ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Saturday, 14 November 1981
Although you have already duly inaugurated your diplomatic mission at the Holy See, I am pleased today to be able to accept personally the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Islamic Republic of Iran.
The significance of this ceremony is linked with the Iranian people as a whole. It is oriented to their well-being; is embraces their history, their culture and their destiny. Your presence here is meant to be a sign of hope for all your fellow-citizens; it is they who will be the first beneficiaries of efforts made to promote true peace and human dignity. Among your countrymen there are the members of the Catholic community, who belong by full right to the nation; they desire to work for its true good and its advancement, and they seek solely to enjoy, together with all their Iranian brothers and sisters, full freedom of religion and action. I express my deep fraternal interest in their welfare, as in the well-being of all the people of your country.
You have evoked the sufferings of war and the violence of terrorism. War and terrorism are evils that my predecessors and I have constantly denounced. But no less intensely have we sought to proclaim and inculcate that essential justice and that fraternal love which foster upright conduct between members of the same human family. The longing of the Holy See is for mutual understanding and reconciliation; it works for the destruction of war in itself and its causes, and for the abolition of hatred.
As you are in a position to know so well, the Holy See upholds national sovereignty and integrity, just as it firmly believes in international justice and universal non-violent freedom. It adamantly espouses the unity of the human family, the importance of friendly cooperation between nations and a deep and abiding respect for human life – the life of every man, woman and child on this earth.
Through its own diplomatic activity – which is inspired by those religious principles which in turn furnish a secure basis for other sacred values, including justice and peace – the Holy See is determined to pursue these aims and to support all worthy initiatives that strengthen, foster and honour human life.
It is in this spirit that I welcome Your Excellency and receive the message of His Eminence Imam Khomeini, of which you are the authoritative bearer. I reciprocate this message with a prayerful greeting of peace to him and to the President of Iran. Upon the whole country I invoke the blessings of the Almighty and Merciful God.
And to you, Mr Ambassador, I offer the assurance of assistance in your mission, praying that it will be an effective contribution to furthering the cause of human dignity and world peace.
*AAS 74 (1982), p. 39-40.
Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. IV, 2 pp. 634-635.
L' Attivitą della Santa Sede 1981 p.638.
L' Osservatore Romano 15.11.1981 p.1.
L' Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.48 p.4.