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Public Papers - 1989

Remarks to Students at the American Seminary in Vatican City

1989-05-27

What a neat welcome, thank you. [Applause] I've got to go to supper, come on here. [Applause] What a wonderful welcome. You remember the old American expression, often said of a group or an individual, ``He hasn't got a prayer.'' Well -- [laughter] -- I am delighted to meet an audience about whom that will never be said. [Laughter] What a wonderful, wonderful welcome!

I'll just say a couple of things. Barbara and I want to thank you for this warm welcome, this touch of America to our European tour -- and we're touched. When I heard from my friend, Frank Shakespeare, our Ambassador, how many would be here, I was surprised and touched.

As you know, I've just had an audience with His Holiness Pope John Paul II. He was so generous with his time and so generous with his thinking and imparted to me once again his views on world peace and his views on how perhaps we can all work together to help in that regard. He has devoted his whole life to serving God, and the things that we focused on in this meeting were broad questions of peace and freedom and justice as they apply, or might be applied, all around the world. So, it's a talk that I'll long remember. I leave once again inspired by his moral and spiritual leadership, and I know that that same leadership inspires everyone here -- all of you, certainly -- as well as has your faith, I might say, in an Almighty through whom all things are possible.

I wish you well. I'd like -- lest you don't recognize him -- to introduce not all of my colleagues but our distinguished Secretary of State, my friend Jim Baker over here. Next to him is my Chief of Staff, Governor John Sununu. And then next to him is General Brent Scowcroft, my national security adviser. I'm sure most of you recognize our Ambassador to the Vatican, Frank Shakespeare, and his daughter with him.

Bless you all. Thank you for this warm, warm welcome.

[At this point, the seminarians spontaneously sang ``God Bless America.'']

Bless you all, thank you for this warm, warm welcome. And it makes me determined to leave here, inspired as I am, redouble our efforts in every way possible for world peace, for strength, for the family, for freedom of religion, and all the things that everybody here believes in. Thank you for such a warm, cordial welcome. I can't tell you how good it makes me feel.

Note: The President spoke at 7:18 p.m. in the Sala Clementina at the Vatican.

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