ADDRESS OF POPE JOHN PAUL
Friday, 3 February 1984
I am pleased to welcome you here today to accept the Letters of Credence accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Iraq to the Holy See. I am grateful for the greetings which you have conveyed from His Excellency President Saddam Hussain, and I would ask you to assure him of my ardent prayers for your country.
In my message for the World Day of Peace on 1 January, I drew attention to the fact that "the contemporary world is, as it were, imprisoned in a web of tensions". At times, these tensions become so great that they explode in unrelenting wars, which are a source of unspeakable destruction and suffering for all involved. I also pointed out that sometimes in these events "the protagonists experience great difficulty, not to say helplessness, in halting this process, in finding ways to reduce these tensions by means of concrete steps towards de-escalation..." (Ioannis Pauli PP. II, Nuntius ob diem I mensis Ianuarii anni MCMLXXXIV paci inter nationes fovendae diocatum, 1, die 8 dec. 1983: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, VI, 2 (1983) 1279).
It is my earnest hope and prayer, Mr Ambassador, that conditions will prevail in the near future which will permit a return to peace and tranquility in your region; that a path will be found leading beyond the causes of tensions to a new understanding and to fresh possibilities of peace.
As I also indicated in the World Day of Peace Message, we "must refuse to give in to fatalism and discouragement" (Ivi, Conclusio: loc. cit., p. 1288). May Almighty God lead the parties in conflict to a just peace.
Mr Ambassador, I give you the assurance of my constant prayer for all the citizens of your country. Among them there are also the members of the Catholic community, belonging as they do to various rites which have a long and venerable history, and which pride themselves on their national identity. They too are anxious to contribute fully, on an equal footing with all other citizens, to the progress and development of their country in a spirit of love and service sustained by their religious faith.
Finally, I also invoke divine blessings upon Your Excellency, that you may experience happiness and fulfilment in your diplomatic mission as representative of Iraq to the Holy See.
*AAS 76 (1984), p. 650-651.
Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. VII, 1 pp. 225-226.
L'Attivitą della Santa Sede 1984 p. 85.
L’Osservatore Romano 4.2.1984 p.4.
L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.7 p.8.
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