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Friday, November 4, 2011


VATICAN CITY, 4 NOV 2011 (VIS) - This morning in the Vatican, Benedict XVI received the Letters of Credence of Joseph Tebah-Klah, the new ambassador of Cote d'Ivoire to the Holy See. Their meeting coincided with the fortieth anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two States.

In his address to the diplomat, the Holy Father spoke of the great concern with which he had followed the recent post-electoral crisis, which created the divisions currently affecting Cote d'Ivoire. He also expressed his hope that the recently created Dialogue, Truth, and Reconciliation Commission would carry out its duties diligently and impartially.

"The serious crisis affecting Cote d'Ivoire", said the Pope, "has given rise to equally serious violations of human rights, and much loss of life. For this reason, I encourage your country to promote any initiatives that may lead to peace and justice. You must not be afraid to discover the truth behind all the crimes and violations committed against the rights of the people. It will only be possible to live together harmoniously by striving after truth and justice, ... and by recognising and respecting the sacred nature of all human life. Each life comes from God and is sacred by virtue of its divine origin. Thus the loss of a human life - whether great or small, rich or poor - is always a tragedy, and especially when man is responsible".

The Holy Father described the diversity of religions and ethnicities in Cote d'Ivoire as "a great treasure. Coexistence must always be ardently supported and encouraged", he said, going on to encourage political leaders to work to ensure that the country's resources benefit all citizens equally.

The Church for her part "makes her own specific contribution to reconstruction efforts. She has no desire to replace the State but she can, through her many institutions in the fields of education and health, bring comfort and care to the soul. Indeed, such aid is often more necessary than material support, especially when both wounds of the body and wounds of the soul are in need of attention".

In closing the Holy Father called for the Virgin Mary to intercede, that the Lord might pour His abundant blessings upon the people of Cote d'Ivoire.
CD/ VIS 20111104 (390)

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