ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI
Tuesday, 10 September 1974
We thank you sincerely for the kind address with which you have presented the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Kenya to the Holy See. It is a pleasure for us to welcome you to your new assignment, which we trust will prove to be a happy one.
We are likewise honoured to receive greetings from your President, His Excellency Mzee Jomo Kenyatta. We would ask you to convey to him our cordial and prayerful good wishes.
We have listened with interest to the remarks which you have made in your address regarding the Catholic Church’s role in the life and history of Kenya, the impact of her missionaries upon Kenyan society and the contribution she has made in the past and happily continues to make today towards your country’s development. But we are especially pleased to hear you mention the importance which Kenya attaches to the Church and to religion, since these after all provide the context within which all these social contributions find their inspiration and true meaning.
The social action of the Church has its roots in the message which she addresses to all men. The effort which man’s life demands is clearly seen: life involves a struggle against adverse forces and conditions. At one level man struggles with disease, ignorance and poverty; at another with injustice, hatred and war. Even in the inner depths of his being, man finds himself striving to improve himself and the world. It is into this situation that the Church brings an uplifting message of hope: the Good News of the Gospel, which gives the assurance that God is with man as he endeavours to work for the betterment of the world. This is the inspiration of the Church in all her activity. Animated by this message, she will ever testify to it in works that help man find his fulfilment. This task is at one and the same time human and Christian. Hence the Church will always remain committed to the advancement of the people of Kenya.
On our part, we pray that God may abundantly bless the Authorities and the entire nation which you represent.
*AAS 66 (1974), p.495-496.
Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XII, p.812-813.
L’Attivitą della Santa Sede 1974, p.264-265.
L'Osservatore Romano, 11.9.1974, p.1.
ORa n.39 p.2.