VATICAN CITY, SEPT. 13, 2001 (Zenit.org).- John Paul II hopes that the United States´ “immense tragedy” will stir the world´s conscience and pave the way for a “new era of international cooperation.”
The Pope strongly expressed this desire this morning in the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, when he received James Nicholson, the new U.S. ambassador to the Vatican, who presented his letters of credence.
“I pray that this inhuman act will awaken in the hearts of the world´s peoples a firm resolve to reject the ways of violence, to combat everything that sows hatred and division within the human family, and to work for the dawn of a new era of international cooperation inspired in the highest ideals of solidarity, justice and peace,” the Pontiff said.
The meeting, scheduled several weeks ago, came two days after the brutal attacks on New York and Washington. The Holy Father to express his “profound participation in the grief of the American people” and his “heartfelt prayers for the president and the civil authorities, for all involved in the rescue operations and in helping the survivors and, in a special way, for the victims and their families.”
The new U.S. ambassador arrived in Castel Gandolfo accompanied by his wife, Suzanne, and one of his three children.
During the meeting, John Paul II said that the moral leadership of the United States in the world “depends on her fidelity to her founding principles.”
“In facing the challenges of the future, America is called to cherish and live out the deepest values of her national heritage: solidarity and cooperation between peoples; respect for human rights; the justice that is the indispensable condition for authentic freedom and lasting peace.”
The Holy Father emphasized the need for a common struggle against humanity´s traditional enemies: “poverty, disease, violence,” and he highlighted the “urgent ethical issues raised by the division between those who benefit from the globalization of the world economy and those who are excluded from those benefits.”
He called for the promotion of “new and creative responses on the part of the whole international community.”
The “revolution of freedom” in the world, he said, must be completed by a “revolution of opportunity, which will enable all the members of the human family to enjoy a dignified existence and to share in the benefits of a truly global development.”
The Holy Father mentioned, among the “many disturbing situations throughout the world, the tragic violence that continues to affect the Middle East, […] which seriously jeopardizes the peace process begun in Madrid.”
“Thanks also to the commitment of the United States, that process had given rise to hope in the hearts of all those who look to the Holy Land as a unique place of encounter and prayer between peoples,” John Paul II said.
Lastly, the Holy Father encouraged the United States “to promote a realistic dialogue that will enable the parties involved to achieve security, justice and peace, in full respect for human rights and international law.”