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Lunedì, 4 dicembre 1989

Mr. Ambassador,

It is with pleasure that I receive Your Excellency in the Vatican as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria to the Holy See.

I thank you for having expressed to me the kind message of His Excellency President Chadli Bendjedid. I would ask you kindly to express to him, in return, my respectful greeting and my best wishes for his person and for the Algerian people, with the particular assurance of my sympathy for those who are still suffering from the effects of the serious earthquake which recently affected your country.

1. Your presence in this place, Mr. Ambassador, shows Algeria's concern to maintain, in the relations between nations, a respect for the motivations of the spiritual and religious order, and I am delighted with this.

2. In the words which you addressed to me, you mentioned the desire people have for true brotherhood and unity, in the practice of tolerance and dialogue. These are ideals which the Apostolic See strives to promote by its diplomatic action and through the commitment of sons and daughters of the Catholic Church, who are deeply convinced that God is calling them to weave a network of solidarity and friendship, where they live, for the good of all the members of the human family. Beyond the very disturbing situations of war and of injustice, we are witnessing today a movement towards the reconciliation of peoples, at the political, economic and cultural levels. Religious convictions give a profound impulse to this tendency. May they be makers of unity for people, may they make brothers of them, render them more attentive, more responsible, more generous in their service of the common good!

3. Please permit me to take the opportunity of this meeting to express through you an affectionate greeting to the Catholic communities present in Algeria. I know that, among other things, the dedicated work of the men and women religious in the institutions at the service of the poor is greatly appreciated. It is the desire of the Catholics to pursue their ministry of prayer for the people in whose midst they live. and of brotherly assistance. They would also like to make their contribution to the various tasks of development of the country, according to their means. I hope that these Christian communities will always be able to exercise regularly their proper activities, enjoying in a stable manner the guarantee of law, just as it is only right that the Muslim communities, for their part, have the same benefits in predominantly Christian countries. May this mutual recognition continue to develop so as to promote a better dialogue between Muslims and Christians!

Finally, I express the wish that Algeria, whose engagement for peace has been manifested in initiatives aimed at resolving painful regional conflicts, may continue to promote concord and harmony in the international community, thus drawing down on its inhabitants the divine blessings promised to peacemakers.

As you begin your mission, I offer you my sincere best wishes for the happy accomplishment of your task. Rest assured that you will always find here an attentive reception and cordial understanding.

Upon Your Excellency, the President of the Republic, the Government and the Algerian people I invoke the assistance of the Most High that your country may continue on its road to progress and a development that responds ever more to the deep desires of the men and women who live there.

*L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English 1990 n.3 p.5.


© Copyright 1989 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana