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