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Thursday, December 16, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 16 DEC 2010 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, the Holy Father received the Letters of Credence of five new ambassadors to the Holy See: Suresh Prasad Pradhan of Nepal; Royson Mabuku Mukwena of Zambia; Miquel Angel Canturri Montanya of Andorra, Vivianne Fock Tave of Seychelles, and Boubacar Sidiki Toure of Mali.

  The Holy Father first addressed the diplomats as a group, then gave each of them a speech in written form concerning issues specific to his or her own country.

  The Pope focused his collective remarks on the subject of human fraternity, in which context he recalled appeals made over the course of the year "for Haiti, devastated first by the earthquake and them by the cholera epidemic. Unfortunately", he said, "other tragedies have taken place in a number of nations this year. Your own counties, the international community and the voluntary sector have responded to the urgent appeals for aid, aid which must certainly continue and intensify. For her part the Church, through her various institutions, also contributes in many ways over the course of time".

  "The great ideal of fraternity, which is part of the national emblem of many countries, has had less resonance in the development of philosophical and political ideas than other ideals such as freedom, equality, progress or unity", the Pope observed. "It is a principle which has become a dead letter in contemporary political societies, due above all to the influence of individualist and collectivist ideologies. Yet fraternity has a special significance for Christians, because of God's plan of fraternal love, the fraternity revealed to us by Christ".

  "In order to live with dignity all human beings need respect, just as they need justice to be done and their rights to be recognised in concrete terms. However, this is not enough to live a fully human life, for human beings also need fraternity, ... not only in their immediate relationships but also on a planetary scale. And, although the current process of globalisation brings people closer together it does not make them brothers".

  "Human reason", said Benedict XVI, "is capable of recognising the equality of all men and the need to limit excessive inequalities among them, yet it is incapable of establishing fraternity. That is a supernatural gift. The Church sees the achievement of human fraternity on earth as a vocation that is part of the creative design of God, Who wishes her to create this fraternity at both the local and universal level, as she does in the countries you represent before the Holy See".

  Yet, the Pope concluded, "although fraternity among men can raise positive echoes in terms of 'social effectiveness', it must not be forgotten that it is not a means but an end in itself. The Church believes that Christ revealed to us that God is love. Thus people who believe in divine charity are certain that the path of love is open to all men and women, and that efforts to establish universal fraternity are not in vain".
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  1. Oh that all the nations on the face of the earth would hear this message, take it to heart, and put it into action for justice among all people.

  2. I love the remarks regarding fraternity. God Bless His Holiness!


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