George Bush's Address to John Paul II

«We Will Work for Human Liberty and Human Dignity»

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 4, 2004 (</a>).- Following John Paul II’s welcome address today during an audience, U.S. President George Bush addressed these words to the Pope.

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Your Holiness,

Thank you very much for receiving Laura and me and our delegation.

I bring greetings from our country, where you are respected, admired and greatly loved. I also bring a message from my government that says to you, Sir, that we will work for human liberty and human dignity in order to spread peace and compassion; that we appreciate the strong symbol of freedom that you have stood for, and we recognize the power of freedom to change societies and to change the world.

And so, Sir, we are honored to be here; perhaps the best way I can express my country’s gratitude to you and our respect to you is to present to you the Medal of Freedom from America and, if you might, allow, I’d like to read the citation attached to that honor.

«A devoted servant of God, His Holiness Pope John Paul II has championed the cause of the poor, the weak, the hungry, and the outcast.

«He has defended the unique dignity of every life, and the goodness of all life.

«Through his faith and moral conviction, he has given courage to others to ‘be not afraid’ in overcoming injustice and oppression.

«His principled stand for peace and freedom has inspired millions and helped to topple Communism and tyranny.

«The United States honors this son of Poland who became the Bishop of Rome, and a hero of our time.»

[Original text: English]

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