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Monday 16 June 1969


Mr. Ambassador,

We give you Our cordial greetings on this, your first visit to the Vatican as the new Ambassador Plenipotentiary and Extraordinary of the Federal Republic of Germany to the Holy See. We thank you for the amiable words which you have just addressed to Us. This official presentation of your Credential Letters strengthens the good relations which have prevailed between the Holy See and the German Federal Government lot many years now.

We have been amply informed of the responsible offices which Your Excellency has occupied in the past and with what success yew fulfilled the dimes entrusted to you. We therefore count upon your valuable cooperation in Our efforts on behalf of peace in the world

Even since the beginning of Our Pontificate, We have uselessly worked to point out to the governments and peoples of these disturbed times the only possible grounds for lasting peace worthy of human beings. Those grounds are: acknowledgment of the truth, assent to justice and the practice of charity. Such urgent concerns of the present day have been the motives, and are still the motives, for the various journeys which We have so far undertaken.

Mr. Ambassador, the German people has well understood the calf of this hour, and has made a powerful contribution to peace in the world through its whole-hearted aid to developing countries. That action stirs up deserved admiration and acknowledgment for the German people in all who are willing to make an unprejudiced judgment. Need and notorious social injustice have always been sources of critical depressions which seriously threaten peace among the peoples.

As you yourself have just observed, your German homeland also has to deal with a number of grave problems. We follow with great interest all efforts aimed at a just solution of all present difficulties and therefore at establishment of interior peace. We accompany such political and social action with Our prayers, since the troubled history of your country all too clearly shows the truth of Holy Scripture’s saying: "If the Lord does not build the house, then the builders labour in vain’ (Ps. 126, I). For this reason We welcome and encourage the ecumenical movement, as it is described in the Council’s document on Ecumenism. It offers to a religiously divided people a strong basis for true progress and interior unity.

Mr. Ambassador, You follow in the footsteps today of an ambassador who was much esteemed by Us and who was well qualified for his office. You may be certain that We will give you equal trust and the same appreciation.

We give you Our best thanks for the good wishes which you have brought Us from His Excellency the President of the Federal Republic, and We ask you to be so kind as to give him Ours in return.

Your Excellency, the Second Vatican Council called upon all lay People, above all those who hold important offices for the common good, to work hard for the establishment of the true goods of public and private life. We therefore express Our wish that in your new held of activity you will be able to do your best for success in those ideal aims. To this end We impart Our Apostolic Blessing to you and to your collaborators as a sign of Our special benevolence.

*ORa n.26 p.2.


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