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Saturday, 18 March 2006


Your Eminence,
Dear Representatives of the Holy See
to International Organizations,

I welcome you all with affection to this Meeting, at which I have the joy for the first time of coming into contact with you, who have gathered here in Rome to reflect together on certain key issues of the day.

I address my cordial greeting to you all and offer my heartfelt thanks to the Cardinal Secretary of State for his words on your behalf.

The increased participation of the Holy See in international activities is a precious incentive to ensure that it can continue to give a voice to the conscience of all who make up the international community. It is a sensitive and difficult service, founded on the apparently inert but ultimately prevalent force of the truth, through which the Holy See intends to collaborate in building an international society that is more attentive to the dignity and true needs of the human person.

In this perspective, its presence in International Intergovernmental Organizations makes a basic contribution to guaranteeing respect for human rights and for the common good, and thus for authentic freedom and justice.

We are in the presence of a specific and irreplaceable commitment that could become even more effective were those who collaborate with loyal dedication in the Church's mission in the world to join forces.

Relations between States and within States are correct to the extent that they respect the truth. When, instead, truth is violated, peace is threatened, law is endangered, then, as a logical consequence, forms of injustice are unleashed. These form boundaries that divide countries far more deeply than the frontiers outlined on maps and are often not only external but also internal.

Moreover, these injustices acquire many aspects: for example, indifference or confusion, which leads to damaging the structure of that life-giving cell of society: the family; or overbearing or arrogant behaviour, which may become arbitrary and silence those who have no voice or who lack the strength to make themselves heard, as in the case of the most serious injustice today: the suppression of unborn human life.

"God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong" (I Cor 1: 27). May this criterion of divine action, of lasting timeliness, encourage you not to be surprised or, even less, alarmed by difficulties and misunderstandings. Indeed, you know that through them you participate authoritatively in the prophetic responsibility of the Church, which intends to continue raising her voice in humanity's defence, even when State policy or the majority opinion take the opposite direction.

Indeed, truth draws strength from itself and not from the number of votes in its favour.
You may be certain that I accompany you on your demanding and important mission with cordial attention and sincere gratitude, and I assure you of my remembrance in prayer as I willingly impart my Apostolic Blessing to you all.

*L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n. 14 p.5.


© Copyright 2006 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana