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Thursday, 11 January 1979


Mr Ambas


I RECIPROCATE MOST CORDIALLY the kind wishes that you have conveyed from the principal civil authorities of the Republic of India. Their courtesy gives me much pleasure, as do your presence and words you have spoken in presenting the Letter by which you are accredited as your country’s Ambassador to the Holy See.

You have rightly pointed out the interdependence of all members of the human race, which has today become more evident than before. No longer can we knowingly or unknowingly ignore the existence and needs of other individuals and peoples. It is increasingly clear that all nations form a single global society.

In spite of the attempts at self-isolation that are sometimes made, each country is influenced for good or ill by the others. Each country feels the effects of the ideas adopted in others, their level of prosperity, their peace or lack of it, their good order and their freedom. The miseries of others are a very unsure foundation on which to build one’s own success.

The wise course consists in helping one another, in fostering everywhere peace, the prosperity that makes integral development possible, and devotion to noble ideals. It is a course that calls for perseverance and dedication. Those who choose it well deserve the support and encouragement that is in my power to give them, for is the course that the Catholic Church is in duty bound to inspire in all who will listen to her message.

The Christian message with which she is charged, as Your Excellency knows, is one that intimately links love of God and love of man: thus whoever follows the path that she teaches will have to prove his love of God by banishing from his heart selfishness, pride, inordinate ambition, rivalry and injustice and treat others as he would wish to be treated by them. The Church endeavours to build up such an attitude within people, an attitude without which there cannot be a sincere policy of solidarity with the individuals and peoples that constitute the human family. 

India is blessed with many precious elements in her ancient living tradition that favour such an attitude. I therefore look to her with great confidence in the contribution that she is to make to peace, to true progress and to ensuring respect for the full spiritual dignity of man. I ask God to keep her in his care. 

I also pray for the success of your mission. An ambassador has special responsibility for promoting international cooperation for the good of all. Your Excellency is charged with the particular duty of making still more fruitful the relations of friendship between India and the Holy See. You can therefore count on my full support and that of my assistants and on our prayers.

*AAS 71 (1979), p. 351-352.

Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. II, 1 pp. 41-42.

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1979 p.19.

L'Osservatore Romano 12.1.1979 pp.1, 2.

L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.4 p.4.


© Copyright 1979 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana

© Copyright - Libreria Editrice Vaticana