ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI
Saturday, 24 August 1974
We are happy to receive from Your Excellency the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of India. We welcome you and cordially thank you for the kind words which you have addressed to us in your own name as well as on behalf of the President and Government of your Country.
We would ask you to convey to His Excellency the President and to the Government Authorities our greetings and our deep appreciation of their good wishes. Please assure them of our continuing prayerful interest in the country and in all its people.
Religious and cultural differences in India, as you have said, are honoured and respected. This fact serves to unite people in charitable and understanding affection for one another, as brothers under the common fatherhood of God. We are pleased to see that this mutual honour and esteem is practised both in humble surroundings and in the highest institutions of the land.
Our unforgettable visit to India in 1964 allowed us to realize ever more deeply both the enormous problems and the tremendous potential of the country. It lent a new dimension to our solicitude and concern, and it convinced us even more of the importance of the Church’s contribution, to which you have kindly alluded, in the educational and humanitarian fields, as well as in her more direct spiritual mission. We are especially happy to receive from you confirmation of the appreciation felt in India for this help.
The harmonious coordination of physical planning and effort is steadily furthering India’s development, and it is our earnest hope that it may continue, and be matched by a parallel harmony in the minds and hearts of her citizens. In this way material and scientific progress will contribute not to war but to peace, to that peace which, as we have said before and say again, is the new name for development (Cfr. Populorum Progressio, 87: AAS 59, 1967, p. 299).
During your stay here, which we trust will be a fruitful one, you may be assured of our constant interest and cooperation in the accomplishment of your task. For yourself and for the noble nation which you represent we beg abundant favours from Almighty God.
God bless India.
*AAS 66 (1974), p.491-492.
Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XII, p.758-759.
L’Attivitą della Santa Sede 1974, p. 244-245.
L'Osservatore Romano 25.8.1974, p.1.
ORa n. 37 p.2.