ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI
Monday, 18 November 1974
We are happy to receive the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of the Philippines. Please be assured of our gratitude for the kind sentiments which you have expressed. At the same time we would ask you to convey to His Excellency President Ferdinand E. Marcos both our thanks for the greetings which you have brought to us in his name and the assurance of our prayerful good wishes.
It is with particular joy that we recall once again our visit to the Philippines, to which you have so courteously alluded. This personal experience serves to heighten even more our lively interest in the well-being of the beloved Filipinos, and in a particular way of the members of the communities which we visited at the University of Santo Tomas and in the more modest districts of the City of Manila. Through your good offices we send a special word of affectionate greeting to all whom we met during that historic visit, and we renew to them our gratitude for the reception which they accorded us.
While in Manila we gave an Address to the Peoples of Asia, and, as we said at the time, we gave it very willingly from the land of the Philippines, in which for centuries the Catholic Church has been fully at home (Cfr. Address to the Peoples of Asia, 20 November 1970: AAS 63, 1971, p. 38). We look therefore with confidence to the Philippines to exercise an important measure of responsibility in regard to the rest of Asia, by exemplifying the Gospel and by promoting those fruits of true Christianity which are social equality, freedom from oppression, justice, truth and peace. It is with a deep sense of satisfaction that we hear today from Your Excellency that your people are indeed resolved to participate in the Church’s program of Evangelization by seeking to foster reverence for the Christian dignity of man. Very recently we ourself told the Synodal Fathers: “There is no opposition or separation . . . but a complementary relationship between Evangelization and human progress . . . each calls for the other by reason of their convergence to the same end: the salvation of man” (Address to the Synod of Bishops, 27 September 1974).
May God then bless the people of the Philippines for their noble collaboration in this work of the advancement of the whole man, and for their efforts to ensure that individuals may live on earth in conditions which reflect their sublime dignity as sons of God. Here is true Christianity.
In assuring Your Excellency of a most warm personal welcome we pledge to you the help and cooperation of the Holy See in carrying out your mission. May your stay here in the service of your country be a successful one, bringing you spiritual and cultural satisfaction. Welcome to the Holy See, and welcome to our home.
*AAS 66 (1974), p.653-654.
Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XII, p.1115-1116.
L’Attivitą della Santa Sede 1974, p.365-366.
L'Osservatore Romano, 18-19.11.1974, p.1.
ORa n.48 p.2.