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“Kilimanjaro International Airport”, Moshi (Tanzania)
Wednesday, 5 September 1990


Mr Prime Minister and First Vice President,
Your Eminence,
Brother Bishops,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

1. Now that my Pastoral Visit to Tanzania has come to an end, I cordially wish to thank everyone for the warm welcome and gracious hospitality extended to me since the first moment of my arrival. My special gratitude goes to His Excellency the President and to all the members of Government for their kindness and help at every stage of my journey. I am deeply grateful to my Brother Bishops and their collaborators for making my pilgrimage to the Church in Tanzania a truly joyful and fruitful spiritual experience. Nor can I fail to thank those who took part in the various events, those who maintained order and security, as well as those who enabled me to reach all the people of this vast land through the communications media.

Above all, I give thanks to God who made it possible for the Successor of Peter to visit your country: "Blessed be God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with all the spiritual blessings of heaven" (Eph. 1, 3). I thank him for the vitality of the Catholic community in your midst; for the grace he has given us in the Eucharist we have celebrated together; for the inspiration he has surely given you to work ever harder to meet the challenges facing this young Church and this young Nation.

2. My visit to Tanzania has indeed been a happy event. But as my pilgrimage now takes me to other countries, I cannot forget that other aspect of Africa where "millions of men, women and children are threatened with never enjoying good health, with never being able to live with dignity from their work, with never receiving the education which will develop their minds, with seeing their environment become hostile and sterile, with losing the wealth of their ancient patrimony, all the while being deprived of the positive supports of science and technology" (Ioannis Pauli PP. II Uagadugi, in aedibus Consilii compendiariis litteris CEAO nuncupati, ad civiles Auctoritates habita X elapso anno a Summi Pontificis allocutione de gravi aquarum penuria in Sahelia, 4, die 29ian. 1990: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, XIII, 1 (1990) 305).

I implore God’s gifts of comfort, strength and peace upon those who suffer or are in need on this continent. In the name of our common humanity I appeal to the more developed nations of the earth to inaugurate a new era of solidarity with Africa, based on justice and respect. Let the world not forget the urgent needs of the peoples of Africa!

3. As I take leave of Tanzania, I urge all its citizens to cherish the peace, unity and fraternity under God which have enabled them to forge a society worthy of their dignity as persons created in his image and likeness. I pray that you will always recognize that your highest aspirations and greatest good are to be found in peace and harmony, both among yourselves and in your relations with neighbouring States.

May the people of Tanzania always remain united to one another as true brothers and sisters, regardless of ethnic origin or differences of culture and religion. The unity of which I speak is unity for the common good, for the full development of society, for the protection and promotion of the dignity and rights of every human person, from the greatest to the least. It is also a unity that looks beyond national borders in order to promote the welfare of all humanity.

During my visit I have tried to emphasize the importance of the family for human solidarity. It is the Catholic Church’s conviction that the family is an irreplaceable school for social virtues such as respect, justice, dialogue and love, and the most effective means for humanizing and personalizing society (Ioannis Pauli PP. II Familiaris Consortio, 42-48). I urge you to protect and promote family life as the great source of strength and moral character for the life of your nation.

Dear friends, although I leave Tanzanian soil, I assure you that your country and all its people will always remain indelibly etched on my heart and mind.

Kwa Watanzania wote, nasema: Asanteni sana!
(To all Tanzanians I say: thank you very much!)
Mungu aibariki na kuilinda Tanzania.
(May God bless and protect Tanzania).
Kwa heri ya kuonana!
(Goodbye, till next time).


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