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Monday, 7 June 1971


Mr. Ambassador,

It is with great pleasure that We receive you here today as you present the Letters of Credence by which your President, Dr. Mwalimu Julius K. Nyerere, accredits you to the Holy See as Ambassador of the United Republic of Tanzania. We deeply appreciate the kind personal message of greetings which you bring from the President and the good wishes which you convey on behalf of your people. Please express to your President and people Our sincere gratitude for these messages.

As you are your country’s first Ambassador to the Holy See, We extend to you a special welcome. This appointment clearly expresses the belief of your Government in the value of mutual regard and sincere collaboration between the Church and the State for the good of its people.

We have followed closely, and with interest, the social activities in your country which are intended for the betterment of your people so that they may lead the fuller life of which you speak. Such a life cannot, of course, be attained without having regard for man’s spiritual needs, and, on the other hand, proper social progress of men. Hence the Catholic Church, to the best of its means, assists in the fields of education, medicine and other social services, and performs works of mercy to relieve distress and suffering. All this is part of its apostolate.

It is the wish of the Church to help the civil authorities to carry out these activities with the greatest effect and with maximum benefit for the people. At the same time the Church must have the necessary freedom of action to enable it faithfully to accomplish its mission for the good of men.

We are pleased to know that, under the guidance of the wise and devoted leadership of Our Bishops there, the Church seeks to render ever greater and more effective services for the well-being of the Tanzanian people. We have full confidence in that Episcopate; and its pastoral works and teachings must inevitably yield fruitful results and greatly help progress towards that standard of life to which your country aspires.

Please convey to your President and to your people, for all of whom We have a deep affection, Our greetings and heartfelt best wishes. We ask you to make Tanzania aware of the loving concern of the Church for its welfare, and We pray that that noble land may be graced with peace and prosperity and receive abundant blessings from the Almighty.

We assure Your Excellency that you will have the full cooperation of the Holy See in the strengthening of those cordial relationships which already exist between it and the United Republic of Tanzania, and We extend to you Our very best wishes for the successful accomplishment of your high mission.    

*AAS 63 (1971), p.550-551;

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. IX, p.497-498;

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1971, p.238-239;

OR 7-8.6.1971 p.1;

ORa n. 24 p.4, 12.


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