Miami, September 10-11
'I Come as a Pilgrim'
"I come as a pilgrim, a pilgrim in the cause of justice and
peace and human solidarity, striving to build up the one human family,"
said Pope John Paul II upon his arrival in Miami where he was greeted
by thousands of people waving yellow-and-white papal banners.
Columbia, September 11
Welcomed in the 'Bible Belt'
Soon after arriving in the "Bible Belt," John Paul II
challenged America to live up to its own ideals. "It would
be a great tragedy for the entire human family," he said, "if
the United States, which prides itself on its consecration to freedom,
were to lose sight of the true meaning of that noble word. America:
You cannot insist on the right to choose without also insisting
on the duty to choose well, the duty to choose the truth."
New Orleans, September 12
Black Catholics: ‘You Enrich the Church’
Addressing 1,800 black Catholics in New Orleans, Pope John Paul
had strong words against the racism in American society and encouraged
black Catholics to contribute their cultural gifts to the wider
Church. "Even in this wealthy nation, committed by the Founding
Fathers to the dignity and equality of all persons, the black community
suffers a disproportionate share of economic deprivation,"
the pope said.
San Antonio, September 13
The Pope Gets a Taste of Hispanic Hospitality
In a Spanish-language address at Our Lady of Guadalupe Plaza, the
pope said: "The vitality of a parish greatly depends on the
spiritual vigor, commitment and involvement of its families."
He then invited "all of you who are unsure about the Church...to
come home to your parish. You belong there!"
Phoenix, September 14
Native Americans: 'Keep Alive Your Cultures'
In Phoenix, John Paul II began his day by meeting with some 2,000
healthcare workers. "The Church constantly proclaims and defends
the dignity of human life from the moment of conception to the moment
of natural death," he told them. The pope also referred to
AIDS for the first time in an official statement, saying that those
who care for AIDS patients are "living out the parable of the
That relatively low-key meeting was followed by a colorful display
when the pope met with over 10,000 Native Americans, many wearing
native dress. Alfretta M. Antone, vice president of the Salt River
Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, told the pope that native peoples
"seek to follow Jesus Christ in languages and cultures which
God has given us."
The pope responded by encouraging Native American Catholics to "keep
alive your cultures, your languages, the values and customs which
have served you well in the past and which provide a solid foundation
for the future." The Catholic faith, he added, can "thrive"
in any culture.
Los Angeles, September 15-16
Dissent Comes to the Fore
Dissent—an issue much discussed before the pope's arrival—came to
the fore in Los Angeles, where the pope listened to four U.S. bishops
present the concerns facing an American Church marked by diversity
At the meeting, attended by most of the nation's bishops and described
by participants as collegial rather than confrontational, the pope
said: "It is sometimes claimed that dissent from the magisterium
is totally compatible with being a 'good Catholic' and poses no
obstacle to the reception of the sacraments. This is a grave error
that challenges the teaching office of the bishops of the United
States and elsewhere."
Monterey and Carmel, September 17
Defense of Migrant Workers
In his homily, the pope defended migrant workers' rights and dignity.
"No one person in the [agricultural] process—grower, worker,
packer, shipper, retailer or consumer—is greater than the other
in the eyes of God," said the pope. Later he visited the mission
at nearby Carmel, where he prayed at the grave of Franciscan Father
San Francisco, September 17-18
AIDS Patients: 'God Loves You Without Distinction'
As some 2,000 gay protesters gathered outside, Pope John Paul on
his visit to Mission Dolores Basilica in San Francisco preached
about God's forgiveness. "God loves you all, without distinction,
without limit," the pontiff said. "He loves those of you
who are sick, those who are suffering from AIDS and AIDS-related
Detroit, September 18-19
To America: 'Respect Life!'
In a major social justice address at Hart Plaza in downtown Detroit,
the pope urged that today's challenges be seen in a global context.
Notable was the pope's emphasis on the positive role of the United
Nations in promoting a "new worldwide solidarity." He
praised the U.N.'s work for disarmament, peacekeeping and the promotion
of human rights.