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Thursday, 25 November 1976


Mr. Ambassador,

Let our first words be to bid a cordial welcome to Your Excellency, as you present to us on this solemn occasion, the Letters of Credence as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Holy See.

We listened gratefully to your respectful expressions concerning the Apostolic See, and we were able to evoke unforgettable memories of our journey to the Latin American Continent for the Eucharistic Congress in Bogotá. That was certainly an outstanding moment of our mission as universal Pastor, in which we had the deep joy of observing the spiritual and moral vitality of the Church in Latin America.

We know very well, and we say it with great satisfaction, that the experience of the evangelical message, entrusted to the Church to be incessantly transmitted to mankind, constitutes a fundamental element in the formation of the Colombian spirit. It would not be exaggerated to affirm that it is a point of reference and a powerful incentive which inspires all those in Colombia, both in the city and in the country, who aspire to proceed along paths of greater personal and social dignity, complete and overall progress, responsibly united in brotherly peace and solidarity.

It is in the midst of this promising work that the Church, sensitive to the vibrations of joy or sorrow, hope or discouragement of the human heart, wishes to continue to offer her dedication and her resources, in an unchanging attitude of service, seeking only – in her own sphere – to contribute to make increasingly perfect the community building, in which the spiritual and human aspirations of one and all are accepted and fulfilled.

We lay our hopes also in the creative capacity and renewed will of our sons in Colombia. We are sure that, in conformity with their noble Christian traditions, all initiatives aimed at the healthy advance of the individual and the community, will find in them real understanding and dedicated collaboration.

Mr. Ambassador, we request you to convey to the high Authorities of your country our expressions of sincere gratitude with our sincere appreciation for your respectful greeting from the President of Colombia. We also wish to formulate for Your Excellency our best wishes for the success of the mission you are beginning today. You can rely for this purpose on our benevolence and above all on our prayers, in which we will also keep a special place for all our beloved sons in your noble nation, on whom we invoke continual heavenly favours.

*ORa n.50 p.3.


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