Pope John XXIII broadcast his traditional Christmas message to the world from his private library in the Vatican, Italy, Dec 22.
Pope John XXIII broadcast his traditional Christmas message to the world from his private library in the Vatican, Italy, Dec 22. It was his third Christmas message; and the first to be televised. Italian viewers saw a serious Pontiff - not once did he smile during his 5,500-word address.
Most of it was devoted to the theme of "truth"... divine revelation and doctrine as preached by the Roman Catholic Church. Against this truth, he said, a current of modern thought was raising an "anti-decalogue" (opposite of the Ten Commandments) encouraging man to kill, commit adultery, steal and to bear false witness.
He then appealed to Heads of State, civic leaders, parents, teachers and those responsible for mass communications. He said: "Do not avail yourselves of these marvellous gifts of God, such as light and sound and colour, and their applications in technical and artistic forms - printing, journalism, television - to distort man's natural inclination towards truth, on which is erected the edifice of his nobility and greatness."
He was confident of the final outcome of the struggle between truth and its travesty. The times were momentous, but history had known worse. Recent events threatened not only the social order but, he said, something more important - people who were weak and unstable rather than wicked. The Pope ended with his blessing.