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Thursday, 16 January 1986


Mr Ambassador,

I am happy to welcome Your Excellency as the Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Jamaica. The Holy See holds in high regard the mission which you are now beginning, and I am confident that your stay will contribute to a strengthening of the cordial ties of friendship and collaboration which mark our present relations.

The art of diplomacy aims at furthering dialogue and understanding between peoples and nations. When necessary, it also fulfils the vital function of seeking solutions to conflicts, tensions and the various problems that can easily arise. All nations can contribute and indeed should contribute to this common diplomatic endeavour, for the activities and policies of any one nation affect the entire fabric of international life. Smaller nations like your own, even though burdened by poverty and a disparity of the distribution of the world’s wealth, as you noted in your speech, are far from being unable to make a significant contribution. The destiny of the world community is so tightly interwoven that the social, economic and political events of any country are bound to affect the stability and well-being of the others.

I am pleased that you have referred to the important themes of peace, justice and human rights. The Holy See is indeed deeply interested in these issues. And as you are aware, the Church in Jamaica most willingly works for human advancement and the good of all people. She has for years been doing so through such institutions as hospitals, schools and homes for the aged. In a special way, she seeks by her teaching and organisations to support and strengthen family life which faces so many obstacles in the modern world.

In this work of development and social justice, the local Church has been generously assisted by missionary personnel. Today we rejoice that increasing numbers of vocations to the priesthood and religious life are coming from Jamaican families. The dedicated lives of these men and women will allow the Church to maintain, and indeed increase, her contribution to the life of your country.

I am grateful for the cordial greetings which you have brought to me from the Government and people of Jamaica, and I ask you to convey my own good wishes. I also wish to thank you for mentioning the possibility of my paying a visit to your country. I look forward to the day when such a visit will be possible.

May Almighty God grant that your nation will continue to advance in social development and above all in spiritual riches. Upon you and all those whom you represent I invoke his blessings of harmony and peace and may he be with you in your important work.

*AAS 78 (1986), p. 659-660.

Insegnamenti di Giovanni Paolo II, vol. IX, 1 pp. 120-121.

L'Attività della Santa Sede 1986 pp. 33-34.

L’Osservatore Romano 17.1.1986 p.5.

L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly Edition in English n.5 p.4.


© Copyright 1986 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana