Pope John Paul I embraces a child Pope John Paul I embraces a child   (Museo Albino Luciani)

Pope: ‘John Paul I showed Church shines with God’s light’

Pope Francis sends a message to participants in a conference on the legacy of Pope John Paul I, saying his predecessor still offers a path to solving the challenges facing the Church today.

By Devin Watkins

The John Paul I Vatican Foundation, in conjunction with the Pontifical Gregorian University, hosted a one-day conference on the legacy of Albino Luciani and his 6-point-plan for his papacy.

Pope Francis sent a message to participants on Friday, praising the foresightedness of his predecessor.

He said the historical reflection offered in the conference provides a “valid contribution” to understanding the magisterium of John Paul I.

“During his earthy life, he constantly sought out and pointed toward the substance of the Gospel , as a unique and eternal truth, beyond any historical or fashionable trapping.”

Church shines with God’s light

The Pope said his predecessor was a “wise and humble man” who knew how to “speak about God with evangelical simplicity”.

John Paul I, he added, bore witness to the Church which “shines not with her own light but with a reflected light which comes not from men but from God.”

Though his 33-day pontificate remains one of the briefest in history, the Italian Pope laid out several fundamental elements for the Church’s mission.

He said these aspects included closeness to the pain of our brothers and sisters, the desire to dialogue with the world, and the pursuit of peace, Christian unity, and episcopal collegiality.

“These themes represent a sure point-of-reference to find concrete solutions to the many difficulties and countless challenges which the Church must face in our own days,” he said.

Pope Francis concluded his message with the hope that the conference might offer a “unique occasion to rediscover the spiritual heritage and holiness of this beloved Pope.”

13 May 2022, 12:27