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Thursday, 9 Dicember 1976


Mr Ambassador,

In welcoming Your Excellency, we first of all thank you for transmitting to us the kind greeting of His Excellency President Suharto. We cordially reciprocate his good wishes, praying God to bless the people of Indonesia in the development of their rich cultural heritage.

We also thank Your Excellency for your courteous expressions of esteem for the work of the Holy See and of the Catholic Church in your country and throughout the world. The Church, indeed, has no other intention than that which led Saint Francis Xavier to Indonesia. As we recalled on the occasion of our own unforgettable visit to your great and beautiful land, “his wish was to do good, the greatest good possible, to his fellowmen, because he knew that was what God wished of him” (AAS 63 (1971) 73).

An extremely valuable part of the heritage that your people have preserved and are prepared to and on to future generations is deep respect for the religious life of all, and readiness on the part of the authorities to take account of and foster that religious life, while refraining from interference in the quest for truth and adherence to it.

The Catholic Church is also anxious to see the greatest respect for the consciences of religious communities. The Second Vatican Ecumenical Council devoted to this subject one of its most important documents (Dignitatis Humanae). We are convinced that such respect lies at the basis of all true progress, since religious freedom is so intimately linked with the dignity and the personal dynamism of man.

At this time we are also pleased to note the significant material progress that your country has successfully made in recent years. We know that it is the fruit of sustained effort and collaboration. And it is our hope that this development will indeed help to provide those favourable conditions of human living, with the help of which the beloved people of Indonesia will be led to find the most profound happiness of life. This is our wish for them through the kindly assistance of Almighty God.

*AAS 68 (1973), p.733-734.

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XIV, p.1034-1035.

L'Attività della Santa Sede 1976, p.346-347.

L'Osservatore Romano, 9-10.12.1976, p.1.

ORa n.52 p.4


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