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Friday, 1 August 1969



When Our journeyings take Us to a Capital City, Gentlemen, it is always an honour and a pleasure for Me to meet the Heads of Missions and the Diplomatic Corps. Rest assured that this is not merely a matter of courtesy and protocol; it is rather the effect of the desire that fills Us not to let slip any opportunity for working to advance the cause of peace.

You know well how dear this cause is to Our heart, how deeply it interests and concerns the Catholic Church, and, We may add, how important a place this preoccupation holds among the reasons that impel Us to undertake Our journeys. If in fact Our principal aim is always and above all a religious one, We nevertheless believe that in this way We can also help men to overcome their divisions and to become more conscious of their brotherhood, and this is the road that leads to peace.

Along this road We meet you; you too are by definition the makers of peace; you too labour to overcome the divisions that keep nations apart; you too wish to help men to become brothers. That is why We place so much store by a meeting, however brief, with the Diplomatic Corps. It seems to Us that here in Kampala, at the heart of this vast continent of Africa, and at a moment such as this, a meeting of this kind acquires most special significance.

We cannot forget that Christ, from Whom We hold Our mandate, was hailed prophetically with the glorious title of «Prince of Peace». It is in His name that We say to you: do not grow weary in working for this great cause; do not let yourselves become discouraged by the obstacles and difficulties that constantly arise; do not lose faith In man. However great his weakness and sometimes his wickedness, what is best in him yearns for and desires peace. In your work that peace may prevail, you have on your side the vast majority of the human race.

We should like this all too brief meeting with you, Gentlemen, to be for each and every one an encouragement and a stimulus to keep burning brightly the flame of hope. God is with you in your efforts to help the world move towards unity and peace. It is, then, with all Our heart that We invoke upon you, your families and your countries, the abundance of His blessings.  

*ORa n.33 p.8.


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