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Thursday, 12 January 1984


Mr Ambassador,

I am happy to welcome Your Excellency to the Vatican as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of New Zealand. In receiving this accreditation for the second time, you are aware, I am sure, of the high regard which the Holy See has for this service that you undertake. I am confident that your stay will contribute to a strengthening of the already existing bonds of friendship and collaboration.

I am grateful for your reference to the Catholic Church’s availability to assist in the search for solutions to the critical problems that confront our contemporary society. The themes of peace, human rights and development upon which you have reflected are constant preoccupations of the Church, touching as they do so immediately upon the ability of individuals to realize their potential as children of God and members of the human family.

As you have noted, the destiny of nations is so tightly interwoven that the social, political and economic events of one country soon affect, for good or ill, the well-being of other nations. The assistance that your Government provides to developing countries, to which you have just referred, is a positive sign of this mutual interdependence. Such aid reflects not only a sense of justice in striving to rectify an imbalance of natural or technical resources, but it also manifests a spirit of fraternity, a willingness to promote the welfare of others.

Programmes such as these, when rooted in respect and concern, provide a solid foundation for peace among nations. Yet, an atmosphere of concord and harmony can only be established when the rights of all individuals are upheld and defended. Unfortunately, the threat of war, domination or physical aggression casts a shadow over the future. The continual build-up of modern arms, especially nuclear weapons, and the increasing readiness to resort to violence, reduce the material resources available for human development and create a climate of distrust, suspicion and fear. And as I recently indicated in my Message for the celebration of the World Day of Peace, the Church remains always ready to collaborate in promoting dialogue and cooperation among nations to reduce these tensions.

Your diplomatic activities, Mr Ambassador, are aimed at fostering man’s noble destiny as it is influenced by the relationships that exist between the political communities of the modern world. I pray that your mission will be successful and fruitful. Upon you and those whom you represent I invoke the blessings of peace and joy. May God be with you in your important work.

*AAS 76 (1984), p. 579-580.

Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. VII, 1 pp. 59-60.

L'Attività della Santa Sede 1984 pp.29-30.

L'Osservatore Romano 13.1.1984 pp.1, 5.

L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.4 p.5.


© Copyright 1984 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana