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Thursday, May 20, 2010


VATICAN CITY, 20 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Pope today received the Letters of Credence of Hissa Abdulla Ahmed Al-Otaiba, the first ambassador of the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.) to the Holy See.

  Speaking English to the diplomat the Holy Father highlighted how "love of God and respect for the dignity of one's neighbour motivates the Holy See's diplomacy and shapes the Catholic Church's mission of service to the international community. The Church's action in the field of diplomatic relations promotes peace, human rights and integral development, and thus strives for the authentic progress of all, without regard for race, colour or creed".

  He went on: "The Holy See and the Catholic Church take care to highlight the dignity of man in order to maintain a clear and authentic vision of humanity on the international stage and in order to muster new energy in the service of what is best for the development of peoples and nations".

  The U.A.E., the Holy Father noted, "notwithstanding difficulties, has experienced notable economic growth in recent years. In this context, your country has welcomed many hundreds of thousands of foreigners coming to seek work and a more secure financial future for themselves and for their families".

  "The openness of the United Arab Emirates towards those foreign workers requires constant efforts to strengthen the conditions necessary for peaceful coexistence and social progress, and is to be commended", said the Pope, expressing his satisfaction "that there are several Catholic churches built on lands donated by the public authorities.

  "It is the Holy See's earnest wish", he added, "that this co-operation may continue and indeed flourish, according to the growing pastoral necessities of the Catholic population living there. Freedom of worship contributes significantly to the common good and brings social harmony to all those societies where it is practised. I assure you of the desire of the Catholic Christians present in your country to contribute to the wellbeing of your society, to live God-fearing lives and to respect the dignity of all peoples and religions".
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VATICAN CITY, 20 MAY 2010 (VIS) - Luvsantseren Orgil, the new ambassador of Mongolia to the Holy See, today presented his Letters of Credence to the Holy Father. "As your nation celebrates the twentieth anniversary of its passage to democracy", the Pope told him, "I express my confidence that the great progress made in these years will continue to bear fruit in the consolidation of a social order which promotes the common good of your citizens, while furthering their legitimate aspirations for the future".

  Speaking English, the Pope expressed his "solidarity and concern" for people "who suffered as a result of the harsh winter and the effects of last year's torrential rains and flooding. ... Environmental issues, particularly those related to climate change, are global issues and need to be addressed on a global level", he said.

  "The establishment of diplomatic relations between Mongolia and the Holy See, which took place after the great social and political changes of two decades ago, are a sign of your nation's commitment to an enriching interchange within the wider international community", said the Holy Father. "Religion and culture, as interrelated expressions of the deepest spiritual aspirations of our common humanity, naturally serve as incentives for dialogue and co-operation between peoples in the service of peace and genuine development".

  Pope Benedict likewise expressed his appreciation "for the constant support of the government in ensuring religious liberty. The establishment of a commission, charged with the fair application of law and with protecting the rights of conscience and free exercise of religion, stands as a recognition of the importance of religious groups within the social fabric and their potential for promoting a future of harmony and prosperity".

  "The Church's primary mission is to preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. In fidelity to the liberating message of the Gospel, she seeks also to contribute to the advancement of the entire community. It is this that inspires the efforts of the Catholic community to co-operate with the Government and with people of good will by working to overcome all kinds of social problems.

  "The Church", the Pope added, "is also concerned to play her proper part in the work of intellectual and human formation, above all by educating the young in the values of respect, solidarity and concern for the less fortunate. In this way, she strives to serve her Lord by showing charitable concern for the needy and for the good of the whole human family", he concluded.
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VATICAN CITY, 20 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy See Press Office released the following communique at midday today:

  "This morning the Holy Father Benedict XVI received in audience Feleti Vaka'uta Sevele, prime minister of Tonga. The prime minister subsequently went on to meet with Cardinal Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone S.D.B. who was accompanied by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Relations with States.

  "In the course of the cordial discussions attention focused on the process of institutional reform in Tonga, on various aspect of the archipelago's social and economic life, and on the important contribution the Catholic Church makes in various fields of human promotion. Opinions were then exchanged on the international situation, with particular reference to the political, commercial and environmental problems which the Pacific Island States are facing in a spirit of close collaboration".
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VATICAN CITY, 20 MAY 2010 (VIS) - The Holy Father today received in audience Cardinal Ivan Dias, prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelisation of Peoples.
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