Vatican City (Fides Service) – “Our world is living difficult times, marked by many conflicts of which you are attentive witnesses: this is a cause of concern for many people and prompts the leaders of nations to be ever more committed to promoting peace”. Pope John Paul said this on May 15 in the Vatican when he received a group of 12 new Ambassadors to the Holy See representing Australia, Zimbabwe, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Ethiopia, Latvia, Fiji Islands, Burundi, Georgia, Vanuatu, Moldova and Pakistan.
During the Audience the Pope consigned a special message to each of the Diplomats and then gave a collective discourse in which he underlined the necessity for “diplomacy to rediscover its noble spirit”. Speaking in French the Pope said: “Attention for individuals and peoples, and interest for dialogue, fraternity and solidarity are the basis of diplomatic activity and international institutions charged with promoting first of all peace, which is one of the most precious goods”. The Holy Father then recalled Blessed Pope John XXIII, once a diplomat at the service of the Holy See, and the ever timely importance of his Encyclical Pacem in Terris: “peace cannot be achieved without regard for individuals and people; it is built when all become collaborators and protagonists of the building of a national society”.
The international community has given itself specific bodies and legislation to prevent war and its catastrophic consequences, moreover – the Pope said – “the United Nations Organisation is called to be, today more than ever, the fulcrum of decisions regarding the rebuilding of countries and humanitarian organisations are called to renew their commitment”. This will help the peoples involved to take in hand their own destiny moving more rapidly from fear to hope and confidence in the future. Lastly the Pope launched an appeal “to all who profess a religion that the spiritual and religious sense may be a source of unity and peace and that it may never put people one against the other”. SL (Fides Service 16/5/2003 EM lines 24 Words: 337)