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Monday, 20 November 1972


Mr. Ambassador,

We are anxious to tell you how much we appreciated the kind words with which, on the threshold of your new responsibilities, you brought us the greeting and the best wishes of H.E. President Kayibanda. We particularly valued the warmth and the nobility of those remarks, and we ask you kindly to transmit to him our heartfelt thanks.

How could we fail to desire with him, in fact, that mutual understanding and cooperation should be maintained and increased between the Church and the Republic of Rwanda? If the authorities of a State have as their raison d'être service of the common good, the first mission of the Church is to work until the end of time with a view to the salvation, the spiritual development of man, that is to awakening and asserting the highest qualities he possesses. We see here a convergence, which urges us to seek together, to arouse if possible, to sustain always, the seeds of peace, charity and justice that men need so much.

In this, connection, the Holy See rejoices to recognize, in certain of the most :urgent requests of your noble country, on the international plane, values to which it is incessantly drawing the attention of the peoples of the world. We wish to speak here of the gradual establishment of general disarmament, and utilization of natural resources and human energies in favour of the less favoured nations, in order that harmony and brotherhood may really reign in the universe.

In the same line again, we express the wish that the leaders and faithful of the Catholic Church in Rwanda will continue, in a more and more effective way, to promote the important cause of concord within the State, and also, pursue the establishment of neighbourly relations with everyone, in respect of the interests of each one.. We know that we can rely on them, on their devotion and their zeal.

Mr. Ambassador, welcoming you today with joy, we can assure you that our thought and our prayer are often extended to your dear fellow-countrymen. Nothing of their lives, nothing of their hopes is alien to our solicitude, or to our concerns. Invoking on them once more the graces of the Lord, we willingly give you our fatherly Apostolic Blessing, for the successful accomplishment of your high mission.

*ORa n.48 p.2.


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