Pontiff Praises Liberty in Mongolia

Speaks With Ambassador About 20 Years of Democracy

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 20, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is assuring his appreciation for efforts to protect religious liberty in Mongolia, since he says authentic development must take into account man’s spiritual nature.

The Pope said this today when he received the letters of credence of Mongolia’s new ambassador to the Holy See, Luvsantseren Orgil.

The Holy Father noted the northern Asian’s 20th anniversary of passage to democracy, expressing his confidence «that the great progress made in these years will continue to bear fruit in the consolidation of a social order which promotes the common good of your citizens, while furthering their legitimate aspirations for the future.»

As Mongolia became a democratic nation, it established relations with the Holy See. The Pontiff said this relationship is «a sign of your nation’s commitment to an enriching interchange within the wider international community.»

He added: «Religion and culture, as interrelated expressions of the deepest spiritual aspirations of our common humanity, naturally serve as incentives for dialogue and cooperation between peoples in the service of peace and genuine development.

«Authentic human development, in effect, needs to take into consideration every dimension of the person, and thus aspire to those higher goods which respect man’s spiritual nature and ultimate destiny. For this reason, I wish to express my appreciation for the constant support of the government in ensuring religious liberty.»

Global world

Benedict XVI also took the occasion to express «solidarity and concern» for those who «suffered as a result of the harsh winter and the effects of last year’s torrential rains and flooding.»

«As you have rightly observed,» he told the ambassador, «environmental issues, particularly those related to climate change, are global issues and need to be addressed on a global level.»

The prolonged period of paralyzing cold in Mongolia wreaked havoc on nomadic herders in the country, killing as many as 8 million livestock. The United Nations has appealed for $18.1 million in aid for Mongolia.

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-29327?l=english

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