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Saturday, 2 April 1977


Mr. Ambassador,

We greatly appreciate the kind words you have just uttered and we thank you heartily. How could we fail to appreciate this tribute to the activity of the Holy See, as well as your desire to see a more and more fruitful dialogue promote peace and the good of the whole man, in the international field as in your noble country?

As the centre of the Catholic Church, the Holy See bears responsibility, in fact, for a message of universal salvation. For this reason, and Your Excellency made a point of stressing it, it takes to heart the rights of persons and peoples, so that everyone may attain, in freedom, justice and equality, the living conditions that human development requires. There is there, in the deepest recesses of human nature and in the diversity of economic and social conditions, a vocation that all are called to fulfill together for, as the Gospel teaches, "man does not live by bread alone".

That is why we ate following with very special attention and affection the action and efforts of our dear Catholic sons in Yugoslavia. It is, indeed, in the interior strength of their faith and in the concrete possibilities of exercising its obligations, personally and as an ecclesial community, that they find a new and even stronger reason to cooperate fully in the social and human progress of their country, with all those who have at heart the good of the human community in which divine Providence has placed them.

At the moment when you assume the office of representing your country to us as Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary, we are happy to tell you with what attention and sympathy the Holy See is following the efforts made by Yugoslavia in the field of international relations to foster a spirit of dialogue and cooperation in the service of peace. We express, at the same time, our best wishes for the accomplishment of the high mission your Government has entrusted to you and for which you will always find here a welcome marked by understanding and good will

We entrust to you the care of transmitting our respectful greeting to His Excellency the President of the Republic, whose interpreter you have become for us. We bid you welcome once more, Mr. Ambassador, asking the Lord Almighty to shower his blessings on all the people of your dear country.

*ORa n.15 p.5, 12.


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