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Tuesday, 26 September 1974


Mr. Ambassador

We thank you heartily for the words you have just addressed to us on presenting the Letters that accredit you to us as Ambassador of the French Republic.

In elevated terms, Your Excellency has just called to mind the perspectives in which you envisage the mission that your Government has just entrusted to you.

In the service of the Gospel and its salutary demands, the Holy See is aware, in fact, as you have taken pleasure to recall, that it too contributes, on its stile, to the establishment of justice, concord and peace in human relations. It is happy to meet and collaborate for this noble purpose with any State anxious to ensure, at its own level and in respect of the principles on which personal and social ethics are based, worthy conditions of material and spiritual existence for all its citizens. This is what we wish of the high authorities that you now represent to us. We see it as a pledge of the pursuit of harmonious relations between those responsible for the common good of your nation and the Church, which has the task of referring men's efforts to God.

Your country, Mr. Ambassador, has a justified reputation on the international plane, for culture, humanitarian and spiritual concerns, which win it the esteem and attraction of persons and peoples from all horizons. As regards the Church more particularly, we have present in mind so many of your compatriots, brilliant as regards culture, deep in theological research, anxious for an adapted pastoral apostolate, eager to seize the opportunity for religious renewal in an impetus of holiness thus establishing new spiritual lines, for the benefit of everyone. That is why out wishes for your country are accompanied by our esteem, our affection and our trust. And we pray to God to bless and strengthen this people so dear to us.

We assure you yourself, Mr. Ambassador, of our cordial good wishes for the successful accomplishment of your important mission, and we are happy to present our greetings to Mr. President of the Republic, who kindly ennobled it to you.

*ORa n.41 p.2.


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