Papal Letter to Molodovan Ambassador

«Your Nation Has Written Glorious Pages in the History of the European Continent»

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VATICAN CITY, JUNE 10, 2011 ( Here is the message Benedict XVI gave on Thursday to Stefan Gorda, the new ambassador of Moldova to the Holy See, upon receiving his letters of credence.

The Pope received in audience at the same time Hussan Edin Aala of Syria, Narciso Ntugu Abeso Oyana of Equatorial Guinea, 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,

I am happy to receive you this morning, on the occasion of your presentation of the letters that accredit you in the capacity of ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Republic of Moldova to the Holy See. I thank you for the kind words you addressed to me. In turn, I will be grateful if you transmit to Mr. Marian Lupu, acting president of the Republic of Moldova, my cordial wishes for his person, as well as for all the Moldovan people.

The year 2011 marks the 20th anniversary of your country’s independence. It is possible to see what has already been achieved and what still remains to be built. In your address, you frequently stressed the tests that your country has faced, as well as the intense hope that prevails among the population when it comes to resolving the economic problems and those of national unity. It is evident that unity in peace and in serenity is a factor that fosters economic and social development, and that this development also has a positive effect for the realization of unity. I pray that lasting solutions will be found for the good of all through a just political mediation and the safeguarding of the various identities. Your nation has written glorious pages in the history of the European Continent. May this past inspire your present!

Your country wishes to continue progressing. It has established very comprehensible and necessary economic priorities, but they must also respect the interests of national sovereignty, and contribute to the well being of all the components of your society, attempting to avoid derivations that favor some to the detriment of others. To contribute the achievement of this objective, your country wishes to establish close relations with the European Union. It is good that Moldova has the desire to return to the common European home, but this legitimate quest cannot be done if it does not respect the positive values of your country. It must not be determined solely by the economy and material well being. The ideologizing of these two elements in the past indicates the pitfalls to be avoided, given that they can lead to the unilateral abdication of the age-old values of your culture. This adherence, which is an important element, will only be authentic if the European Union recognizes the specific contribution that Moldova can make to be able advance united toward a rich future because of the identity of each nation. Because of its tradition and Christian faith, Moldova can courageously help the European Union rediscover what it no longer wants to see and even denies. Moreover, Moldova’s peace, justice and prosperity, which will result certainly from the realization of its European aspirations, will only be effective if they are experienced by each one of your fellow citizens in the quest for the common good and a permanent ethical concern. Among the essential values are religious values.

Diplomatic relations between Moldova and the Holy See, established 18 years ago now, are harmonious, and I am delighted because of this. They are so because of the Christian faith that dwells in your nation and its inhabitants, and I pay homage to the whole of the Orthodox Church. It has always shared with the Catholic Church the need to defend religious and cultural values against the materialism and relativism that put into question the Christian contribution to life and society. I hope that fraternal relations between Orthodox and Catholic faithful will deepen. These relations of reciprocal respect and friendship are a testimony of love that indicates that beyond the divisions and their consequences, hearts can open to reconciliation, solidarity and fraternity.

The faithful of the Catholic Church in Moldova are not very numerous. Through you, I greet them and, very particularly, the bishop of Chisinau. I am grateful for the juridical recognition that the Catholic Church enjoys in Moldova, for her progressive organization and for the building of new churches such as the cathedral. These events demonstrate the excellence of the dialogue and the collaboration between civil institutions and the Catholic Church. We all know that certain inherited problems from the recent past must yet be resolved. To attempt to cure and close the wounds is another way of contributing positively to the unity of the country and to its development.

I hope that the civil Authorities will have the courage to find satisfactory, just and equitable solutions for the confiscated ecclesiastical patrimony, to allow the Catholic Church to have at her disposal the means to realize her mission, not only in the religious realm, but also in the educational, health care and charitable realms. The Church does not ask for the granting of particular privileges. She wishes to be faithful to her own end and to serve every person without distinction, in keeping with the mission entrusted by Christ. The happy integration of Catholics in your country and the excellent relations with the Orthodox Church demonstrate their good will.

Moreover, many Moldovans have established themselves in European countries of Catholic tradition. Of course they seek economic stability but they also establish bonds with Catholics, thus deepening even more the good relations between both Churches. These two factors are encouraging to find further solutions that will reinforce even more the harmony between the Moldovan State and the Catholic Church. However, I am thinking particularly of young Moldovans. I pray for them and wish to encourage them. I want to express my joy on learning that some one hundred of them will be able to take part for the first time in next August’s World Youth Day in Madrid. And, next October, the Catholic Church will organize her first Social Week. The prospects of these two events have given me great satisfaction. It should inspire pride in your country.

At this time that Your Excellency begins officially your functions to the Holy See, I express my best wishes for your success in the realization of your mission. Be assured, Mr. Ambassador, that among my collaborators you will find the cordial attention and understanding that your high office deserves, as well as the affection of the Successor of Peter for your country.

Invoking the intercession of the Virgin Mary, I pray to the Lord that he may shed abundant blessings upon you, your family and your collaborators, as well as upon the Moldovan people and their leaders.

[Translation by ZENIT]
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