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Thursday, 2 December 1971


Mr. Ambassador.

We listened with attention to the noble expression you have just addressed to us on presenting the Letters that accredit you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Bolivia to the Holy See.

Thanking you for these sentiments, we bid you a warm welcome and express our satisfaction at meeting Your Excellency again, whom, we already had the pleasure of knowing when the high office of representing your country to this Apostolic See was entrusted to you previously.

You were kind enough to refer in you address to our work and the work of the whole Church in the modern world, to give light to men in search of real brotherhood, harmonious progress, peace and justice.

We well know the echo that these ideals call forth in our beloved sons of Bolivia, whose Christian traditions must help them to be more and more sensitive and active in the common obligation to find new and peaceful paths, in which all individuals and all nations will have the possibility to develop fully.

Saying this, we think with particular affection of the farm labourers, the workers, the most humble and foresaken people, who are the most dearly cherished treasure for the Church, to whom she always wishes to dedicate her best care, not only in order that they may have more, but that they may be more (cfr. PP 6 and 15), and be themselves the active subjects of their elevation.

Offering the light of the divine Message and cooperating with the determined work of her sons, the Church is not actuated by human interests: she is responding to the call of the Spirit, who urged her to plant now, on the earth, the Kingdom of Heaven, the final plenitude of which gives man the overall view of his pilgrimage in the world.

Today more than ever, human problems with their complexity and implications, go beyond the limits of small groups and even nations, reaching universal dimensions. In this perspective, the Church, by her very nature, feels particularly bound to offer her disinterested service when it is a question of finding deep solutions and putting them into practise, with the desire of continuing faithfully the work of Christ, who came to the world to bear witness to the truth, to save, to set free, to serve (cfr. GS 63).

We hope and trust that this action of the Church will be advantageous for all, and that Bolivians will find in it a stimulus for their efforts and sure guidance in their match towards complete progress, in order that it may be directed by the highest spiritual and moral values, and implemented in an atmosphere of brotherhood, real justice and peaceful coexistence.

We are happy to respond with our deep gratitude to the respectful greeting you transmitted to us on behalf of His Excellency the President of the Republic and the Authorities of your country.

Confirming our benevolence for the successful accomplishment of your lofty mission, Mr. Ambassador, we express to you our best wishes, while we wholeheartedly invoke upon all our beloved sons of Bolivia choice and abundant divine blessings.

*ORa n.50 p.11.


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