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Thursday, 26 June 1975


Mr Ambassador,

We have just listened with satisfaction to the remarks that Your Excellency kindly addressed to us on presenting your Letters of Credence.

You took pleasure in stressing, in fact, the belief in God that is deeply tooted in the heart of your compatriots, the beneficial work of missionaries, the spiritual and peaceful role of the Church, the trustworthy relations between the Holy See and the Government of Gabon. Yes, all that is a motive of hope for you and for us.

The Catholic Church, as you suggested, aims in the first place at the formation of Christian, baptized and catechumens, to a firm faith, which finds in God, with the hope of an eternal life with Him, the strength of a charity active and open to all. In that way she intends to contribute to the development of all the virtues that make it possible to construct in this life, the society to which men aspire: a just society in which life, honour and all human rights are respected; a Society eager to prepare for everyone worthy conditions of life, thanks to the numerous resources of the country, a brotherly society. The lasting international peace which is so flea our heart, is built on the same principles.

This Holy Year gives us the opportunity fur a very warm contact with our Mothers and Sons of the whole universe. Africa – whose evolution, promises of vitality and also whose difficulties, we are following attentively – has a particular place in these meetings. We are happy to express this affectionate esteem, not only to the Catholics of your country, of whom we, too, are proud but to the whole people of Gabon. On them we implore God's blessings, so that he may guide them along the way to progress and peace.

Kindly express to His Excellency President Albert Bernard Bongo our gratitude for the good wishes you have conveyed to us, and the vivid memory we have of his cordial visit. And we wish Your Excellency, who are beginning your functions as Ambassador to the Holy See today, a happy and fruitful mission.

*ORa n.29 p.5.


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