By Linda Bordoni
The new Ambassadors to the Holy See whom Pope Francis received in the Vatican on Thursday hail from Seychelles, Mali, Andorra, Kenya, Latvia and Niger.
They are part of a corps representing some 183 States that currently have diplomatic relations with the Holy See.
In his discourse, Pope Francis noted that the meeting today takes place “as Christians throughout the world prepare to celebrate the birth of the one whom we address as the Prince of Peace.”
Peace: a journey of hope and dialogue
And quoting from his Message for the 2020 World Day of Peace which will be marked on 1 January, he said that “peace is the aspiration of the entire human family. It is a journey of hope, encompassing dialogue, reconciliation and ecological conversion.”
Referring to the Message, he reiterated the Catholic Church’s commitment to cooperate with every responsible partner “in promoting the good of each person and of all peoples.”
He told the diplomats that he hopes their mission “will contribute not only to the consolidation of the good relations existing between your nations and the Holy See, but also to the building of a more just and peaceful world in which human life, dignity and rights are respected and enhanced.”
Noting that the path to peace begins with openness to reconciliation, the Pope said it is a path “which entails renouncing our desire to dominate others and learning to see one another as persons, sons and daughters of God, brothers and sisters.”
“Only when we set aside indifference and fear can a genuine climate of mutual respect grow and flourish,” he said.
The Pope called for the will to develop a culture of inclusion, a more just economic system and various opportunities for the participation of all in social and political life.
Ambassadors represent the international community
He said the presence of the diplomats in the Vatican is a sign of the resolution of the nations they represent, and of the international community as a whole, “to address the situations of injustice, discrimination, poverty and inequality that afflict our world and threaten the hopes and aspirations of coming generations.”
The Pope decried the fact that increasingly the “path to peace is blocked also by a lack of respect for our common home and particularly by the abusive exploitation of natural resources viewed only as a source of immediate profit, without consideration of the cost to local communities or to nature itself.”
Common good and common home
He said our world is facing a series of complex challenges to the sustainability of the environment, not only for the present but also for the immediate future and recalled the recent Amazon Synod that “called for a renewed appreciation of the relationship between communities and the land, between present and past, and between experience and hope.”
“A commitment to responsible stewardship of the earth and its resources is urgently demanded at every level, from family education, to social and civic life, and to political and economic decision-making,” he said.
The Pope concluded reminding the ambassadors that the common good and our common home demand cooperative efforts to promote the integral development of every member of our human family, and he assured them of the “constant readiness of the various offices of the Roman Curia” to assist in the fulfillment of their responsibilities.