ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL II
Thursday, 15 December 1983
It is a pleasure for me to welcome Your Excellency as I accept the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Fiji. My satisfaction in extending this greeting is made even greater by the fact that you come as the first Ambassador of your country which only thirteen years ago achieved its Independence. Indeed this special occasion is a sign of the friendly relations and mutual esteem which exist between Fiji and the Holy See. And I am confident that through these diplomatic relations an even deeper understanding and cooperative spirit of dialogue will be fostered.
I am appreciative of the reference which you make to the cause of peace and to efforts which are being made to bring an end to conflict and to promote concord in areas of tension and strife. One of the means of promoting peace, and of restoring it when it is broken, is dialogue and a willingness to negotiate. And this is the special work of diplomats, the particular contribution which they can make to the betterment of humanity. The establishment of diplomatic relations, then, gives expression to the desire of countries to promote peace through mutual knowledge and fruitful cooperation.
I have noted with pleasure your remarks concerning the multiracial and multi-religious composition of the population of your Nation, and the way the different people are able to work together in concord for the betterment of society. The Catholic Church has great respect for other worthy religious traditions, and she upholds the dignity and freedom of conscience of every person, regardless of race or creed. I can assure you, therefore, that the Church in Fiji will always seek to collaborate with all races and religions in efforts to further the common good and the welfare of all, while at the same time she pursues her specific mission of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ.
Mr Ambassador, I trust that your mission here will be a fruitful one. You will, I assure you, receive the cooperation of the Holy See as you fulfil it. I ask you to extend my good wishes to the Governor-General, to the Prime Minister and to the members of the Government. And upon you and all the people of Fiji I invoke the abundant blessings of Almighty God.
*Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. IV, 2 1983 pp. 1347-1348.
L'Attivitą della Santa Sede 1983 pp. 882-883.
L’Osservatore Romano 16.12.1983 p.5.
L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English 1984 n.2 p.16.
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