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Friday, 7 July 1979


Mr. Ambassador,

In this act of the presentation of your Letters of Credence, as Peru's Ambassador Extraordinary and plenipotentiary to the Holy See, let my first words be of greeting and welcome for Your Excellency.

I listened with satisfaction to your noble expressions, which reflect deep sentiments of admiration and gratitude for the evangelizing work of the Church in Peru. In fact, throughout the history of your country, the elements that constitute your national being have taken shape: the religious sense of life, esteem for the fundamental values of the family, the orientation towards a precise code of moral conduct, the solidarity that has its most vital roots in the universal fatherhood of God. All this has left indelible traces in the concrete reality of the Peruvian people. It is a heritage that must be safeguarded and increased.

As the end of this twentieth century approaches, man is more and more conscious of the necessity of living, also as a community, certain ethical values which are the basis of human society and of the moral and spiritual growth of society. I am referring more concretely to the values of peace and justice. For it is imperative and urgent to follow the true path of peace, and to do so it is necessary to be able to discern the face of justice, which leads to real development, the new name for peace, as my predecessor Paul VI rightly said (cf. Populorum progressio, n. 76).

The Church, faithful to the mission of bringing complete Salvation to men, will continue on her side to enlighten them and encourage them, working for the defence of their rights. It is a service that the Church wishes to continue to offer to society and to the men of our time.

Your Excellency, allow me to express a fervent desire: that your fellow citizens will not forget the human, religious and cultural heritage received from their ancestors; that they will transmit it to future generations, enriched even more; that they will endeavour to express these ideals in everyday life; that they will work to consolidate the permanent values of justice and peace; that they will offer a helping hand to forgotten and emarginated human groups and other peoples in need.

Mr. Ambassador, I do not wish to conclude my words without asking you kindly to transmit my respectful and grateful greeting to Mr. President and to the Authorities and beloved sons of Peru. I commend them all to the Lord in my prayers. I will do so in particular for Your Excellency. In order that you may carry out skillfully and successfully the mission that you are beginning today to the Apostolic See.


Copyright 1979 © Libreria Editrice Vatican

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