ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS
I am pleased to receive you, Your Excellency, and to accredit you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Seychelles to the Holy See. I thank you for conveying to me the greetings of H.E. Mr James Alix Michel, President of the Republic. I would be grateful if you would kindly reciprocate my best wishes for his person and for all the people of Seychelles.
In calling your country to mind it is always a pleasure to speak of its beauty and to be able to list the numerous benefits it enjoys. To increase its potential, your country today is making a concerted effort to reduce its debt. In a world context that has become difficult, I want to acknowledge these efforts that deserve the support of international institutions in conformity with the serious commitment undertaken. It constitutes an important challenge in view of the future generations. In fact, it would be unfair for people today to shirk their responsibilities, causing the consequences of their decisions or lack of action to burden the generations to come after them. Thus it is not only a question of improving the economy but also and especially of confronting the challenge of social justice. Additionally, in setting the nation's accounts aright, it also offers a more secure framework for economic activity and thus provides better protection for the poorest and most vulnerable people.
This praiseworthy aim requires the cooperation of all, which is why a sense of solidarity is fundamental. Here we perceive how closely linked social harmony is not only to a fair and adapted legislative framework but also to the moral level of each citizen, since "solidarity is seen... under two complementary aspects: that of a social principle and that of a moral virtue" (Compendium of the Social Doctrine of the Church, n. 193). Solidarity is raised to the rank of a social virtue when it can rely simultaneously not only on structures of solidarity but also on the firm and persevering determination of each person to work for the common good, because we are all responsible for all.
The education of youth is assuredly the best way to inspire this enduring sense of solidarity. From this viewpoint, I am pleased once again to be able to highlight the efforts your country has been making for a long time to construct a good educational system. Whatever his or her qualification, I encourage each one to pursue this path and to sow generously for the future.
However, this concern for education would be in vain if the family institution were to be excessively weakened. Families are constantly in need of the encouragement and support of public entities. A profound harmony exists between the tasks of the family and the duties of the state. To foster a successful synergy between them is to work effectively for a future of prosperity and social peace.
For her part, the local Church spares no effort to accompany families, offering them the light of the Gospel which sheds light on the full grandeur and beauty of the "mystery" of the family and helping them to assume their educational responsibilities. With regard to those in difficulty, she concerns herself with helping to bring peace to relationships and to foster reconciliation in hearts.
I take this opportunity, Mr Ambassador, to greet warmly, through you, the Bishop of Seychelles and his collaborators, as well as all the Catholic faithful who live in your country. May they preserve their concern, in harmony with all the other citizens, to build a social life in which each person may find the path to fulfilment, his own and that of the community! Thus they will bear witness to the social fruitfulness of the Word of God.
At the time when you are inaugurating your noble mission of representation to the Holy See, I wish to renew the expression of my pleasure at the excellent relations the Republic of Seychelles and the Holy See enjoy, and I offer you, Mr Ambassador, my best wishes for the success of your mission. Rest assured that you will always find with my collaborators the welcome and understanding you may need.
Upon you, Your Excellency, your family and collaborators, as well as upon the entire people of the Islands of Seychelles and its leaders, I wholeheartedly invoke an abundance of divine Blessings.
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