ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS
JOHN PAUL II
Monday, 10 July 1989
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to the Vatican as you present the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Mauritius to the Holy See. I appreciate the kind greetings and good wishes which you have conveyed on behalf of His Excellency the Governor-General, the Prime Minister and the people of Mauritius. I would ask you to reciprocate with the assurance of my own good wishes and prayers for the peace and well-being of all your fellow-citizens.
It is with satisfaction that I note Your Excellency’s mention of the Holy See’s continuing efforts to promote world peace and to bring about greater respect for human brotherhood and solidarity which are so necessary for peace and development. The Holy See’s dedication to the cause of world peace and authentic development is based upon her conviction that all human beings possess an equal dignity. I emphasized in my Encyclical Letter “Sollicitudo Rei Socialis” the intrinsic connection between true development and respect for human rights – personal and social, economic and political. It is not possible to limit development only to the economic realm, since all too often this makes the human person into a mere object, a means for production and selfish profit. Rather, the moral character of authentic development and its necessary promotion are guaranteed when the most rigorous respect is given to all the demands that derive from the order of truth and good proper to the human person (Cfr. Ioannis Pauli PP. II Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 33).
I wish to encourage all efforts on the part of your Government to safeguard the right to religious freedom. In my Message for the 1988 World Day of Peace I pointed out that the freedom to practise one’s religion touches the very depths of the human spirit and is as it were the raison d’être of other freedoms. It makes possible the quest for and acceptance of the truth about man and the world and thus enables people to come to a deeper understanding of their own dignity. Moreover religious freedom helps people to carry out their duties with greater responsibility. An honest relationship with regard to truth is a condition for authentic freedom (Cfr. Eiusdem Nuntius ob diem ad pacem fovendam dicatum pro a. D. 1988, 3 die 8 dec. 1987: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, X 2,  1331).
I am pleased to acknowledge your reference to my forthcoming Pastoral Visit to Mauritius next October. As you know, I shall come to Mauritius as the Bishop of Rome and Chief Pastor of the Catholic Church, in order to bear witness to the Gospel of Jesus Christ and to strengthen my Catholic brothers and sisters in their faith. I look forward very much to observing at first hand the life of the Church in Mauritius, whose apostolic dynamism is well known to me and which I wished to honour by elevating the zealous Bishop Jean Margéot to the dignity of a Cardinal. I am grateful for the opportunity to visit your country and to offer your people a message of encouragement in their pursuit of solidarity with the other nations of the world.
Your Excellency has referred to the esteem of your Government and people for the Church’s involvement in the betterment of your society. The Church views the help which she gives as a consequence of her religious mission (Cfr. Gaudium et Spes, 42). Through her various activities in the field of education as well as in her charitable services on behalf of the sick and needy, she seeks to be a source of understanding and peace, of development and solidarity for all your people. Through her efforts to promote harmony among all the different ethnic, cultural and religious groups the Church acts in accordance with her innermost nature, since she is, “by her relationship with Christ, both a sacramental sign and an instrument of intimate union with God, and of the unity of all mankind” (Lumen Gentium, 1).
You have said, Mr Ambassador, that it will be your task as representative of your country to foster and strengthen the bonds of friendship and cooperation between Mauritius and the Holy See, and I wish to assure you of the full collaboration of the various departments of the Holy See.
As you begin your mission, I take this opportunity of assuring you of my prayers, and I invoke upon Your Excellency and the Government and people of Mauritius the abundant blessings of Almighty God.
*AAS 82 (1990), p. 238-240.
Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. XII, 2 pp. 65-67.
L'Attività della Santa Sede 1989 pp. 561-562.
L’Osservatore Romano 11.7.1989 p.5.
L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.30 pp. 10, 11.
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