ADDRESS OF HIS
HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
17 March 1979
In this presentation of the Letters that accredit you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Bolivia to the Holy See, I wish to bid Your Excellency a sincere and hearty welcome.
I listened gratefully to your expressive words of recognition of the labour of the Church in your country; a labour that remains in the shape of so many works of the past—to which Your Excellency referred—and that is continuing at present in a great many initiatives, whose one aim is to serve Bolivia in its people and to promote their complete development, informing their lives and daily activity with the principles of the Gospel.
The Church, faithful to her evangelizing mission and always sensitive to human concerns and aspirations, will not cease to encourage with all the means within her reach—as she confirmed at the recent Puebla Conference—all that leads not only to the development of the person, particularly in his moral and religious dimension, but also to the strengthening of those values which involve the growth of fundamental rights for progress in social life and, in accordance with the requirements of a Christian order, in solidarity and brotherhood.
I am well aware that the Church in Bolivia, through her bishops, well supported by priests, religious, and committed laity, continues to do all she can, putting her dedication and best energies in the service of the most needy, arousing in them well-grounded hopes for the betterment of their conditions of religious, social and cultural life. While I manifest here my sincere gratitude for this service, I express at the same time the desire that this evangelical commitment should be appreciated and supported by all those who feel the imperatives of an improving society, which is a guarantee of active peace and of real Christian progress.
I know that one of the problems that concern the Government and people of Bolivia most deeply is the aspiration to have once more an outlet to the sea: a problem of such importance both as regards the development of the country and the consequent perspective of better living conditions for its inhabitants. I can assure Your Excellency that the Holy See is following with cordial interest the efforts of Bolivia to arrive, through a peaceful agreement with the other countries concerned, at the realization of this deep aspiration.
Mr Ambassador, formulating my best wishes for the successful accomplishment of your mission, I request you to convey to the Bolivian authorities my sincere thanks for their respectful greeting. together with the assurance that I will remember all the beloved Bolivian sons in my prayers.
*L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n. 13 p.10.
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