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Thursday, 19 December 1974


Mr Ambassador,

It is a pleasure for us to welcome you this morning and to receive the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Ireland to the Holy See.

You have kindly expressed the Irish Government’s appreciation of the Holy See’s role in international life and of its efforts to promote justice and peace among men. This activity of the Church is indeed a part of her mission. It is true that the Church’s primary concern is to enable her members to live as Christians; at the same time, she cannot fail to point out to all the path humanity must take if it is to develop and advance with harmony. Amid the tensions that mark society today, the Church endeavours to affirm and uphold the laws of God that must prevail in the common life of men. We are pleased to note the commitment of your country’s Government to those same moral demands, the fulfilment of which alone can lead to the achievement of justice and peace.

As we approach the Holy Year, our thoughts turn to the people of Ireland: we know how great their attachment is to their religious faith and also to this Apostolic See. It is our hope that, in celebrating the Jubilee, they may be spiritually renewed as a Christian people. In our deep pastoral affection and solicitude we likewise express our union with all those who, in your country as elsewhere, earnestly desire a just and peaceful solution to the sad situation in Northern Ireland. As you have mentioned, we intend in the coming year to canonize Blessed Oliver Plunkett.

We shall thereby present him to the universal Church and to the world as a saintly model of steadfast belief, courage and generous fidelity to the faith. May this joyful event uplift the hearts of all with renewed confidence, inspiration and spiritual conviction.

We earnestly pray that God will sustain and guide the Authorities and the beloved people of your land, and in this Holy Year of grace confirm them all as promoters of reconciliation and peace.

We send our good wishes to the newly-appointed President of Ireland for the successful and happy fulfilment of his office, and to Your Excellency we extend our best wishes for the fruitful accomplishment of your own mission.    

*AAS 67 (1974), p.46-47.

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XII, p.1328-1329.

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1974, p.410-411.

L'Osservatore Romano, 20.12.1974, p.1, 2.

ORa 1975 n.1 p.10

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