Pope Praises US-Cuba Step Forward

Lauds Diplomats’ Efforts to ‘Bring Hearts of Peoples Closer,’ ‘Sow Fraternity Among Nations’

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The work of an ambassador is a work of small steps, of little things, but which always seeks to make peace, bringing the hearts of peoples closer, and sowing fraternity among the nations.

Pope Francis said these words this morning in the Vatican as he received in audience more than a dozen new ambassadors on the occasion of the presentation of their Letters of Credence.

The ambassadors hailed from various continents, and were specifically from the nations of Mongolia, Bahamas, Dominica, Tanzania, Denmark, Malaysia, Rwanda, Finland, New Zealand, Mali, Togo, Bangladesh and Qatar.

In his brief address, without naming the countries, the Pope made reference to the United States and Cuba, and Wednesday’s announcement that they are moving toward reconciliation after decades of conflict.

In addition, the Holy Father told the ambassadors that what they are tasked with is a “very noble work,” and expressed his wish that their efforts will be fecund and fruitful.

A translation of the Pope’s words to the ambassadors is below:

* * *

Ladies and Gentlemen Ambassadors,

I give you a warm welcome and hope that every time you enter this house you will in fact feel at home. All our hospitality and our respect to you and also to your peoples and the Heads of your Governments. I greet all and wish you fruitful work, fecund work.

The work of an Ambassador is a work of small steps, of little things, but which always end by making peace, bringing the hearts of peoples closer, sowing fraternity among the nations. And this is your work, but with little things, very little things.

And today we are all happy because we have seen how two peoples that had been estranged for so many years, yesterday took a step closer. See, this was brought about by Ambassadors of diplomacy. Yours is a noble, very noble work. I hope it will be fecund, fruitful, and may God bless you. Thank you!

[Original text: Italian] [Translation by ZENIT]
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Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is Senior Vatican & Rome Correspondent for ZENIT; author of 'The Other Francis' ('L'Altro Francesco') featuring interviews with those closest to the Pope and preface by Vatican Secretary of State Cardinal Parolin (currently published in 5 languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, often from the Papal Flight (including for historic trips such as to Abu Dhabi and Japan & Thailand), and has also asked him questions on the return-flight press conference on behalf of the English-speaking press present. Lubov has done much TV & radio commentary, including for NBC, Sky, EWTN, BBC, Vatican Radio, AP, Reuters and more. She also has contributed to various books on the Pope and has written for various Catholic publications. For 'The Other Francis': http://www.gracewing.co.uk/page219.html or https://www.amazon.com/Other-Francis-Everything-They-about/dp/0852449348/

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