VATICAN CITY, APR. 26, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The Church´s diplomats do not serve for reasons of state, but rather they are heralds of human dignity and the dialogue between peoples, John Paul II said today, when he visited the school that forms the apostolic nuncios and diplomats who serve the Vatican.
The Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy is the Vatican´s diplomatic school. It was founded three centuries ago. To commemorate the occasion, the Holy Father was invited to visit the academy´s premises today, in Rome´s historic Piazza Minerva.
The life of several Popes of the last century was intimately connected with this academy. Leo XIII, Benedict XV, Pius XII and Paul VI were either students or professors at this institution.
During his address to the academy´s students, John Paul II recalled a moving phrase of Paul VI. He reminded them that they are studying to be “experts in humanity,” which is, precisely, what the art of diplomacy requires.
“Others will have to ´see´ Christ in a parish or in the midst of a youth group, in an industrial neighborhood or among the marginalized of society,” the Holy Father stressed. “You have to ´show´ him in contacts in political and diplomatic environments; you will achieve this through the witness of life, even before the force of juridical or diplomatic arguments.”
He added: “You will be effective in the measure in which, no matter who approaches, he will have the sensation of finding in your word, your attitudes, and your life, the liberating presence of the risen Christ.”