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Saturday, 7 July 1984


Mr Ambassador,

our meeting today gives me an opportunity to acknowledge publicly the importance which the Holy See attaches to the continuance and development of the bonds of friendship existing between Indonesia and the Holy See. I am happy to welcome you to the Vatican and to accept the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of your country to the Holy See. I am grateful for the kind greetings conveyed by you on behalf of His Excellency President Soeharto, and I would ask you kindly to assure His Excellency that I reciprocate with sentiments of goodwill.

In fidelity to the mission entrusted to me as Supreme Pastor of the Church, I have on numerous occasions drawn attention in public statements to the absolutely urgent nature of the need for men and women in public life to work for the cause of peace. The present moment is decisive for the future of mankind.

As I stated during my recent visit to Asia: "At this time in history there is a great need for wisdom... The only option is sincere dialogue and mutual collaboration, for the construction of a more just order" (Ioannis Pauli PP. II, Allocutio ad Excellentissimos viros, qui apud Rempublicam Coreanam Legatorum munere funguntur, habita, 4, die 4 maii 1984: Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, VII, 1 (1984) 1246).

It is therefore encouraging to note that your Government has many times reiterated its willingness on the international scene to help resolve serious situations of conflict by facilitating dialogue between the parties involved, favouring peaceful and just solutions.

You have also pointed out the priority that your Government assigns to the issue of progress in Irian Jaya. It is the ardent wish of the Holy See that all the rights of individuals be respected and that every effort be made to lighten the sufferings of the people by facilitating the work of relief organizations and by ensuring the access of humanitarian aid to those in need. The Catholic Church is truly concerned for the well-being of everyone.

Regarding the situation in East Timor, you know with what attention the Holy See views this very delicate problem. You know the many efforts it has made to contribute to helping the people of that area and how it has earnestly recommended respect for human rights. The Holy See continues to follow the situation with preoccupation and with the hope that particular consideration will be given in every circumstance to the ethnic, religious and cultural identity of the people.

Mr Ambassador, the Catholic Church in Indonesia stands for the development of all sectors of society in peace and harmony. This year the Church is celebrating the 450th Anniversary of the presence of Catholicism in the Archipelago. This has been a beneficial presence, as witnessed by the many cultural and assistential works staffed by the highly motivated indigenous and missionary personnel who, in carrying out the Gospel mandate to serve their brothers and sisters, are builders too of a just and ordered society for the benefit of all. It is a great satisfaction to note once again that the first and most important principle of your Pancasila is belief in the one supreme God, and that freedom and mutual respect for all religions are stipulated in your Constitution. These are indeed sure bases for true human advancement.

I assure you, Mr Ambassador, that I see your presence here as a clear sign of the willingness of Indonesia and of the Holy See to collaborate closely in whatever is of common concern to us. May Almighty God bless you in the exercise of your diplomatic mission. May he abundantly bless the people of Indonesia with peace and true well-being.

*AAS 76 (1984), p.1054-1056.

Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. VII, 2 pp. 40-42.

L'Attività della Santa Sede 1984 pp. 549-550.

L’Osservatore Romano 8.7.1984 pp.1, 4.

L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in Englishn.33 p.4.


© Copyright 1984 -  Libreria Editrice Vaticana

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