Polish-born Pope, Improved Catholic Church's Relations with Judaism, Islam the Eastern Orthodox Church and Anglican Communion, praised for his orthodox Catholic stances
"It is not strange at all that the spread of divorce in a society is accompanied by a diminishing of public morality in all sectors… True love does not exist if it is not faithful. And it cannot exist if it is not honest. Neither can it be in the concrete vocation of matrimony if there is no full promise that lasts until death. Only indissoluble matrimony will be firm and lasting support for the familial community."
"Peace is not just the absence of war. It involves mutual respect and confidence between peoples and nations. It involves collaboration and binding agreements. Like a cathedral, peace must be constructed patiently and with unshakable faith."
"Science can purify religion from error and superstition. Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes."
"Religious life is not threatened merely by vexing restrictions. It can also be threatened by the spread of false values - such as hedonism, power-seeking, greed - which are making headway in various countries and which in practice stifle the spiritual aspirations of large numbers of people."
"When freedom does not have a purpose, when it does not wish to know anything about the rule of law engraved in the hearts of men and women, when it does not listen to the voice of conscience, it turns against humanity and society."
"Christian tradition has never upheld this right [to private property] as absolute and untouchable… The right to private property is subordinated to the right to common use, the fact that goods are meant for everyone."
"Let us not accept violence as the way of peace. Let us instead begin by respecting true freedom: the resulting peace will be able to satisfy the world’s expectations, for it will be a peace built on justice, a peace founded on the incomparable dignity of the free human being."
"A society will be judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members; and among the most vulnerable are surely the unborn and the dying."
"All human activity takes place within a culture and interacts with culture. For an adequate formation of a culture, the involvement of the whole man is required, whereby he exercises his creativity, intelligence, and knowledge of the world and of people. Furthermore, he displays his capacity for self-control, personal sacrifice, solidarity and readiness to promote the common good."
"And although the State can do much by providing means and structures of support, the contribution of the family to ensuring that climate of security and trust cannot be replaced, so important is it in helping young children to look to the future with serenity, and in preparing them to take a responsible part in building a society of true progress when they grow up."
"Artistic talent is a gift from God and whoever discovers it in himself has a certain obligation: to know that he cannot waste this talent, but must develop it. "
"Dear young people of every language and culture, a high and exhilarating task awaits you: that of becoming men and women capable of solidarity, peace and love of life, with respect for everyone. Become craftsmen of a new humanity, where brothers and sisters — members all of the same family — are able at last to live in peace."
"As the fundamental nucleus of society, the family has a right to the full support of the State in order to carry out fully its particular mission."
"Demographic considerations alone cannot explain the poor distribution of food resources. We must abandon the sophism which consists in affirming that 'being numerous means being condemned to poverty'."
"Do not be afraid to take a chance on peace, to teach peace, to live peace...Peace will be the last word of history. "
"Do not forget that true love sets no conditions; it does not calculate or complain, but simply loves."
"Together we all sense our duty to preach. Faced with problems and disappointments, many people will try to escape from their responsibility: escape in selfishness, escape in sexual pleasure, escape in drugs, escape in violence, escape in indifference and cynical attitudes. But today, I propose to you the option of love, which is the opposite of escape. Faith and reason are like two wings on which the human spirit rises to the contemplation of truth; and God has placed in the human heart a desire to know the truth- in a word, to know himself- so that, by knowing and loving God, men and women may also come to the fullness of truth about themselves. "
"You are called to work and pray especially the weak and most defenseless ones, those as yet unborn. Establishment of a new culture of life, the fruit of the culture of truth and of love. Everyone has an obligation to be at the service of life. "
"Finally, true freedom is not advanced in the per missive society, which confuses freedom with license to do anything whatever and which in the name of freedom proclaims a kind of general amorality. It is a caricature of freedom to claim that people are free to organize their lives with no reference to moral values, and to say that society does not have to ensure the protection and advancement of ethical values. Such an attitude is destructive of freedom and peace. There are many examples of this mistaken idea of freedom, such as the elimination of human life by legalized or generally accepted abortion."
"Forgiveness in fact always involves an apparent short-term loss for a real long-term gain. Violence is the exact opposite; opting as it does for an apparent short-term gain, it involves a real and permanent loss."
"Forgiveness is above all a personal choice, a decision of the heart to go against the natural instinct to pay back evil with evil."
"Friendship, as has been said, consists in a full commitment of the will to another person with a view to that person's good. "
"From now on it is only through a conscious choice and through a deliberate policy that humanity can survive."
"God of our fathers, you chose Abraham and his descendants to bring your Name to the Nations: we are deeply saddened by the behavior of those who in the course of history have caused these children of yours to suffer, and asking your forgiveness we wish to commit ourselves to genuine brotherhood with the people of the Covenant."
"Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence. "
"God endowed [the human race] with capacity to attain to the inaccessible and invisible Supreme Good and behold it face to face."
"His calling is a declaration of love. Your response is commitment, friendship, and love manifested in the gift of your own life as a definitive following and as a permanent sharing in his mission and in his consecrations. To make up your mind is to love him with all of your soul and all of your heart in such a way that this love becomes the standard and motive of all your actions. "
"I appeal to all of you, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, to see the face of a brother or sister in every human being. What unites us is so much more than what separates and divides us : it is our common humanity."
"Humanity should question itself, once more, about the absurd and always unfair phenomenon of war, on whose stage of death and pain only remains standing the negotiating table that could and should have prevented it. "
"It can be said, in fact, that research, by exploring the greatest and the smallest, contributes to the glory of God which is reflected in every part of the universe."
"I plead with you--never, ever give up on hope, never doubt, never tire, and never become discouraged. Be not afraid. "
"In suffocating the voice of conscience, passion carries with itself a restlessness of the body and the senses: it is the restlessness of the external man. When the internal man has been reduced to silence, then passion, once it has been given freedom of action, so to speak, exhibits itself as an insistent tendency to satisfy the senses and the body. "
"Life is entrusted to man as a treasure which must not be squandered, as a talent which must be used well. "
"It is not credible that any one should possess so little understanding as to desire the faith and yet be destitute of the most necessary faculty to enable him to receive it. "
"It is a mistake to apply American democratic procedures to the faith and the truth. You cannot take a vote on the truth. The value of democracy stands or falls with the values which it embodies and promotes."
"It would be simplistic to say that Divine Providence caused the fall of Communism. In a certain sense Communism as a system fell by itself. It fell as a consequence of its own mistakes and abuses. It proved to be a medicine more dangerous than the disease itself. It did not bring about true social reform, yet it did become a powerful threat and challenge to the entire world. But it fell by itself, because of its own inherent weakness."