Thursday, 29 May 2008
I am pleased to welcome Your Excellency to the Vatican on the occasion of the presentation of the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Chad to the Holy See and I thank you for conveying to me the kind message of His Excellency Mr Idriss Deby Itno, President of the Republic. In exchange I would be grateful if you could convey to him my best wishes for himself and for the entire people of Chad, in the hope that everyone may be able to experience peace and prosperity.
In fact, the quest for peace and security for all must be a constant and fundamental concern for those responsible for nations. Without establishing lasting peace there cannot be authentic development. After the Appeal I launched last 6 February in favour of the populations of Chad, I hope that an authentic national reconciliation be accomplished without delay and that international solidarity will contribute to effectively assist the people in need. May those leaders who guide the peoples of this region do everything possible in order to stop the violence and to thus create favourable circumstances that will permit all to live in peace and dignity! My thought also goes to the numerous refugees that have taken exile in your Country. May the efforts undertaken to sustain these families, who live in sometimes dramatic conditions, help them to find a situation in which their fundamental human rights are truly guaranteed.
In this perspective, it is necessary that, thanks to a healthy administration, the economic resources of countries always be put at the service of concrete social progress thus permitting the population to see its just aspirations fulfilled. To consolidate the stability and unity of the Nation, the concern for the common good implies a just and equitable distribution of the wealth of the Country, in a particular way taking into account those people who find themselves at the margins of social and economic progress.
The quality of relationships between the religious communities that live in Chad, especially among Christians and Muslims, is an important element along the way of peace and reconciliation. Each must be able to express his own faith without fear and follow the voice of his conscience in the choice of his own religion. Mr Ambassador, I am pleased to know that in your Country, notwithstanding the difficulties that can arise, Christians and Muslims seek to strengthen relations of respect and reciprocal understanding. I hope that these relationships will contribute to the common good and the edification of a harmonious and peaceful society. To overcome misunderstandings dialogue must always remain the best way to avoid recourse to any form of violence.
As you have observed, Mr Ambassador, the Catholic Church's commitment to serve the Chad society, without discriminating against origin or religion, embraces various areas such as health, education and development. Through her social works, the Catholic community manifests her concern to promote the dignity of each person. In this perspective, I wish to emphasize in a particular way the activity of the Church in favour of education and the formation of youth, thanks above all to the Catholic schools, which occupy a significant place in Chad's educational system. Through these schools, that are environments in which youth of different religions and social contexts learn to live together in reciprocal respect, the Church intends to combat every form of poverty and to contribute to the edification of an ever more fraternal and solidarity society. At the end of this meeting, permit me, Mr Ambassador, through you to greet the Bishops of Chad and also all the members of the Catholic community. I assure them of my spiritual closeness and encourage them to remain strong in the faith and courageous in the trials that they share with their fellow citizens, thus making them witnesses of their commitment to build together a reconciled society.
As you begin your noble mission, be sure that you will always find an attentive welcome from my co-workers. I express, Mr Ambassador, my cordial wishes for the success of your mission, so that harmonious relations between the Holy See and Chad may continue and grow. Upon Your Excellency, your family, your staff and also on the Authorities and all the inhabitants of Chad, I warmly invoke an abundance of Divine Blessings.
*L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n. 24 p. 8.
© Copyright 2008 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana
Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana