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Domenica, 13 aprile 1958


Gentlemen, it is a joy for Us to receive during this Easter season a group of Rich distinguished persons – ministers, secretaries of state, members of national legislatures, directors of public organizations and of great private enterprises – as you who are now assembled before Us.

We cordially welcome this visit, and We welcome particularly the many representatives of the territories of Africa and Madagascar for whom the Center of Documentation and Distribution of Information of the Overseas Mineral and Power Industries has organized this information tour.

We are happy to learn that certain Italian industrialists are now helping in the development of these countries. We hope for the best fruits of this international brotherly cooperation.

It pleases Us to see an increase n the exchanges between Europe and Africa, which create so many geographical and historical bonds.

A closeness more effective than protestations of friendship will result from the common development of the considerable riches the Creator has placed at the disposal of human industry in the soil and subsoil of the African continent.

Working together has always been a beneficial means of becoming acquainted and developing mutual esteem.

Though differences of immediate interests may arouse temporary conflicts, a rational concern for the general welfare, the loftiness of a view inspired by a clear-sighted prudence and by feelings of mutual confidence will inspire the seeking for and finding of lawful agreements by which the rights and legitimate aspirations of each side will be respected.

The contribution of capital and technical aid from Europe is an invaluable service which will hasten the economic development of the countries of Africa.

This development is urgent, as everyone realizes, for in the modern world economic interdependence has become such that an underdeveloped country cannot enjoy complete freedom.

The unequal division of the gifts and treasures of nature gives men a moral obligation to aid one another, each according to the understanding and strength he has received. This obligation constantly increases in proportion to the increase in the power at the disposal of the social or national group.

No one can deny today that the most privileged nations are aware of their obligation and seek to fulfill it, in spite of the internal opposition and considerable material difficulty that they must necessarily face. One must rejoice at all the efforts which tend to achieve what the united voices of conscience and broad interest urge to be undertaken without loss of time.

We therefore express the sincere wish that your dealings may meet with brotherly intelligence and gracious goodwill everywhere, and assure a solid and durable cooperation among your various countries for the greatest good of all.

May the Lord of heaven and earth aid and enlighten you. This is the grace We ask of Him for each of you, for your families and for your countries, in pledge of which We grant you Our Apostolic Blessing.

*The Pope Speaks, vol.5 n°1 p.39-40.


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