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Friday, May 29, 2009


VATICAN CITY, 29 MAY 2009 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in separate audiences:

- Cardinal Renato Raffaele Martino, president of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace.

- Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, president of the Pontifical Council for Inter-religious Dialogue.

This evening he is scheduled to receive in audience Cardinal William Joseph Levada, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
AP/.../... VIS 20090529 (70)


VATICAN CITY, 29 MAY 2009 (VIS) - Today in the Vatican, the Holy Father received the Letters of Credence of eight new ambassadors to the Holy See: Danzannorov Boldbaatar of Mongolia; Chitra Narayanan of India; Charles Borromee Todjinou of Benin, Robert Carey Moore-Jones of New Zealand; George Johannes of South Africa; Beyon Luc Adolphe Tiao of Burkina Faso; Neville Melvin Gertze of Namibia, and Rolf Trolle Andersen of Norway. 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 began his remarks by assuring the ambassadors that the Catholic communities in their respective nations "wish to collaborate fraternally in national development by making the best contribution they can, a contribution rooted in the Gospel".

"A commitment to serving peace and the consolidation of fraternal relations among nations constitutes the core of your diplomatic mission", said the Pope. "Today, in the midst of a worldwide social and economic crisis, people must regain an awareness of the need to struggle ... in order to establish true peace, with the aim of constructing a more just and prosperous world. Injustices, often so manifest, among or within nations, like all processes that contribute to dividing or marginalising peoples, represent attacks against peace and create a grave risk of conflict".

Peace, the Holy Father went on, "cannot be built but by intervening firmly to eliminate the inequality engendered by unjust systems, and so allowing everyone a standard of living that enables them to live a dignified and prosperous existence. Such inequalities have become even more evident because of the current financial and economic crisis which has also had various repercussions on low-income countries". Among these, the Pope mentioned "the tailing off of foreign investment, the fall in demand for raw materials and the tendency for international aid to diminish", as well as "the drop in remittances of emigrants, likewise victims of the recession which also affects their host countries".

"The crisis could become a catastrophe for the inhabitants of weaker countries", warned Benedict XVI, highlighting how economic woes also have another effect, because "the desperation they bring forces some people to anguished efforts to seek solutions that enable them to survive from day to day. Unfortunately, such efforts are often accompanied by individual or collective acts of violence that can further destabilise already-weakened societies", he said.

The Holy Father then explained how some States, in the face of the crisis, "rather than diminishing aid to the most defenceless nations, have suggested increasing it. Other developed countries should follow this example so that the neediest countries are able to sustain their economies and consolidate social measures designed to protect the most needy sectors of the population". He also launched an appeal for "greater fraternity and solidarity, and real global generosity", and for "developed countries to rediscover a sense of proportion and sobriety in their economies and lifestyles".

"You must not ignore", the Pope told the ambassadors, "new forms of violence that have arisen over recent years and that, alas, seek support from the Name of God to justify dangerous acts. ... This had sometimes led to the view that religions are a threat to societies, and they have been attacked and discredited by claiming that they are not agents for peace. Religious leaders have the duty to accompany and enlighten believers so as to ensure they become increasingly saintly and interpret divine words in the light of truth".

"It is necessary favour the resurgence of world in which religions and societies can open to one another, thanks to the openness that religions practice within and among themselves. This will be an authentic testimony to life. This will create a space for positive and necessary dialogue. By making her contribution to the world, the Catholic Church wishes to bear witness to her positive vision of man's future", the Holy Father concluded.

In the written address delivered to the ambassador from India, the Holy Father speaks of his deep concern for Christians who have suffered from outbreaks of violence in some areas within your borders" and appeals "to all to show respect for human dignity by rejecting hatred and renouncing violence in all its forms".

To the South African representative, Benedict XVI expresses the hope "that in the current struggle against poverty and corruption, courage and wisdom will again prevail", the courage and wisdom shown by the people of South Africa in facing past injustices. Referring then to HIV/AIDS, he gives assurances that "the Church takes seriously her part in the campaign against the spread of [the disease] by emphasising fidelity within marriage and abstinence outside of it. At the same time she already offers much assistance on a practical level to people suffering from this affliction on your continent and throughout the world".
CD/LETTERS OF CREDENCE/... VIS 20090529 (820)
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