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Thursday 29, November 1973


Mr Ambassador,

We thank you very much for the kind words and the serious reflections and considerations with which you have presented the Letters accrediting you as the first Ambassador of New Zealand to the Holy See. We fully share the satisfaction you have expressed at the inauguration of diplomatic relations, and like yourself we enter upon them deeply aware of the mutual respect and esteem of which they are the indication.

It affords us pleasure that you should recall the journey of peace which in 1970 took us as far as the South Pacific. By making that journey we manifested, among other things, the immense importance which we attach to that whole region in the context of an emerging and increasingly interdependent world community. We regret that our itinerary did not permit us to visit your country with its young and dynamic people and its vigorous Catholic population. Recalling at this time a great figure in the Church and a staunch citizen of New Zealand, we evoke with reverence the memory of the late Cardinal McKeefry, beloved by us and by those he served.

We appreciate what you have said in recognition of the Holy See’s active participation in the promotion of development and peace among peoples. Your Excellency has likewise spoken of the objectives which unite your Government and the Holy See in a common search for peace through the improvement of economic and social conditions, through disarmament and the defence of the environment. In this regard we esteem the idealism which inspires New Zealand and the valid contributions it continues to make. On its part, the Holy See, in the measure permitted by its nature and mission, willingly seeks to contribute to the solutions of the grave problems affecting the welfare and security of mankind.

Finally, Mr Ambassador, we express the hope that your task of representing your country to the Holy See will be rewarding for yourself and beneficial to all. We would ask you to convey our warm greetings and respectful good wishes to the civil authorities and all the people of New Zealand, upon whom we invoke abundant divine blessings and favours.


*AAS 65 (1973), p.662-663;

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XI, p.1159-1160;

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1973, p.416-417;

OR 30.11.1973, p.1;

ORa n.50 p.5.

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