TO THE NEW AMBASSADORS
ON THE OCCASION OF THE PRESENTATION OF THE LETTERS
ACCREDITING THEM TO THE HOLY SEE*
I am pleased to welcome you on the occasion of the presentation of the Letters accrediting you as Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of your respective Countries: Thailand, Seychelles, Namibia, The Gambia, Suriname, Singapore and Kuwait. I am grateful to you for the courteous words you have been kind enough to convey to me from your Heads of State. I ask you to reciprocate by expressing my respectful greetings and my best wishes for them and for the lofty mission they are carrying out in their Country's service. I also extend warm greetings to all the civil and religious Authorities of your Nations, as well as to all your fellow Countrymen. Through you, I particularly want to assure the Catholic communities present in the territory of your Countries of my thoughts and prayers, as I encourage them to persevere in their mission and in the witness they bear through their commitment to the service of all.
Your role as diplomats is particularly important in the contemporary world in order to show that in all the situations of international life, dialogue must take the lead over violence and the desire for peace and brotherhood must prevail over opposition and individualism. The latter lead only to tensions and resentment, which do not help to build reconciled societies. Through you, I would like to launch a new appeal to all those who play a role in social life and all who participate in the government of nations to do all in their power to restore hope to the peoples they are responsible for leading; may they take into account their deepest aspirations and ensure that everyone benefits from what is produced by the natural and economic resources of their country, in accordance with the principles of justice and equity.
In this perspective, very special attention must be paid to the young generations, showing them that they are a country's greatest treasure; their integral education is a primordial requirement. Indeed, technical and scientific training do not suffice to make them responsible men and women in their family and at all levels of society. To this end, it is necessary to give priority to an education in the human and moral values that will enable all young people to acquire self-confidence, hope in the future, concern for their brothers and sisters in humanity, as well as to take their place for the growth of the nation with an ever more acute awareness of others.
For this reason, I hope that the education of youth may be a priority in every country, with the support of all the institutions of the International Community that are involved in the fight against illiteracy and against the lack of education in all its forms. This is a particularly important means of combating despair which can dwell in the hearts of young people and precipitate numerous acts of violence, individual or collective. May you know that, for her part, the Catholic Church, thanks to her numerous educational institutions, is ceaselessly committed, together with all people of good will, on the front of the global training of youth. I encourage all those who take part in this beautiful mission of the education of youth to pursue their task tirelessly, assured that by properly training young people they are preparing for a promising future.
You have just received from your Heads of State a mission to the Holy See. At the end of our meeting, I am eager to address to you, Your Excellencies, my best wishes for the service you are called to carry out. May the Almighty sustain you, your loved ones, your collaborators and all your compatriots in the construction of a peaceful society, and may an abundance of divine benefits be showered upon each one of you.
*L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n. 51 p. 6.
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