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Wednesday, 4 September 1974


You have come together for these two days to think over, meditate and study the problems connected with the activities that you carry out, on behalf of the Holy See, at the Governmental International Organizations to which you are accredited.

To you is entrusted the important and delicate task of making the voice of the Church heard in the circles of multilateral diplomacy, which today is becoming more and more the compulsory way of modern civilization and world peace (Address to UN, on 4 October 1965).

The Church wishes to be represented in International Organizations in order to request, encourage and promote pursuit of the universal common good, with a view to building “a better world based upon truth and Justice" (Gaudium et Spes n. 55), and therefore to man's entire good.

For this purpose the Holy See indefatigably supports and sustains all those initiatives that aim at constructing a stable international peace, especially those that seek to lay its foundations by promoting the development of the underprivileged countries and by setting up equitable relations and trade between these and the richer countries.

You will certainly have examined the means to make your action more incisive and effective, to adapt it to the requirements of the world today and in particular to those of the complex mechanism of the International Organizations.

Your "active" presence at international conferences, meetings, symposiums and seminars will have a meaning and a reason if you keep in mind the purposes of this presence to recall and clarify principles, to encourage men to apply them faithfully, and not to refuse collaboration in the concrete attempts to solve the problems that this application involves; not, of course as regards the technical aspects, which are outside the sphere of our competence but as regards the moral and human aspects of justice and fairness, which are no less important than the former (Discourse to the Diplomatic Corps, 12-1-1974) .

You know very well, from direct experience, that the participation of the Holy See in the activities of International Organizations, a participation which, by virtue of its particular nature, is quite distinct from that of the States, must be wise and above all, we would say discreet in order to be accepted and effective.

Today’s meeting offers us a propitious opportunity to tell each of you how deeply grateful we are for the work that, in generous and devoted collaboration with our Apostolic Ministry, you carry out often in difficult circumstances and with means that do not always meet the needs.

We are following with keen attention the work of each of you and we are sure that the difficulties will not deter you in the future from the singular but valid form of proclaiming the Gospel, which is entrusted to your mission.

As a pledge of divine assistance, which we invoke on you and your work today, we wish to impart to you our affectionate fatherly and strengthening Apostolic Blessing.

*ORa n.39 p.3, 12.


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