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Friday, 18 January 1985


Dear Friends,

It is a pleasure to welcome the members of the sixty-fifth class of the NATO Defense College. You have come to Rome to engage in a course of study which includes the examination of the military, political, economic, technological, geographical, sociological and psychological problems and factors which are of special relevance to NATO. During the course of these studies, you have desired to come to the Vatican for this audience with the Pope. And I am very pleased to receive you today because I recognize that your request for this audience is a sign of your convictions about the importance of moral and spiritual values, not only for one’s personal life but also for the work in which you are engaged.

Moral and spiritual values are indeed of vital importance for human life: for directing the decisions of individual persons and for shaping the relations between peoples and nations. Without the integration of these values into our lives and into society, we cannot hope to measure up to the full stature of our human dignity. And without attempting to bring them to bear upon the decisions affecting public life and international relations, we can never have a secure and lasting peace.

Your course of study in Rome brings you in contact with people from many nations. You study and discuss together. You are in an excellent position to grow in mutual understanding and respect for one another and for the various cultures and countries which you represent. May this experience of international brotherhood strengthen your conviction about the possibility of achieving harmony and brotherhood among all the nations of the world. And may it deepen your commitment to work for the realization of this greatly desired goal.

I pray that the Lord will sustain you in these worthy endeavours.

May God bless you all.

*Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. VIII, 1 p. 122-123.

L'Osservatore Romano 19.1. 1985 p.5. n.4 p.11.


© Copyright 1985 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana