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Friday, October 22, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 22 OCT 2010 (VIS) - "Slovenia's integration into the European Union, which has been achieved in an increasingly organic way over recent years, has one of its fundamental premises in the shared Christian roots of the 'old continent'". Benedict XVI told Maja Marija Lovrencic Svetek, the new ambassador of Slovenia to the Holy See, as he received her Letters of Credence today.

  "Looking at the history of the Slovenian people, what clearly emerges is the imprint of the moral and spiritual values of Christianity. ... This heritage has constituted, even in the most difficult and painful times, a constant ferment of comfort and hope and has supported Slovenia on its journey towards independence following the fall of the communist regime.

  "In that period the Holy See was particularly close to the Slovenian nation", the Pope added, going on to note that in her address the new ambassador had "underlined how relations between the Republic of Slovenia and the Holy See have been good since their inception, and still continue so today. In this context", he said, "it is my hope that solutions may be found to all the problems still unresolved by the Agreement signed on 14 December 2002".

  The Holy Father continued: "In exercising her democratic prerogatives, Slovenia has achieved a certain economic wellbeing, which has enabled her to consolidate peaceful civil and social coexistence. It was with pleasure that I learned the news of the recent approval of a law concerning the question of the so-called 'Erased'. ... This is an important step forwards in the attempt to solve the cases of those people who lost the right to residency, work and healthcare assistance. I encourage you to continue in this direction and hope efforts will be made to alleviate their suffering".

  Referring then to the ambassador's words concerning "the commitment to the good of mankind, which unites the activities of the Apostolic See and of the Republic of Slovenia", the Holy Father explained how "the Apostolic See encourages initiatives adopted in the international arena to promote peace and justice, in order to overcome disagreements and intensify constructive relations". In this context he described Slovenia's recent entry into the Organisation for Co-operation and Economic Development as "a positive step" and "an important testimony of openness and of the desire to collaborate with other countries".

  "The Catholic Church's specific mission, which she undertakes in Slovenia as in all other parts of the world, is that of announcing the Gospel, and bringing all mankind to the salvation that comes from the Lord Jesus. One sign of the vivacity of the Church in Slovenia is the National Eucharistic Congress, celebrated recently ... in Celje", the culmination of which was "the beatification of the young Lojze Grozde, martyred in hatred for the faith during a very difficult period in the country's history.

  "Other signs of the vitality of the ecclesial community in Slovenia are its numerous pastoral and charitable activities in various social contexts", the Pope concluded. "I take this opportunity to send a warm greeting to all Catholics in your country. Through various initiatives they seek to help everyone, and to deepen the spiritual meaning of life, and wish to contribute to building an ever more just and united society, while respecting the beliefs and religious practices of each individual".
CD/                                    VIS 20101022 (560)

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