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Friday, 5 February 1982


Mr Ambassador,

It is with much pleasure that I welcome Your Excellency as the first Ambassador of the Republic of Singapore to the Holy See and that I receive, together with your Letters of Credence, the kind greetings of His Excellency President C. V. Devan Nair.

I would like to express also my own best wishes for his Excellency the President and for all the people of Singapore.

In the relatively short time since the city of Singapore was founded it has grown rapidly. People of different origins have come together to form the present industrious population of your republic.

They have seen the need, as Your Excellency remarked, to live and work harmoniously together.

Their very variety underlines the importance of the human values that are common to all mankind.

Their collaboration enriches society as a whole, to whose welfare each group has its own valuable contribution to make. In turn each group has much to gain from a situation such as exists in Singapore: their constant association with people steeped in a different civilization from their own has no small part to play in the development of their own particular genius and spirit. I am therefore very happy to see understanding and cooperation prevail among the people of Singapore. And I pray that this attitude will continue to reign among them, not only for the good of their own country, but also as an example for others and for the international community as a whole.

From a very early stage in the history of Singapore the members of the Catholic Church in your country have willingly played their part in serving the community, especially by their work in the field of education. The Church’s mission is not of the political, economic, or social order: her purpose is a religious one. But this religious mission can be the source of commitment and vigour in serving the moral and spiritual interests of the human community and establishing it in accordance with the law of God. The Church therefore offers her unreserved cooperation in fostering among all people that brotherhood which corresponds to man’s high destiny. Her motives are free from earthly ambition. Her only goal is to carry forward the work of Christ, for he came into the world to bear witness to the truth, to save and not to judge, to serve and not to be served.

Accordingly I look forward to cordial cooperation between the Republic of Singapore and the Holy See in fostering understanding and harmony between peoples, and restoring peace where it is injured, protecting it where it is undermined and strengthening it further wherever it is preserved.

The diplomatic relations now established will facilitate this cooperation. I ask God to make it prosper and to bless Your Excellency and your mission.

*AAS 74 (1982), p. 466-467.

Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol.V, 1 pp. 305-306.

L'Attività della Santa Sede 1982 pp. 98-99.

L’Osservatore Romano 6.2.1982 pp.1, 2.

L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.7 p.10.


© Copyright 1982 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana