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27 January 1977


Mr. Vice President,

We are happy to extend a cordial welcome to you and to those who accompany you on your visit in Europe.

At the moment in which the new President of the United States has begun his term of office, he has charged you with the important mission of making contacts and consultations, with the intention of obtaining further elements for judging and evaluating the international policy of the United States, a country whose policy has great repercussions and is therefore of special interest to the entire world. We are pleased that this policy is based on the desire to promote peace and international cooperation.

The Holy See, whose activities are motivated not by political considerations but by moral and religious principles, regards these as morally worthy aims, for which it expresses its support in the measure and ways that are proper to it.

In our recent Message for the World Day of Peace we made the appeal: "If you want peace, defend life". We are convinced that everything that wounds, weakens and dishonors life will destroy peace and degrade humanity. Ant it is thus with optimism that we note the commitment of your President in favor of the reduction of weapons, particularly nuclear weapons. We are sure that this will promote common interests and be of immense service to the world.

You have just been celebrating the Bicentennial of your nationhood. At every turn this event spoke to you of those moral values on which America was founded. It is our fervent hope that this great spiritual heritage will be protected and reinforced, for the peace and integral development of your own country and all humanity.

We are pleased once again to send our good wishes to President Carter, and we pray that the inalienable rights to "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" will belong forever to America, as "one nation under God".

*AAS 69 (1977), p.96;

L’Osservatore Romano, 28.1.1977, p.1;

ORa n.5 p.4.


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