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Friday, 25 November 1983


Mr Ambassador,

I am happy to receive from Your Excellency the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Australia. My pleasure in welcoming you to the Vatican derives, in great part, from the bond of friendship that characterizes the cordial diplomatic relations between your country and the Holy See.

I am grateful for your reference to my message of last New Year’s Day. In it I shared with the leaders of the nations and with the citizens of every country my heartfelt conviction that true dialogue is an essential condition for peace in the world. Prompted by the observations that you have made, I would emphasize once again the necessity and indeed the urgency of this challenge for our time. In so doing I am sure that this call for dialogue echoes the hopes of countless men and women in our society, who desire to see not only a genuine commitment on the part of all nations to eliminate the threat of war through a progressive reduction of both nuclear and conventional arms, but above all to witness the establishment of an atmosphere of peace wherein the spiritual and economic welfare of humanity will be of primary concern.

I truly believe that peace is possible, because I have confidence in man’s capacity to sense what is reasonable, what is right and just, and to recognize that the promotion of the common good benefits the well-being of each individual.

I know besides that this is truly the conviction of Australia which, conscious of its Christian inheritance and of its role in the region, is striving through an open and realistic diplomacy to make its own contribution to the noble cause of peace and to resolving some of the problems in this area of the world.

In this context, I note with satisfaction your reference to the contribution that the Government and people of Australia have made to alleviating the plight of the many refugees who have sought asylum in your country. The respect, the hospitality and the willing acceptance extended to them express more clearly than mere words the real possibility of building a climate of peace by reaching out with compassion and understanding to those in need.

Mr Ambassador, in fulfilling the task that has been assigned to you, you participate in a noble profession of human discourse which, by its very nature, is intended to contribute to a dialogue for peace. It is a work requiring patience and perseverance, but however demanding it may at times become it has the potential for doing incalculable good.

I ask you to convey to the Government and people of Australia my greetings and good wishes. I join you in praying for the successful outcome of your mission. May Almighty God bless you and your fellow citizens with his abundant favours.

*AAS 76 (1984), p. 445-446.

Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. VI, 2 pp. 1180-1181.

L’Osservatore Romano 26.11.1983 pp.1, 7.

L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.49 p.11.


© Copyright 1983 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana