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Saturday, 23 June 1990


Dear Young Friends,

I am pleased to welcome the young people taking part in the Rotary International Youth Exchange Programme. It is my hope that your time of study and travel in Europe will help you better to appreciate the spiritual and cultural values which have forged the unity of this Continent over many centuries and have contributed in no small way to the authentic progress of humanity.

As students who come from many different countries, you have been given a valuable opportunity to enter into dialogue with one another and with people from the nations you visit about their concerns, needs and aspirations. At this momentous time in the history of Europe, you are also able to observe at first hand the dramatic political and social transformations of these recent months and to realize what great hopes and challenges those changes have brought in their wake. I am confident that these experiences will give each of you a deep sense of the solidarity which must unite all members of the human family. That solidarity is ultimately "a firm and persevering determination to commit oneself to the common good; that is to say, to the good of all and of each individual because we are all really responsible for all" (Ioannis Pauli PP. II Sollicitudo Rei Socialis, 38). In years to come, this moral commitment to protect the dignity and respond to the needs of our brothers and sisters must inspire the growth and development of new political and economic structures aimed at ensuring an integral development of all nations and the creation of an international order marked by authentic social and economic justice and lasting peace.

As you continue your studies and prepare to assume the responsibilities that will one day be yours, I express my hope that you will always be guided by a commitment to work for the unity of mankind and serve others, especially the poor. In these efforts, may you experience the wisdom and strength which God alone can give. Upon all of you I cordially invoke his abundant blessings and peace.


© Copyright 1990 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana