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Thursday, December 16, 2004


VATICAN CITY, DEC 16, 2004 (VIS) - John Paul II welcomed five new ambassadors to the Holy See this morning and, after accepting their Letters of Credence, he addressed them as a group in French. At the end of his speech the Pope greeted each one individually and gave them a personal written message of welcome that made reference to the specific situations in their countries.

  The new ambassadors are: Gilton Bazilio Chiwaula of Malawi, Pradap Pibulsonggram of Thailand, Georges Santer of Luxembourg, Raychelle Awour Omamo of Kenya and Lars Petter Forberg of Norway.

  "Our world today," said the Pope, "has been marked by the scourge of war. In the face of humanitarian dramas, the international community is called to initiate inventive actions on the levels of charity, the economy and politics. It is important that diplomacy, for its part, does all that it can to make peace triumph. I appeal once again to all men and women of good will to definitively lay down arms and to commit themselves to the path of a trusting and fraternal dialogue. Violence never serves the cause of peoples, nor their development."

  John Paul II expressed the wish that "our contemporaries, especially those who guide the destinies of peoples, will always have at heart concern for serving man and the common good."

  He asked each ambassador to transmit his greetings to the citizens and civil and religious authorities in their respective countries, "with a special thought for the Catholic communities" and offered his "best wishes for your new mission."
CD/LETTERS CREDENCE/...                    VIS 20041216 (250)

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