Pope says predecessor Paul VI was an 'unforgettable pastor'
Pope Paul VI was an "unforgettable pastor", and the Church should always "treasure his example and his teachings", Pope John Paul II has said.
The present Holy Father was celebrating Mass on Friday's 26th anniversary of his predecessor's death.
Pope John Paul II celebrated the Mass in the chapel of the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, where Pope Paul died in 1978.
In addition to remembering the anniversary of Pope Paul's death and praising him as a "faithful imitator of his Lord", Pope John Paul also mentioned the 40th anniversary of Pope Paul's first encyclical, "Ecclesiam Suam" ("His Church"), on the mission of the church in the modern world.
The encyclical was dated 6 August 1964.
"In that memorable document, Paul VI traced the lines of his plans for his pontificate," Pope John Paul said.
The encyclical spoke of the need for the church to be an active partner in promoting development, peace and justice and of doing so from the firm foundation of its mission to preach the Gospel and the brotherhood of all people in Jesus Christ.
Pope-Paul VI was an 'unforgettable pastor,' says Pope John Paul II (Catholic News Service 6/8/04)
Pope John Paul marks anniversary of Paul VI's death (Catholic World News 6/8/04)
Vatican publishes book commemorating key Encyclical of Paul VI on nature of the Church (Catholic News Agency 6/8/04)
Pope Paul VI (Holy See website)
Text - Ecclesiam Suam
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In a private mass, Pope recalls 26th anniversary of Pope Paul VI's death (Catholic News Agency 6/8/04)
9 Aug 2004