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Jeudi, 28 octobre 1993 

Mr. Ambassador,
I am pleased to welcome Your Excellency to the Vatican as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Burkina Faso to the Holy See.

I sincerely thank you for conveying to me the sentiments of gratitude of His Excellency President Blaise Compaore; in return, I beg you to please convey my personal greeting to him and my best wishes for the fulfilment of his task concerning the good of all Burkina Faso's people. I also greet the members of the Government and I invoke Gods assistance on all the leaders of the country at the service of then compatriots.

In your kind address, amongst other things you recalled the members of the Catholic Church in Burkina Faso, whose activities contribute to consolidating the bonds uniting your nation to the Holy See. I am touched by this appreciation expressed in the most courteous terms, and I can assure you that the country's Catholics will continue to work in the areas of social work, education and health care, under the direction of their Bishops and according to their means. They will thus make their contribution to this long term task of building an ever more just and fraternal society where each may lead a life in conformity with his human dignity.

Mr Ambassador allow me to take the opportunity in this meeting to address my affectionate greetings to the Catholics of Burkina Faso. Through the dynamism of their Christian faith, I encourage them to be citizens who are generously committed to their country's course of development, cheerfully working with their compatriots of others creeds: Protestants, Muslims, and those who adhere to the traditional religion. For the nation's good, may all, especially the younger generations of Burkina Faso, strive to spread the great values of justice and love around them!

You also referred to my Pastoral Visits in 1980 and 1990, and to the appeals that I felt it my duty to make to the international community, in order to encourage greater solidarity with the countries of the Sahel, the victims of drought and desertification. Let me again mention my fond memory of these visits and of the warm welcome I was given in Ouagadougou and Bobo-Dioulasso. I am still intensely concerned to see the end of the scourges afflicting the African peoples of your region and that they will have access to a just prosperity, both material and spiritual. I can only repeat here the words I spoke when I visited you on 29 January 1990: "How would history judge a generation which had all the means to feed the population of the planet, yet, with fratricidal indifference, would refuse to do so?

"What peace could people expect if they do not put into practice the duty of solidarity? "Would a world in which poverty fails to encounter life‑giving love not be a desert?". Peace! I would like to conclude by calling to mind this theme which is so dear to me, not without acknowledging the initiatives already taken by your President, to contribute to settling the recent conflicts which one would like to see vanish forever from this region of the world. For its part, the Holy See desires to continue its efforts so that throughout Africa and elsewhere, concord and harmony, to which human beings ardently aspire, may be established between peoples.

At the start of your mission, I offer you my best wishes and I assure you that you will always find here an attentive welcome and the cordial understanding of my assistants. On your Excellency, on the people of Burkina Faso and its leaders, I wholeheartedly invoke an abundance of divine blessings.

*L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly edition in English n. 45 p.7


© Copyright 1993 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana