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Friday, 29 May 2009


Mr Ambassador,

I welcome you with pleasure at the presentation of the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Burkina Faso to the Holy See. I thank you for the courteous words you have addressed to me, as well as for the respectful good wishes you have conveyed to me from H.E. Mr Blaise Compaoré, President of the Republic. In return kindly express to him my high esteem for him and for the people of Burkina Faso, whom I hope will live in peace and brotherhood.

Mr Ambassador, the financial crisis the world is currently experiencing is making the African economies more and more fragile and families see their difficulties increasing, mainly because of the spread of poverty, unemployment and disease. In this context young people too are prompted to travel far from their country to seek a better future and to help their families. I warmly hope that authentic solidarity will be shown between the developed and the poorer countries. It is indispensable, particularly in moments of crisis, not to reduce aid for development, and also to honour the promises made on many occasions. Nonetheless, as I had the opportunity to say during my recent Apostolic Visit to Africa, "African men and women themselves, working together for the good of their communities, should be the primary agents of their own development" (Address at Meeting with Political and Civil Authorities and with the Diplomatic Corps, Presidential Palace, Luanda, 20 March 2009). Thus, the authentic values of the African peoples could be taken into consideration and it would be possible to prevent them from being mere recipients of programmes worked out for them by others. In this perspective, I rejoice in the important service carried out by the John Paul II Foundation for the Sahel, which has just celebrated its 25th anniversary in Ouagadougou. It is an eloquent sign of the solidarity of the Catholic Church with the countries of the Sahel that are particularly affected by drought, hunger and desertification, and of its effective participation in the fight against these evils which undermine the dignity of the populations' lives.

For the real development of society, the re-establishment of harmony and security in the region, on which your country is particularly keen, is of essential importance. The results already achieved show that it is only through patient dialogue that differences may be resolved and peace and justice established. I would like to encourage peace- lovers, both men and women, and particularly those with responsibilities in society, to persevere courageously with their efforts to ensure that the rediscovered stability and tranquillity will be able to affirm relations of brotherhood and solidarity among the peoples of the region in deep mutual trust.

Mr Ambassador, as you emphasized, through her work in the fields of health care, education and social action, the Catholic Church is profoundly committed to Burkinabè society. Through her service to the population, the Church hopes to contribute, keeping within her own province, to responding to the numerous and difficult challenges that families are facing. Indeed, the safeguard of family values must be an important concern for everyone because the family is the main pillar of the social structure. Thus, signs of the break-down of family cohesion cannot but lead to situations of which children and young people will often be victims. The education and formation of the young generations are also of primordial importance for the nation's future. In the face of life's difficulties, society must give its youngest members reasons to live and to hope.

To contribute to building the nation, the consolidation of bonds of friendship between all believers is a task that must be pursued without respite. I am particularly glad about the good relations and collaboration between Christians and Muslims in your country which have developed for some years. In seeking ever better understanding, in mutual respect and rejecting all forms of violence and intolerance, believers bear an eloquent witness to God and further the common good.

At the end of this meeting, Mr Ambassador, I would also like to greet through you the Bishops of Burkina Faso as well as all the members of the Catholic community, with whose dynamism I am familiar. While we are preparing to celebrate the Second Special Assembly for Africa of the Synod of Bishops, I invite them in particular to include in their prayers the preparation of this great ecclesial event and the event itself and, in collaboration with all their compatriots, to be artisans of reconciliation, justice and peace.

Mr Ambassador, at the time when you are inaugurating your mission to the Holy See, my cordial good wishes for its successful accomplishment accompany you. While I hope that the harmonious relations that exist between Burkina Faso and the Holy See may continue and develop positively expressed in the recent opening of an Apostolic Nunciature in Ouagadougou I assure you of the availability of my collaborators, among whom you will always find an attentive welcome and cordial understanding.

I ask the Almighty to pour out an abundance of his gifts upon you, Your Excellency, upon your family, and upon your co-workers at the Embassy, as well as upon the leaders and all the inhabitants of Burkina Faso.

*L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n. 23 p. 6.


© Copyright 2009 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana