ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Monday, 5 July 1982
I deeply appreciate the sentiments which you have just expressed as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kenya to the Holy See. I thank you for conveying the courteous greetings of your President, the Honourable Daniel Toroitich arap Moi, together with those of the government and the entire people of Kenya. In turn, I ask you to give them the assurance of my own cordial good wishes.
I have happy memories of my pastoral visit to Kenya two years ago. From the moment of my arrival in your land, I experienced a wonderful outpouring of hospitality and affection – qualities that are so characteristic of your people. The joy of being with the members of the Catholic Church in Kenya and the opportunity to greet your President and so many of your fellow countrymen reconfirmed in a very personal manner the warm and cordial relations between the Holy See and your nation. The celebration of the International Eucharistic Congress in Nairobi will be, as it were, a seal on the freedom and respect that the Church enjoys in your country.
I also appreciate your reference to the role that the Catholic Church has played in assisting the development efforts in Kenya. Following the instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Church teaches that each man, woman and child is endowed by God with a unique dignity that reserves as the foundation for any authentic human development. It is in the promotion of this dignity that the Church, in Kenya and throughout the world, undertakes initiatives in the fields of education, health care and other areas of social concern. And she desires to continue to collaborate with your government in fostering and improving the welfare of the Kenyan people.
You are aware, I know, of the delicate mission that is assigned to each nation of preserving and building peace in the world today. In truth we are able to compare the world to a global village wherein the tensions affecting one of its members place pressure on all the others. Wherever relationships between persons are marked by discrimination based on race, origin, culture, sex or religion, there the well-being of every member of the human family is threatened. Conversely, wherever genuine freedom of conscience is guaranteed and the demands of justice and social love are observed, there one finds a positive contribution to human development. In this regard it is heartening to know that your country wishes to support those principles which truly ennoble the human person. May your nation always adhere to the ideals of justice and respect for human rights which are enshrined in her constitution.
Your Excellency, I ask Almighty God to bless your mission to the Holy See with much success. I pray that God may grant to all the citizens of Kenya the gifts of peace and well-being in abundance.
*AAS 74 (1982), p. 1121-1122.
Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. V, 3 pp. 13-14.
L'Attivitą della Santa Sede 1982 p. 545.
L'Osservatore Romano 6.7.1982 pp.1, 2.
L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.32 p.7.
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