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Thursday, 14 December 1972


Mr. Ambassador,

We are happy to receive you. Yes, it is a joy for us to greet in your person the people of Thailand, so dear to our heart, at the same time as the highly qualified representative of His Majesty King Bhumibol Adulyadej. Your Excellency’s kind address, the tenour of which we appreciated, as well as the good wishes of your venerated sovereign, take on a quite particular significance for this reason. We are anxious to tell you so, while offering you our hearty thanks.

In the family of Asian nations, we know the specific place of your country with its marvellous past, its century-old traditions and its admirable culture. Alongside its economic resources and potentiality, called to contribute more and more to the prosperity of the people, thanks to a harmonious development carried out in justice and fair sharing of profit, this country possesses, in fact, human and spiritual riches, a great civilization. As proof, among others, of this, we see the spirit of tolerance to which you refer: is this not a vital stage in the construction of peace in an agitated continent? It is also the mark of realists, to find a benefit in sincere contacts with their brothers in the world.

It is also the perspective of the Catholic Church, when she broadens dialogue with all philosophies, movements of thought and particularly those which manifest concerns of the transcendent order. You see here an explanation, as it were, of the attitude of her members, anxious to collaborate specially, beyond their contribution to the social and educational effort ;undertaken for the better development of Thailand, in the promotion of the mutual respect and esteem of its inhabitants, and the common affirmation of the highest values. Such are, as you know, the desire and the line of conduct of the Catholic clergy; and faithful.

At the moment when your important mission is thus beginning, under very favourable auspices, you know that we personally are fully resolved to facilitate it according to our means, in order to continue to make friendship and cordial understanding the basis of the relations between the Holy See and your noble country. On it and on yourself, Mr. Ambassador, we willingly invoke the blessings of the Almighty.

*ORa n.52 p.2.


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