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Pope Tells Ambassadors Their ‘Solemn Duty’ Amid Pressing Needs

Amid Increasingly Complex Global Challenges, Says Fraternity Needed

Fraternity, what is need to face increasingly complex global challenges…

Pope Francis gave this encouragement when receiving the new Ambassadors of Thailand, Norway, New Zealand, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Luxembourg, Mozambique and Ethiopia, for the presentation of the Credentials Letters, today, May 23, in the Sala Clementina of the Vatican’s Apostolic Palace.

The Holy Father began by asking the ambassadors to convey to their respective Heads of State his sentiments of esteem, and to assure them of his prayers for them and for the people that they serve.

“Taking this opportunity, at the start of your new mission, to acknowledge the variety of positive contributions your nations make to the world’s common good,” Francis began, “allow me to make reference to the high responsibility we bear together to protect the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.”

“The pressing need to be attentive to the poorest of our fellow citizens is a solemn duty, which is eloquently expressed when, respectful of legitimate diversity, we are united in promoting their integral human development.  This unity, furthermore, has a concrete name: fraternity!”

While recognizing we are facing increasingly complex global challenges, Francis noted it is right to underline the importance of fraternity, “for striving together to ensure just and peaceful coexistence is not merely a socio-political strategy but is an example of that solidarity which runs deeper than a mutual desire to achieve a shared goal.”

Peace is always possible

“Such fraternity, moreover, can be seen in a universal desire for friendship between individuals, communities and nations,” Francis said, adding: “though it can never be taken for granted.” He noted that among the greatest threats to harmonious living together, are violence and armed conflict.

“Yet the painful lesson of division and hatred also teaches us that peace is always possible,” he underscored, recognizing that conflict resolution and reconciliation are “positive signs of the unity that is stronger than division and of the fraternity that is more powerful than hatred.”

Pope Francis concluded, telling the ambassadors that as they commence their new responsibilities in serving their nations, he assures them of the cooperation and support of the various offices of the Holy See, his prayerful wishes for them and their important work, and invokes on them divine blessings.

Here is the Vatican-provided text of the Pope’s address:

***

Your Excellencies,

I cordially welcome all of you for this presentation of the Letters accrediting you as Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of your countries to the Holy See: Thailand, Norway, New Zealand, Sierra Leone, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Luxembourg, Mozambique and Ethiopia.  I would ask you to convey to the Heads of State of your respective countries my sentiments of esteem, and to assure them of my prayers for them and for the people that they serve.

Taking this opportunity, at the start of your new mission, to acknowledge the variety of positive contributions your nations make to the world’s common good, allow me to make reference to the high responsibility we bear together to protect the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters.  The pressing need to be attentive to the poorest of our fellow citizens is a solemn duty, which is eloquently expressed when, respectful of legitimate diversity, we are united in promoting their integral human development.  This unity, furthermore, has a concrete name: fraternity!

As we face increasingly complex global challenges, it is right to underline the importance of fraternity, for striving together to ensure just and peaceful coexistence is not merely a socio-political strategy but is an example of that solidarity which runs deeper than a mutual desire to achieve a shared goal.  Such fraternity, moreover, can be seen in a universal desire for friendship between individuals, communities and nations, though it can never be taken for granted.  Among the greatest threats to harmonious living together are violence and armed conflict.  Yet the painful lesson of division and hatred also teaches us that peace is always possible.  Conflict resolution and reconciliation are positive signs of the unity that is stronger than division and of the fraternity that is more powerful than hatred.

It is deeply encouraging to witness the ongoing efforts of the international community to overcome situations of armed conflict and to forge pathways of peace, and to see how fraternal dialogue is indispensable in achieving this most precious of goals.  Indeed “dialogue, understanding and the widespread promotion of a culture of tolerance, acceptance of others and of living together peacefully would contribute significantly to reducing many economic, social, political and environmental problems that weigh so heavily on a large part of humanity” (cf. Document on Human Fraternity for World Peace and Living Together, 4 February 2019).

Dear Ambassadors, as you commence your new responsibilities in serving your nations, I assure you of the cooperation and support of the various offices of the Holy See.  Please be certain of my prayerful best wishes for your important work, and upon you, your families and all your fellow citizens, I gladly invoke abundant divine blessings.

[Original text: Italian]

About Deborah Castellano Lubov

Deborah Castellano Lubov is a 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 four languages); Deborah is also NBC & MSNBC Vatican Analyst. She often covers the Pope's travels abroad, at times from the papal flight, and has done television and radio commentary, including for Vatican Radio and BBC. She is a contributor to National Catholic Register, UK Catholic Herald, Our Sunday Visitor, Inside the Vatican, and other Catholic news outlets. She has also collaborated with the Vatican in various projects, including an internship at the Pontifical Council for Social Communications, and is a collaborator with NBC Universal, NBC News, Euronews, and EWTN. 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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