergence of all the peoples of the world towards unity, peaceful coexistence, civil fostering. It is an essential organization for this historic convergence which will gradually increase in its own way - by virtue of a 'mysterious' historical law destined for this - Peter and his Roman office: the high point in history, in which all the peoples (according to the prophetic vision of Isaiah) "colliguntur et veniunt."