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Saturday, 4 June 1977


Mr President,

It is a pleasure for us today to receive Your Excellency at the Vatican, and to welcome all the distinguished persons who accompany you on your visit to the Holy See.

In you we greet the highest official representative of Liberia, and we are indeed happy to have this occasion to give public expression to the great esteem that we have for the people of your land.

Your country is one with whom the Holy See has for years maintained very cordial and friendly relations. We know that this has been facilitated by the peace-loving Liberian people themselves and by upright leadership. In this regard we note Your Excellency’s outstanding personal contribution, and we thank you for the support you have repeatedly given to the international activities of the Holy See, especially on behalf of world peace. You know that these activities are all inspired by a whole Christian concept of man himself, who is created in the likeness of God. It is Christ our Founder who left us a heritage and a challenge when he said: “You are all brothers” (Matth. 23, 8).

Therefore the Holy See will continue to proclaim the crucial themes of human dignity and the fundamental equality of all people, for the attainment of which peace is the necessary condition. Peace on its part will always require the defence of life at all stages, together with integral human development. And this integral human development is indeed, as we said eight years ago on African soil, “the indisputable exigency of justice” (AAS 61 (1969) 582)

In the bonds of friendship and esteem, Mr President, we shall not cease in this quest for the good of humanity and the glory of God. And today with particular regard and benevolence, we invoke upon Your Excellency and all Liberia the choicest blessings of God.    

*AAS 69 (1977), p.421.

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XV, p.557-558.

L’Osservatore Romano, 5.6.1977, p.1.

ORa n. 24 p.2.


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