ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS
FOR THE PRESENTATION OF CREDENTIAL LETTERS BY THE AMBASSADORS OF THAILAND,
NORWAY, NEW ZEALAND, SIERRA LEONE, GUINEA, GUINEA-BISSAU, LUXEMBOURG,
MOZAMBIQUE AND ETHIOPIA ACCREDITED TO THE HOLY SEE
Thursday, 23 2019
I cordially welcome all of you for this presentation of the Letters accrediting you as Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of your countries to the Holy See: Thailand, Norway, New Zealand, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Luxembourg, Mozambique and Ethiopia. I would ask you to convey to the Heads of State of your respective countries my sentiments of esteem, and to assure them of my prayers for them and for the people that they serve.
Taking this opportunity, at the start of your new mission, to acknowledge the variety of positive contributions your nations make to the world’s common good, allow me to make reference to the high responsibility we bear together to protect the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters. The pressing need to be attentive to the poorest of our fellow citizens is a solemn duty, which is eloquently expressed when, respectful of legitimate diversity, we are united in promoting their integral human development. This unity, furthermore, has a concrete name: fraternity!
As we face increasingly complex global challenges, it is right to underline the importance of fraternity, for striving together to ensure just and peaceful coexistence is not merely a socio-political strategy but is an example of that solidarity which runs deeper than a mutual desire to achieve a shared goal. Such fraternity, moreover, can be seen in a universal desire for friendship between individuals, communities and nations, though it can never be taken for granted. Among the greatest threats to harmonious living together are violence and armed conflict. Yet the painful lesson of division and hatred also teaches us that peace is always possible. Conflict resolution and reconciliation are positive signs of the unity that is stronger than division and of the fraternity that is more powerful than hatred.
It is deeply encouraging to witness the ongoing efforts of the international community to overcome situations of armed conflict and to forge pathways of peace, and to see how fraternal dialogue is indispensable in achieving this most precious of goals. Indeed “dialogue, understanding and the widespread promotion of a culture of tolerance, acceptance of others and of living together peacefully would contribute significantly to reducing many economic, social, political and environmental problems that weigh so heavily on a large part of humanity” (cf. Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, 4 February 2019).
Dear Ambassadors, as you commence your new responsibilities in serving your nations, I assure you of the cooperation and support of the various offices of the Holy See. Please be certain of my prayerful best wishes for your important work, and upon you, your families and all your fellow citizens, I gladly invoke abundant divine blessings.
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