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Monday, 28 February 1972


Mr. Ambassador,

We thank Your Excellency, for your kind words and we are happy to welcome you on this solemn occasion when you present to us the Letters that accredit you as Ambassador extraordinary and plenipotentiary of the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia to the Holy See. We know the long experience you have had the opportunity to acquire and use in the diplomatic posts entrusted to you. The one to which you now come presents a rather particular character in the family of nations. Your mission, for which we wish you all success, is opening under happy auspices, immediately after a period that has marked considerable developments in the reciprocal relations between your country and the Holy See.

We accept with satisfaction the sentiments which His Excellency the President of the Republic has charged you to express. We are far from forgetting his visit, and we ask you to convey to him our sincere wishes for himself and for the prosperity and happiness of all the Yugoslav peoples. The latter as you know, are dear to us for several reasons. We have great esteem for their past history, so rich in human, cultural and religious values; and we have also very clearly in mind the events that mark their present life. We are very glad, in this circumstance, to manifest, beyond your person, the esteem and benevolence we feel for them.

We are very attentive, too, to the concerns of your Government, particularly as regards the peaceful r settlement of conflicts and the establishment of a lasting peace among the nations. It is evident that such a peace can be founded only Justice, in respect of the indefeasible, rights of persons and of minorities; arid with the concern to harmonize the personal fulfilment of each individual with the common good of the country, of Europe or of all the peoples.

Among these rights, and these elements of peace the Church is concerned above all with respect for conscience and religious communities. It is moreover, our conviction and our experience that the religious peace that is the result of such respect is a sign, a stimulus and an important factor of progress in all fields, since it is deeply bound up with the dignity, the freedom and the inner dynamism of persons.

In the same way, everything that is good and great, everything that is honest and just, everything that has contributed and. contributes today to real human development, on the economic, social, cultural, artistic, moral and spiritual plane, realty interests the Church; she is ready to defend it, upgrade it, promote it. In this sense, she invites her sons, believers, to cooperate loyally with all men of goodwill for the construction of an increasingly better, more just and fraternal world. For her, in a civilization worthy of the name, all persons and all elements composing the peoples find their place freely contribute their individual share of work, responsibility, .humanism, culture and faith, and cordial wishes for the peace and it is in this spirit that we have express :the prosperity of every nation, and of international association, pending .the time when we will see cooperation spread and be realized on a worldwide scale, according, to the Creator’s plan for the human family.

Such are, as Your Excellency knows constant concerns of the Holy See, such is the ideal that animates us in our relations with those in whose hands are, the destinies of peoples, and with their representatives. Rejoicing in the understanding we have already met with among the authorities of your country we do not doubt, Mr. Ambassador, that your mission will contribute to setting up more and more fruitful relations for the Federal Socialist Republic of Yugoslavia as well as for the Catholic Church. And repeating once more our best wishes, we invoke the blessings of God on yourself, your dear ones and all the Yugoslav peoples.

*ORa n.10 p.2.


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