ADDRESS OF PAUL
Saturday, 20 December 1975
We are very happy to have received from Your Excellency the Letters of Credence appointing you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Kingdom of Lesotho, and we extend to you a sincere welcome.
We gladly reciprocate the kind wishes which you have brought to us in the name of His Majesty King Moshoeshoe II, to whom we ask you to transmit our cordial greetings.
Your generous commendation of the Holy See’s contribution to the solution of the human problems facing the world today is especially appreciated. When we were privileged to be in Africa we said: “The Christian life is of great importance even for our earthly life; it is of importance for all living together in society: for the family, the school, for work; for peace between all social classes, between the tribes, between the nations” (Address at the Sanctuary of Namugongo, 2 August 1969: AAS 61, 1969, pp. 589-590).
There are still, unfortunately, various forms of discrimination which militate against peace among men; in particular the racial discrimination to which you have alluded, and which causes us such sorrow. Opposition to such violations of human rights must indeed be by peaceful means, but it must still be vigorous and compelling. It is the task of peace-loving men and the mission of the Church to replace these evils by gently inculcating into the hearts of all men a recognition of God’s dominion and of man’s dignity.
Mr Ambassador, in welcoming Holy Year pilgrims from Lesotho this week, we asked that when they returned home they should “tell everyone of our love and esteem in the Lord” (L’Osservatore Romano, 18 December 1975). In asking you to convey this same message to the authorities and to all the people of your beloved country, we assure you that our concern for Lesotho will continue to be heartfelt and sincere. The Church’s commitment to charitable work there for the good of the whole man will certainly not weaken. You have the pledge likewise of whatever assistance is possible. To this, add also our prayers, remembering that every time we pray for all of you, we pray with joy (Cfr. Phil. 1, 4).
To yourself we give the promise of the Holy See’s willing cooperation in the fulfilment of your mission.
*AAS 68 (1975), p.124-125.
Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XIII, p.1536-1537.
L’Attivitą della Santa Sede 1975, p.423-424.
L'Osservatore Romano 21.12.1975, p.1.
ORa 1976 n.1 p.2.