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October 2, 1986


Dear Friends,

I am pleased to offer a warm welcome to you, the members of the Constitutional Commission of the Swedish Parliament. Your presence here gives me the opportunity to send my cordial greetings once again to His Majesty King Karl Gustaf the Sixteenth and to all the Swedish people.

It was indeed my pleasure three years ago to accept the Letters of Credence of the first Ambassador of Sweden to the Holy See. Though there had been many informal contacts over the years between your country and the Holy See, the establishment of official diplomatic relations began a new era of closer interaction and productive co-operation on many issues. I would refer especially to those of justice and respect for human rights, matters which are of special concern to the international order.

As members of the Swedish Parliament, you are the heirs of a tradition dating back more than five hundred and fifty years to the first meeting of the Riksdag in 1435. Furthermore, you are the successors of the earliest Parliament on the European continent in which all the classes of society were represented.

You have been inspired by hundreds of years of democracy and mutual respect among your citizens. I wish to encourage you to continue to give leadership in efforts aimed at eliminating all forms of violence in society, and particularly to work against terrorism which strikes at the heart of the sentiments of humanity and seeks to destroy the democratic constitution of the State. Only too recently we were all dismayed by the tragic assassination of your Prime Minister, Olof Palme. This ruthless act, while it greatly saddens us, must not cause us to despair. Rather it should serve to promote work for non-violence and for the social justice and mutual understanding that your country prizes so highly.

More than a thousand years ago, missionaries brought to Sweden the Gospel message of fraternal charity and reconciliation, the message that still today remains the most fundamental means for establishing and safeguarding peaceful coexistence. During this International Year of Peace I encourage you to continue to support the ideal of universal brotherhood and to consider how it can best be served. It is my profound conviction, as I stated in my World Day of Peace Message for the current year, that “"Peace is a value with no frontiers". It is a value that responds to the hopes and aspirations of all people and all nations, of young and old, and of all men and women of good will”.

I thank you for your presence here today, and I assure you of my good wishes for your work on behalf of the Government and people of Sweden. Upon you and your country I invoke the abundant blessings of Almighty God.


© Copyright 1986 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana