ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
Monday, 27 April 1987
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you
today as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea
to the Holy See. I gladly accept your Letters of Credence and I thank you for
conveying the courteous words of greeting expressed by His Excellency President
Chun Doo Hwan.
The fact that you are here as the
diplomatic representative of your country reminds me of my unforgettable visit
three years ago. I was deeply moved by the warmth of the hospitality of the
Korean people, and I cherish that firsthand experience of the traditional
qualities of goodwill, respect and industriousness which characterize them. I
also understood more vividly the painful division which continues to cause so
much suffering and which calls for the best efforts and enduring perseverance of
all who serve the cause of justice and peace.
In the contemporary world we cannot
ignore the fact that the economic, social and political questions affecting
individual countries have a global and interdependent dimension. And furthermore
such questions necessarily involve an ethical and moral dimension which has its
roots in the unique value of every human life and the inviolability of human
Wisdom requires that in seeking
appropriate solutions to the grave problems which each country experiences in
its own particular way, the common good and the ethical principles governing it
be given priority over all forms of partisan interest.
The Holy See holds that just
relationships between countries can only be built upon a shared sense of
solidarity and responsibility for the well-being and authentic progress of the
human family as a whole. Justice in human affairs demands respect for the
dignity of every human being. It rejects selfishness, both personal and
collective, which favours inequalities and domination by the strongest. In this
light the moral qualities and the religious vitality of a nation have an
essential contribution to make to the building of a society based on mutual
trust, co-responsibility, the defence of human rights and attention to the needs
of the poor and the weak.
As the Church fulfils her mission in the
midst of the world, her religious, educational and charitable activities cannot
but contribute to the building up of a more humane and just society. In the
words of the Second Vatican Council, "whoever... seeks first the kingdom of God
will as a consequence receive a stronger and purer love for helping all his
brothers and for perfecting the work of justice under the inspiration of charity"
et Spes, 72). This has also been the experience of the Church in Korea, the bicentennial of
whose presence I was privileged to celebrate on your soil.
I mention these general principles as an
example of the attention to the moral and humanitarian aspects of public life
which characterizes the approach of the Church and of the Holy See. It is with
such matters that your mission here will be principally concerned.
I would assure you of the fullest
cooperation of the Holy See in strengthening and developing still further the
ties already existing between us, and I invoke abundant divine blessings upon
you in the fulfilment of your duties, and upon your fellow citizens in the
pursuit of harmony, justice and peace.
*AAS 79 (1987), p. 1315-1317.
Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. X, 1 p.1443-1445. L'Attivitą della Santa Sede 1987 p.332-333. L’Osservatore Romano 28.4.1987 p.5. L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.18 p.24.
*AAS 79 (1987), p. 1315-1317.
Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. X, 1 p.1443-1445.
L'Attivitą della Santa Sede 1987 p.332-333.
L’Osservatore Romano 28.4.1987 p.5.
L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.18 p.24.
© Copyright 1987 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana