ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Monday, 8 February 1982
It gives me pleasure today to welcome Your
Excellency and to accept your Letters of Credence as Ambassador of the Republic
of Zambia to the Holy See. I appreciate the kind words of greeting that you have
just spoken on behalf of the citizens of your nation and I am grateful for your
solicitude with regard to my well-being. In particular I take this opportunity
to express my sincere gratitude to all the many countrymen of yours who prayed
for me during the period of my recovery.
Peace, as we are all aware, is not merely the absence of war. Rather, in its fullest meaning, peace points to the deepest desire that is found in the heart of every human being. Peace challenges that which is noblest in man. In this regard I stated in this year’s Message for the World Day of Peace that peace “springs from the dynamism of free wills guided by reason towards the common good that is to be attained in truth, justice and love”.
From this it is clear that peace must necessarily involve more than a consideration of material or economic values. It requires values of the spiritual realm as well. In fact, the pre-eminence of spiritual values must be acknowledged, in order to ensure that material development and economic growth serve the authentic destiny of the whole person. For this reason the unimpeded access to truth, the equitable distribution of the riches of creation, and the right of acceptance in society without discrimination on the basis of origin, race, sex, nationality, religion, political convictions and the like must be upheld and defended as essential elements, in building a lasting peace.
On the other hand, wherever selfishness, greed or exploitation are allowed to exist, by law or by custom, there human suffering will be most intensely experienced and the way to peace most severely blocked. These situations will only be overcome by a willingness to communicate, to understand the condition of those who are being manipulated and by a readiness to forgive the wrongs of the past in favour of a common search for future harmony.
Mr Ambassador, it gives me great hope to hear you reiterate the commitment of the people of Zambia to the quest for peace in the world. May God bless every effort in the pursuit of this goal.
I extend to Your Excellency my good wishes for success in the work that has been entrusted to you by His Excellency the President of the Republic. I assure you of the cooperation and assistance of the Holy See in your efforts, as well as my own prayers for yourself and for all the beloved sons and daughters of Zambia.
*AAS 74 (1982), p. 471-472.
Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol.V, 1 pp. 323-324.
L'Attivitą della Santa Sede 1982 p. 106.
L’Osservatore Romano 9.2.1982 pp.1? 2.
L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.8 p.18.
© Copyright 1982 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana