The radio interview, recorded and first broadcast by the Voice of America (VOA) in 1976, was rebroadcast by VOA’s Polish Service on October 16, 1978, after the news of Cardinal Karol Wojtyła’s election as the new pope had been announced at the Vatican. Today is the 32 anniversary of the election of Karol Wojtyła as Pope John Paul II.
Ted Lipien’s 1976 Interview with Card. Karol Wojtyla – future Pope John Paul II
(opening segment in Polish)
This interview was broadcast first by the Voice of America (VOA) in 1976.
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Ted Lipien: I believe the just-concluded Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia was the main purpose of your Eminence’s visit to the United States; may I ask you to share with us your impressions and to summarize the Congress’s goals and results.
Card. Karol Wojtyla: The Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia was without any doubt the result of a solid concept, enormous work, and many preparations. In this spirit one should, I believe, also look at its results.
The concept of the Congress was expressed in its main theme: “The Eucharist and the Hungers of Contemporary Man.”* This theme was divided into many subjects. There is no doubt that we have a common need to raise awareness of the physical hunger — the hunger for daily bread — that this hunger afflicts many people and societies. The need to raise awareness about this issue, which is basic for many so-called underdeveloped societies, is especially present in America, in this perhaps the richest nation in the world.
The problem of hunger is as we can see the problem of justice for the entire human family. By taking on this issue, Cardinal Krol and the organizers of the Congress followed such papal encyclicals as John XXIII’s Mater at Magistra and Paul VI’s Populorum Progressio.
Together with this basic hunger– if one could use this expression — go other types of hungers of today’s Man, equally great and equally deeply felt by various societies, by different groups and finally by individuals. The organizers of the Congress rightly included in its program such themes as: “The Hunger for Liberty, “The Hunger for Truth,” “The Hunger for Understanding,” “The Hunger for Love.” To all of these hungers of today’s Man, the Eucharist provides a final dimension: Man hungers for God. His heart is unsettled without Him.
*”The Eucharist and the Aspirations of the Human Family” was the official theme of the 1976 Eucharistic Congress in Philadelphia.