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Lunedì, 2 febbraio 1987

Your Excellency comes as the Representative of a country which the Holy See has always held in high regard, in harmony with the sentiments of a nation which, being Catholic in the majority, looks with filial devotion to the See of Peter. There is a special bond of union with her that embraces the most profound of her convictions and experiences.

Hence it will be a cause of great satisfaction for the people of the Dominican Republic to know that you, as one who is sensitive to their character and aspirations, intend to dedicate your best efforts to enhancing even more the already good and harmonious relations between your nation and the Holy See, for the good, both human and spiritual, of your fellow citizens.

Your Excellency mentioned the preparations which are under way for the celebration of the Fifth Centenary of the Evangelization of the American continent; I had the pleasure of inaugurating the nine year novena for this in the city of Santo Domingo itself. Evangelization is certainly an ongoing responsibility and a basic demand of the living Church, as the Second Vatican Council explained so fully. This was taken up by the Bishops of Latin America in the Puebla document: «the Church has been acquiring an increasingly clear and deep realization that evangelization is its fundamental mission; and that it cannot possibly carry out this mission without an ongoing effort to know the real situations and to adapt the gospel message to today's human beings in a dynamic, attractive and convincing way» (n. 85).

The recent Day of Prayer for peace in Assisi, the memory and the lesson of which are still very much present to everybody, once more placed the Church in a prominent position in the development of the ministry which the Lord entrusted to her (Mt 28: l 9‑20). She carries out this ministry in various ways: «through evangelization, the administration of the Sacraments, and the pastoral guidance by the Successor of peter and by the bishops, through the daily service of the priests, the deacons and the religious, through the endeavours and the witness of missionaries and catechists, through the silent prayer of contemplatives and the suffering of the sick, the poor and the oppressed, and through so many forms of dialogue and collaboration between Christians in order to put into effect the ideals of the Beatitudes and to promote the values of the Kingdom of God» (Address to the Roman Curia, 22 Dec.1986, n. 10).

In order that this essential task of evangelization may be an ever more effective reality in your country, I can assure you that the pastors of the local Church, in close communion with this Apostolic See, will continue to offer their cooperation, their services and their spiritual and moral energies.

Once again I wish you success in your mission. I invoke the constant protection of the Almighty upon Your Excellency and your family, upon the authorities who have appointed you and above all, upon the people of the Dominican Republic.

*L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.9 p.5.


© Copyright 1987 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana