ADDRESS OF PAUL
Monday, 9 June 1975
We are pleased to welcome you as the first Ambassador of Bangladesh to the Holy See. In thanking you for your kind words we also wish to express our sincere appreciation of the greetings which His Excellency the President has sent to us in his own name and in that of the Government and people of your country. We would ask Your Excellency to inform him that we gratefully and willingly reciprocate these greetings.
You have spoken of our very brief stop in your country, and we are happy to assure you that the memory of that occasion is always in our thoughts, just as the needs and legitimate aspirations of the beloved people of Bangladesh are always in our prayers.
Although the Catholic Church has only very limited material means at her disposal she will always continue to do her best to help people in need, whatever their religious beliefs, and we rejoice to hear from you of the beneficial effects of this help in your land.
However, the Church can draw upon unlimited resources in fulfilling her spiritual mission. Thus, while continuing to contribute in whatever way possible to the establishment of a worthy standard of material prosperity for everyone, she will strive always and everywhere to promote among all people a knowledge and appreciation of spiritual truths together with a strong and invincible love for one another.
The practice in Bangladesh of moral virtues in the atmosphere of religious freedom, to which you have referred, can indeed be a powerful aid to the strengthening of a loving brotherhood among men. God, to whom it is so pleasing to see brothers dwelling peaceably together, will indeed come to the help of a people where men and women love their neighbours as themselves.
The very first words we spoke to the Bengalees at Dacca were to tell them that we had come “as a friend among friends, as a brother among brothers” (27 Nov. 1970). Mr Ambassador, in assuring you of our continuing prayerful understanding for Bangladesh, for its Authorities and for all its people, we do so truly as one who is proud to have been and to remain a friend and a brother to you all.
*AAS 67 (1975), p.380-381.
Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XIII, p.611-612.
L’Attivitą della Santa Sede 1975, p.201.
L'Osservatore Romano, 9-10.6.1975, p.1.
ORa n.25 p.2.