Pope Lauds Defense of Coral Reef

Reminds Seychelles Ambassador of Primacy of Human Dignity

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VATICAN CITY, DEC. 21, 2010 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is congratulating Seychelles for having “surmounted the challenge of the world economic crisis,” as the country “continues to progress and to affirm itself on the path of peace, prosperity and stability.”

The Pope said this last Thursday when he received the letters of credence from the new Seychelles ambassador to the Holy See, Vivianne Fock Tave.

He said the progress of the African island is “the result of the persistent efforts and of the generous contribution of all political and social spheres, of the public and private sectors.”

In congratulating the country for its economic advances, the Holy Father noted that the “planning of economic development must also consider carefully the need to respect the integrity and rhythms of nature because natural resources are limited and some are not renewable.”

<p>”In this realm,” he said, “I appreciate in particular the government’s initiatives to restore and preserve the coral reef. This is the front line of defense in the rising of the level of the ocean and also continues to be an important habitat for the raising of fish — principal contributor of protein of the country. It also provides income and employment in the areas of fishing and tourism. Hence, it is necessary that consumers and agents of industrial activities develop greater responsibility in their behavior.”

The Pontiff suggested that such an increase in responsibility “also entails an active and effective cooperation in respecting and protecting human dignity in face of every attempt to propose reductionist and deformed images, or the instrumentalization of each person. International tourism, [a] notable factor of economic development and cultural growth, can become an occasion for exploitation and moral degradation. Only acknowledgment of human dignity makes possible the common and personal growth of all.”

Family

Benedict XVI also spoke to the Seychelles ambassador about the value of the family. He said it “has a totally original and irreplaceable function in the education of children.”

“With the family, your nation will continue building its future, giving an appropriate formation to its young generations so that they will be able to transcend the limits in which at times there is a desire to enclose them and giving them the concrete means to struggle against social evils, especially unemployment and drugs,” the Pope affirmed. 

He promised the support of the local Church, as much in helping the family as in furthering education and the formation of young people, “as well as the integral human development of each person.”

“This development,” the Holy Father said, “implies spiritual growth and not just material growth whose criterion of orientation is found in the active force of charity in truth.”

Seychelles is about 2.5 times the size of Washington, D.C.. It’s population of some 88,000 is 82% Catholic.

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Full text: www.zenit.org/article-31301?l=english

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