ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI
Wednesday, 7 July 1976
We extend up the “a cordial welcome today to all of you who make Permanent Council of the International African Institute”. We are especially pleased that your meeting in Rome coincides with the fiftieth anniversary of your foundation.
During these years your Institute has dedicated itself to scientific research in the cultural and linguistic patrimony of Africa. In this regard you have striven to promote advances in ethnology, anthropology and linguistic sciences. We know, moreover, that among your aims is the encouragement of international cooperation for intellectual advancement and technical progress.
And on our part today we are happy to take particular note of your educational contributions and all your esteemed cultural activities, which can have a great practical effect on everyday life in Africa. We say this, motivated as we are by profound respect and esteem for Africa and all her peoples. This respect and esteem are anchored in deep love and extend not only to those with whom we are linked by the close bonds of faith in Christ, but to all the inhabitants of the entire continent, whom we consider beloved brothers and sisters.
During the years of our pontificate we have repeatedly spoken about human dignity and the connection between the Christian message and the need for integral human development. Not only have we characterized integral human development as being “the new name of peace” (PAULI PP. VI Populorum Progressio, 87: AAS 59 (1967) 299), but on African soil itself we have spoken of it as an “indisputable exigency of justice” (PAUL PP. VI, Address to Parliament of Uganda: AAS 61 (1969) 582).
And so we rejoice with you today in what has already been accomplished, and we urge you to pursue in the years ahead your lofty goals at the service of Africa. Upon all of you and your families, and upon all the families of Africa we invoke the uplifting and sustaining blessings of God.