POPE JOHN PAUL II
Saturday, 28 January 1984
It gives me much pleasure to welcome Your Excellency to the Vatican today as I receive the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Democratic Republic of The Sudan. I wish to reciprocate the good wishes that you have brought from His Excellency President Nimeiri and I ask that you convey to him and to the people of your nation the assurance of my affection and esteem for them.
I appreciate the reference you have made in your address to the "common heritage of freedom of religion" and the "attachment to the great values of dialogue, tolerance and respect of human dignity" that have bound the Sudanese people to their homeland. The measure by which a nation is judged in human history depends to a high degree on its ability to nurture and sustain these values in the lives of its citizens.
Amidst the diversity of religious belief that characterizes a large country such as your own, there exists a continuing challenge to promote the common good in positive and fruitful ways, while at the same time protecting and defending the rights and duties of every individual. This can be a demanding task, but it remains one of the noblest endeavours for which one can labour.
It is my deep hope that, whatever ethnic, religious or cultural differences may exist, the Government and people of The Sudan will always exercise careful vigilance in safeguarding the dignity and rights of every person. Everyone is a child of God. Everyone must be afforded the freedom to worship God, privately or publicly, according to the deep and personal convictions of the heart. And everyone must be free to express those convictions without fear of recrimination.
You have alluded to the serious economic and social troubles which confront the world community today. Yet I believe that it is precisely in difficult times that the living testimony of a single nation to the values of dialogue, tolerance and respect for human dignity can inspire others to follow its example. I pray that The Sudan will ever bear such witness before the whole human family.
I express once again my greetings and good wishes for Your Excellency and for the people of your country. I assure you that the important mission assigned to you will receive the interest and cooperation of the Holy See. May God bless you in this undertaking.
L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.6 p.10.
© Copyright 1984 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana