ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS JOHN PAUL II
Monday, 14 December 1987
I am pleased to welcome you today to the Vatican and to accept the Letters of Credence by which you are appointed Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Indonesia to the Holy See. I am grateful for the warm words of greeting you bear from His Excellency President Soeharto, and I would ask you to assure him of my prayerful good wishes. At the same time, I avail myself of the occasion to renew the expression of the Holy See’s desire to maintain and strengthen the bonds of good will and friendship with your country.
You have referred, Mr Ambassador, to the need for deeper understanding and dialogue between peoples in order to build up the unity of the human family. It has become altogether clear that the great concerns, not only of the leaders of nations but of citizens of all levels in every part of the world, regarding economic and cultural development and peace cannot be approached today except in a wide perspective that takes proper account of the interdependence of countries and regions, and even of continents. Events in one part of the world have immediate and sometimes dramatic consequences in other areas. Policies undertaken in one country or region can deeply affect the lives of countless individuals in other countries. This is particularly true of matters affecting security and peace, as well as of policies that affect trade, food production and distribution.
This open, worldwide perspective is all the more imperative in the face of growing imbalances between developed and developing countries and regions, between nations that dispose of advanced technologies and those that are still on the way to modernization.
An indication of a heightened sense of international corresponsibility on the part of many nations is the importance given to regional structures of collaboration and participation in the various international organizations and their agencies. In South-East Asia, Indonesia has been active in promoting a dialogue with neighbouring countries. It must be hoped that such initiatives will continue to offer a forum for negotiations and peaceful means of resolving differences, and that furthermore they will positively assist in achieving the goals of development, justice and respect for human rights everywhere.
The Catholic Church calls upon her members “to collaborate willingly and wholeheartedly in establishing an international order involving genuine respect for all freedoms and amicable brotherhood between all men” (Gaudium et Spes, 88). The Church therefore is happy when she sees progress being made in the achievement of a more just and humane world, and she gladly takes part, in the light of her religious and moral mission, in this task at every level - local, national and international. This she does “motivated solely by the desire to be of service to all” (Ibid. 89).
I am pleased, Mr Ambassador, that Indonesian Catholics are present in the life of their country, which they ardently love and to whose welfare they are generously committed. The Church in Indonesia supports Pancasila as the expression of the values and aspirations of the nation and as the framework for the pursuit of its noble ideals. In her concern for the welfare of the nation, the Church follows the path of mutual respect and collaboration with other religious traditions, convinced that in the spirit of prayer displayed at the Inter-Religious Meeting of October 1986 at Assisi-to which you referred-can be found a most fruitful and constructive path to follow.
Because of her intimate concern for the welfare of all peoples, the Church appreciates efforts being made to improve the condition of the population of Irian Jaya, and she seeks to further promote and collaborate with the humanitarian assistance and programmes of social development that will consolidate this trend. Likewise, the Church’s universal mission of service leads her to hope that particular consideration will be given to the protection of the ethnic, religious and cultural character of the people of East Timor.
As you begin your mission, Mr Ambassador, I wish to assure you of the collaboration of the various departments of the Holy See. I pray that you will be happy in the fulfilment of your lofty responsibilities. May God abundantly bless the beloved Indonesian people.
*AAS 80 (1988), p.1002-1003.
Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. X, 3 pp. 1412-1414.
L'Attivitą della Santa Sede 1987 pp.1035-1037.
L’Osservatore Romano 15.12.1987 p.4.
L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.51-52 p.19 .
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