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Friday, 26 January 1979


Your Excellencies, illustrious members of the Diplomatic Corps,

I am really happy that in the midst of the programme, so full, of my visit to Mexico, there is this meeting of greeting to such a distinguished group of persons as is the Diplomatic Corps accredited in Mexico City.

On many occasions the Holy See has shown its high esteem and appreciation for the function of diplomatic representatives. I, too, did so at the beginning of my pontificate. And I gladly repeat before you today my positive evaluation of this noble task, when it is put in the service of the great cause of peace, understanding among nations, and a reciprocally advantageous exchange in so many fields of interdependence in the international community

You and I, Gentlemen, have also a common concern: the good of humanity and the future of peoples and of all men. If your mission is in the first place the defence and advancement of the legitimate interests of your respective nations, the inescapable interdependency which binds the peoples of the world together more and more every day, I call upon all diplomats to become, with an ever new and original spirit, architects of the understanding among peoples, of international security, and of peace among nations.

You are well aware that all human societies, national and international, will be judged in this field of peace by the contribution they have made to man's development and to respect of his fundamental rights. If society must guarantee in the first place the exercise of a real right to existence, it is not possible to separate from this right another equally fundamental exigency, which we might call the right to peace and security

Every human being, in fact, aspires to conditions of peace which will permit a harmonious development of future generations, protected from the terrible calamity that war will always be, protected from recourse to force or to any other form of violence.

To guarantee peace for all the inhabitants of our planet means seekingwith all the generosity and dedication, with all the dynamism and perseverance, of which men of good will are capableall the concrete means calculated to promote peaceful and brotherly relations, not only on the international plane, but also on the plane of the different continents and regions; in which it will sometimes be easier to obtain results which, though limited, are none the less important. Peace achievements on the regional plane will constitute, in fact, an example and an invitation for the whole international community.

I would like to exhort each of you and, through you, all the leaders of the nations which you represent, to eliminate fear and mistrust and replace them with mutual trust, welcome vigilance, and brotherly collaboration. This new atmosphere in relations among the nations will make it possible to discover areas of agreement that are often unsuspected.

Allow the Pope, this humble pilgrim of peace that I am, to call your attention again to the appeal I made, in my message for the Day of Peace, to all those responsible for the fate of nations: do not hesitate to commit yourselves personally for peace with acts of peace, each in your own sphere and in your own sphere of responsibility. Create new and bold acts that are manifestations of respect, brotherhood, confidence and welcome. By means of these acts you will use all your personal and professional capacities in the service of the great cause of peace. And I promise you that, along the way to peace, you will always find God accompanying you.

In the context of this appeal, I  would like to communicate to you a particular wish. I am referring to the growing number of refugees all over the world and to the tragic situation of the refugees in South East Asia. Exposed not only to the risks of a dangerous journey, the latter also meet with the refusal of their request for asylum, or have to wait for a long time before they get the possibility of beginning a new life in a country ready to welcome them. The solution of this tragic problem is the responsibility of all nations, and I desire that the competent international organizations may be able to rely on the comprehension and help of countries in all continentsespecially a continent such as Latin America, which has always honoured its centuries-long tradition of hospitalityin order to deal openly with this humanitarian problem.

Allow me therefore to encourage you in this task, aware as you are of the deep sense of professional ethics that must accompany this service of sacrifice, sometimes not understood, to society.

In order that God may bless your efforts, your persons and families, I invoke the protection of the Almighty.

*L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.7 p. 2, 3.


© Copyright 1979 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana