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Apostolic Journey to Uruguay, Chile and Argentina
(March 31 - April 12, 1987)


Friday, 3 April 1987


1. This pastoral visit to Chile affords me the opportunity to meet you, distinguished leaders of the diplomatic missions accredited to this noble nation. In my pilgrimages throughout the different countries of the world, it is always a pleasure for me to be able to greet the members of the diplomatic corps, and to manifest personally to them my deep appreciation of the continuing service they carry out for the benefit of their respective peoples and governments in promoting peaceful international relationships.

Therefore, at this moment, as I address these greetings, I feel a deep satisfaction. Through you I extend my greetings to the nations whose qualified and worthy representatives you are.

You naturally have your own origins and perhaps also you come from different cultural backgrounds. Consequently, your views of life and of the international situation probably differ. Nevertheless, all of you share in a nobly unifying mission, that of being builders of bridges of collaboration and harmony between countries.

2. The Church in general, and the Holy See in particular, also works for these objectives. However, as her action is not limited by the horizon of time but projects itself to eternity, her task is of a religious, transcendent nature. Nevertheless, while carrying out the work of evangelization throughout history, and since the one for whom the message of salvation is destined in every age is the human being, the Church cannot turn her back on the world's great problems. As the good Samaritan of the Gospel parable, she knows that it is also her duty to help man follow, in his passage through history, the path of peaceful relationships, solidarity and collaboration.

As I have emphasized from the beginning of this journey - during my visit in Uruguay - this pastoral visit to Chile and Argentina has a special significance: to celebrate the peace between both nations. The Treaty of peace and friendship. to which, with the help of the Almighty, the path of mediation happily led, has reaffirmed the harmonious commitment to peace of both countries and their authorities, and has protected it towards the future in terms of renewed solidarity and a promising collaboration.

This agreement not only constitutes an invaluable contribution to the strengthening of harmonious relationships in this part of America, but also serves as an eloquent witness for the relationships among the nations of the earth, because it has proved the effectiveness of a principle which must always inspire these relationships: availability for dialogue. At all levels of human life this attitude is indispensable. It impels a search for points of contact, a study of constructive solutions and, consequently, the avoidance of confrontations which can endanger peaceful relationships or international stability.

3. During the years of your diplomatic service you will surely have had occasion to experience the unceasing work which the Apostolic See has done and continues to do for the promotion and defence of the rights of the human person, created in the image and likeness of God. This is a very real way of fulfilling the task of service to man which the Church has carried out since the first moments of her history, aware of complying in this way with the Gospel imperative of charity, which must be the distinctive Christian characteristic for all times.

In fact, human brotherhood, the true cornerstone of the social edifice, is a necessary imperative in the life of every nation, in the life of all the peoples of this planet.

As I wrote in my Message for this year's World Day of Peace, "once we truly grasp that we are brothers and sisters in a common humanity, then we can shape our attitudes towards life in the light of the solidarity which makes us one".

4. Excellencies, Ladies, Gentlemen: these are the hopes I express here as well, before you. representatives of many of the world's nations: May the star of human brotherhood always guide the steps of individuals and nations; may all people recognize that they are children of the common Father in heaven.

*L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.18 p.6.


© Copyright 1987 -  Libreria Editrice Vaticana 


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