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Thursday, 16 October 1969


Mister President,

We are indeed happy to welcome Your Excellency once more here in Our home, and to extend to you Our respectful and heartfelt greetings.

It gives Us pleasure to recall not only your last visit to Us in the Vatican, but also Our memorable meetings at Kampala. There We came into contact with the realities of Africa: its deeply felt aspirations, its immense potentialities and its present needs.

We set much store by the integral progress of the peoples of the great African continent, the worthy object of well founded hopes. We would see it blessed with peace and security, that its speedy development may be guaranteed. And it is Our heartfelt desire that the dignity of the human person may flourish there, that dignity which must needs look to material and moral advancement for its strength and its protection.

The-Church’s own mission is a religious one: that of spreading the message of redemption by Christ. She also willingly offers her moral, and, where possible, her practical support to the programmes which the civil power undertakes for the good of all, especially in the fields of learning, healing, and raising up of the under-privileged.

We know that the Catholics of Tanzania are second to none in their love of country, in the staunch loyalty they show in their activity, and in their spirit of cooperation with other religious denominations that all may live together in order and harmony. The teachings of their faith, and the virtues of justice and charity which it inculcates, impel them to make a wholehearted and generous contribution to their country’s welfare.

We express Our hope and wish that Tanzania will always adhere closely to the principles of freedom and of a concern for society that draws its inspiration from the higher values of the spirit, By so doing it will be faithful to Africa’s traditions, and will ever fulfil the legitimate expectations of its people.

We would make special mention of the family. The Church holds this institution most dear, and endeavours to further its fundamental attributes of unity and indissolubility. And within the family, woman holds a position of particular importance. «Today the African woman is summoned to become ever more aware of her personal dignity, of her role as mother, and of her right to take part in the social life and progress of modern Africa» (Message «Africae Terrarum», art. 36).

 To Your Excellency, entrusted with the honour and responsibility of presiding over that great country in years so fraught with significance for its future, We once again express Our deep respect, Our warm friendship, and Our prayer that God may ever be your guide and your helper. We gladly impart Our Apostolic Blessing to you and to your family, and We invoke upon all the people of Tanzania the Lord’s choicest favours of true prosperity and happiness.


*AAS 61 (1969), p.721-722.

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. VII, p.707-708.

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1969, p.466-467.

L'Osservatore Romano 18.10.1969, p.1.

ORa n. 44 p.1, 12.


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