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Thursday, 20 May 1999 


Your Excellencies,

It is a pleasure for me to welcome you today in the Apostolic Palace and to receive the Letters accrediting you as Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of your respective countries to the Holy See: Ukraine, Australia, Yemen, Malta, Barbados, Monaco, Iceland and Thailand. I would like to thank you kindly for the cordial messages you have brought me from your Heads of State. I would be grateful if you would convey, in turn, my respectful greetings and cordial wishes for them and for their lofty mission in the service of their peoples. Our meeting is an opportunity for me to greet the leaders of your nations and your compatriots, and to extend my fervent best wishes to the Catholics of your countries, who are keen to participate in all areas of life with their fellow citizens.

On this solemn occasion I would like once again, through you, to make an appeal to all nations that, on all continents, the civil authorities and all people of good will will continue and intensify their efforts for peace, cooperation, solidarity and understanding among peoples. You know the Apostolic See's involvement in these areas so that weapons will be silenced and give way to negotiations, in order that each country may be assisted, with respect for the law, in setting up its institutions and be helped in integrating the different cultures and ethnic groups that comprise it. In fact, it is inconceivable that a State would reject part of its population by using criteria that lead to segregation. Society's leaders are called to be mindful of the conditions for "living well together", so that brotherhood may prevail over hatred and violence.

It is our responsibility to prepare an inhabitable world for the generations to come, giving young people reasons to hope and to commit themselves to administering the earthly city by basing their action on fundamental principles of justice, integrity and respect for others. We should likewise enable the people of our time, particularly young people, to discover the moral and spiritual values that will allow them to grasp the meaning of their personal lives and the meaning of history; these values are the driving force of one's interior life and the life of society.

As you begin your mission, I offer you my best wishes and invoke an abundance of God's blessings upon you, your families, your staffs and the nations you represent.

*L'Osservatore Romano. Weekly edition in English n.21 p.4.


© Copyright 1999 - Libreria Editrice Vaticana


Copyright © Dicastero per la Comunicazione - Libreria Editrice Vaticana