Holy Father's Note to Envoy of Equatorial Guinea

“Participate Actively and Wisely in the Building of a Serene and Harmonious Coexistence”

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 10, 2011 (Zenit.org).- Here is the message Benedict XVI hand delivered on Thursday to Narciso Ntugu Abeso Oyana, the new ambassador of Equatorial Guinea to the Holy See, upon receiving his letters of credence.

The Pope received in audience at the same time Hussan Edin Aala of Syria, Stefan Gorda of Molova, George Robert Furness Troup of New Zealand, Henry Llewellyn Lawrence of Belize, and Geneviève Delali Tsegah of Ghana. The Holy Father gave one speech addressing all the new diplomats and then gave letters to each individually, which addressed the specific nations they represent.

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Mr. Ambassador:

1. I am happy to receive from Your Excellency’s hands the letters that accredit you as ambassador extraordinary plenipotentiary of Equatorial Guinea to the Holy See, expressing at the same time my most cordial welcome to this solemn act.

I am grateful for the kind greeting you transmit to me on behalf of the president of the republic. While I correspond with pleasure to this deference, I pray to the Almighty that the diplomatic mission that Your Excellency begins today will strengthen further the trajectory of healthy independence and reciprocal respect between the Church and state in your dear nation, with which the Holy See maintains close relations and which it follows with solicitous attention, eloquent sign of which is the recent appointment of the new bishop of Ebebiyin.

2. Mr. Ambassador, as your courteous words manifested, which have made me feel closer to your homeland, your compatriots harbor profound sentiments toward the Successor of Peter, all of them filled with heartfelt and faithful devotion, fruit of the vigor and diligence with which the evangelical seed was sown in your noble lands, to be deeply rooted in them and to produce a splendid harvest both in the spiritual as well as the material order.

3. In perfecting a society and in implementing new structures capable of giving it a more flexible character, the encouraging presence of the Church is not absent to the sons and daughters of Equatorial Guinea, instilling the light of faith in Christ, who manifests to man his authentic vocation and helps him to work without faltering for all that which dignifies and exalts. This makes one harbor the firm hope that your compatriots, strengthened by this same faith, will not vacillate in their resolutions to participate actively and wisely in the building of a serene and harmonious coexistence. In that climate, the human person will be able to realize himself fully in keeping with his lofty dignity and fundamental rights and the essential values of protection of life, health care, the development of education and solidarity, as well as the safeguarding of the environment and the equitable distribution of wealth will germinate copiously. All this is the indispensable condition to intensify real social progress, which reaches all, but especially the poorest and neediest, and to which all can contribute with their appropriate, free and responsible, contribution.

4. In this connection, I do not doubt that the authorities of your beloved country, whom Your Excellency represents, will be able to channel and interpret the genuine aspirations of your fellow citizens, reflection of the historical, moral and cultural patrimony itself, and in whose development and subsequent consolidation in persons’ conscience and in society itself the constant, selfless and intense task of the Church has also had a role of eminent significance.

In this respect, one cannot fail to note with heartfelt satisfaction the efforts carried out to recuperate and restructure many places of worship, as well as the business initiatives for improving living conditions of the citizens, especially those who experience great difficulty living in a dignified way. Hence I encourage all to continue following this path with enthusiasm, remedying the existing social, economic and cultural needs. For its part, in the realm of its own mission, the Christian community will continue with renewed and generous commitment to put at the disposal of the people of Equatorial Guinea its long and fruitful experience in the field of the promotion of marriage and the family, health care, the formation of new generations and the exercise of charity and beneficence. It could not be otherwise, as the Church does not ignore that all that fosters concord and fraternity, the eradication of poverty, the increase of justice and dialogue, as well as the fostering of mutual understanding, opens luminous horizons for the future and exalts the human being, whom it must never be forgotten is image of God.

5. Mr. Ambassador, on praying to the Almighty that the high responsibility that has been entrusted to you be surrounded by abundant success, I assure you that the Roman Curia and its different offices will always be willing to help you in carrying it out. Upon Your Excellency, your relatives and collaborators, as well as on all the peoples of Equatorial Guinea, I invoke fervently bountiful blessings from heaven.

[Translation by ZENIT]
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