Benedict XVI Urges an End to Arms Programs

Meets South Korea’s New Envoy to the Holy See

VATICAN CITY, OCT 11, 2007 ( Benedict XVI told the new South Korean ambassador to the Holy See that he hopes for an end to the development and production of mass-destruction weapons.

The Pope said this today when he received the letters of credence of Francis Ji-Young Kim. The Holy Father lauded the efforts made by Kim’s country to establish reconciliation on the Korean peninsula.

“Genuine progress is built on attitudes of honesty and trust,” the Pontiff said. “I commend your country’s efforts to foster fruitful and open dialogue while simultaneously working to alleviate the pain of those suffering from the wounds of division and distrust.

“Indeed, every nation shares in the responsibility of assuring a more stable and secure world. It is my ardent hope that the ongoing participation of various countries involved in the negotiation process will lead to a cessation of programs designed to develop and produce weapons with frightening potential for unspeakable destruction.”

Benedict XVI also took the occasion to affirm the importance of truth as “the only sure basis for social cohesion.”

He explained: “Truth is not dependent upon consensus but precedes it and makes it possible, generating authentic human solidarity. The Church — always mindful of the truth’s power to unite people, and ever attentive to mankind’s irrepressible desire for peaceful coexistence — eagerly strives to strengthen concord and social harmony both in ecclesial life and civic life, proclaiming the truth about the human person as known by natural reason and fully manifested through divine revelation.”

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