Pope Francis meeting with the five new Ambassadors accredited to the Holy See Pope Francis meeting with the five new Ambassadors accredited to the Holy See  (Vatican Media)

Pope to new Ambassadors: Be champions of dialogue and hope for peace

Speaking to five Ambassadors newly-accredited to the Holy See, Pope Francis highlights their crucial role in promoting peace, saying they are beacons of dialogue and hope in a world torn apart by war.

By Lisa Zengarini

Pope Francis accepted the Credential Letters presented by five new Ambassadors to the Holy See. The nations they represent include Iceland, Bangladesh, Syria, The Gambia and Kazakhstan.

Welcoming the diplomats in the Vatican on Saturday, the Pope upheld the positive role of Ambassadors as “bridge builders “ and reiterated the Holy See’s ongoing commitment to peace in a world marred by war and divisions.

Wars, migrations , poverty and climate change

Introducing his address, Pope Francis turned his thoughts in particular to the “beloved Syrian people” recovering from the recent devastating earthquake that hit the country and neighbouring Turkey in February in the midst of the ongoing suffering caused by armed conflict.

He  further mentioned other nations currently facing violent conflicts and unrest, such as Sudan, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Myanmar, Lebanon, Haiti, as well as Ukraine, and also recalled  the migration and climate crises, as well as poverty still afflicting so many peoples around the world, which, he said, confirm the “growing imbalance in the global economic system”.

One human family

Referring  to this dramatic scenario causing so much suffering, Pope Francis asked a series of poignant questions highlighting that peoples and nations are “one human family” that can only truly thrive when all of its members are respected and cared for.  

“When will we learn from history that the ways of violence, oppression and unbridled ambition to conquer land do not benefit the common good? When will we learn that investing in the wellbeing of people is always better than spending resources on the development of deadly weapons? When will we learn that social, economic and security issues are all interrelated? When will we learn that we are one human family which can only truly thrive when all of its members are respected, cared for and able to make their own unique contributions?”

“Until we come to this realization”, he remarked, ”we will continue to experience what I have been calling a third world war being fought piecemeal”.

On the other hand, Pope Francis also aknowledged positive developlements, such as the “extraordinary technological and scientific achievements and the steps already taken to address social issues and further develop international law”.

However, he warned that these “laudable” achievements  should not  make us become “complacent or indifferent concerning the current situation of the world” or “fail  to guarantee that all of our brothers and sisters benefit from these achievements and developments”.

Ambassadors are bridge builders 

At the same time, Pope Francis  invited to remain “optimistic and determined that the human family is capable of successfully facing the challenges of our day”.

He recalled the positive role that ambassadors have always played throughout history.  “As a man or woman of dialogue, a bridge builder”, the Pope said “an ambassador can serve as a figure of hope”:  hope “that the  last word in avoiding conflict or resolving one peacefully is never said,  and “that peace is not an unrealistic dream”. 

Their task is certainly  an easy one as “the voice of reason and calls for peace often fall on deaf ears”.  However, said the Pope “the current situation of the world only further highlights the need for Ambassadors and their colleagues to be champions of dialogue, champions of hope”. 

“The Holy See values the important role that you play, as evidenced by its own diplomatic involvement on the bilateral and multilateral levels.”

Recalling the Holy See’s  ongoing commitment “to protect the inviolable dignity of each person, promote the common good and foster human fraternity among all peoples”, through “the exercise of a positive neutrality”, Pope Francis concluded by reaffirming the Vatican diplomacy’s willingness to engage with the Ambassadors “in open and honest dialogue” as they work “for the betterment of the human family”.

“I am confident that there will be many opportunities for you to collaborate with the Holy See on matters of common concern.”

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13 May 2023, 12:25