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The eradication of poverty and the increase of justice

· The Pope to the Ambassador of Equatorial Guinea ·

On Thursday, 9 June, H.E. Mr Narciso Ntugu Abeso Oyana, Ambassador of Equatorial Guinea presented his Letters of Credence. The following is a translation of the Pope’s address to the new ambassador, which was given in Spanish.

Mr Ambassador,

I am grateful to receive from you, Your Excellency, the Letters that accredit you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Equatorial Guinea to the Holy See, while at the same time I express to you my most cordial welcome at this solemn ceremony.

I thank you for the kind greeting you have conveyed to me from the President of the Republic. As I reciprocate with pleasure this act of respect, I implore the Almighty to ensure that the diplomatic mission which, Your Excellency, you are beginning today, will further strengthen the  healthy independence and mutual respect that has developed between the Church and the State in your beloved Nation. The Holy See maintains close relations with your Nation and follows it with caring attention; an eloquent sign of this is the recent appointment of the new Bishop of Ebebiyin.

Mr Ambassador, your courteous words — which make me feel even closer to your country — clearly show the affection which your citizens  cultivate for the Successor of Peter. They are filled with a deep and faithful devotion, the fruit of the energy and care with which  seeds of the Gospel have been sown in your noble land, laying down  down  deep roots  and producing a splendid harvest, both spiritual and material.

In the perfecting of society and in the deployment of new structures that can give it a more flexible fabric,  the sons and daughters of Equatorial Guinea will not lack the encouraging presence of the Church which instils the light of faith in Christ, shows human beings their authentic vocation and helps them work so that they do not lack what dignifies and ennobles them. This nourishes the well-founded hope that your citizens, strengthened by this same faith, will not falter in their resolution to take an active and sensible part in building a serene and harmonious coexistence.

In this atmosphere, human persons will be able to fulfil themselves in conformity with their great dignity and their fundamental rights and will proliferate essential values such as the preservation of life, health care, the development of education and solidarity, as well as safeguarding the environment and the fair distribution of riches. All this is an indispensable condition for reviving true social progress that will reach everyone, especially  the poorest and neediest. It is also a condition to which one and all can make their own adequate, free and responsible contribution.

In this regard I have no doubt that the authorities of your beloved country, whom you represent, Your Excellency, will be able to channel and interpret the genuine aspirations of your fellow citizens which mirror their historical, moral and cultural patrimony. With her constant and disinterested hard work, the Church has played an extremely important role in its successive consolidation in people’s consciences.

In this regard one cannot fail to note with deep pleasure the efforts made to recover and rebuild many places of worship and the projects embarked on to improve the living conditions of the citizens, especially those who have great difficulty in living a dignified life. I therefore encourage everyone to continue with enthusiasm on this path, compensating for the existing social, economic and cultural shortcomings. For its part,  the Christian community will carry on in the context of its mission  with a fresh and generous commitment, making available to the people its long and fruitful experience in the promotion of marriage and  family, of health care, of the formation of the new generations and of the exercise of charity and beneficence.

It could not be otherwise, since the Church is well aware that everything which favours concord and brotherhood, the eradication of poverty, the increase of justice and dialogue, as well as the reinforcement of  mutual understanding unfolds a bright horizon for the future and ennobles the human being who, it should never be forgotten, is in the image of God.

Mr Ambassador, as I ask the Almighty to crown the lofty mission that has been entrusted to you with success. I assure you that the Roman Curia and its various offices will always be ready to  help you in carrying it out. Upon you, Your Excellency, upon your relatives and upon your collaborators, as well as every inhabitant of Equatorial Guinea, I fervently invoke bountiful blessings from Heaven.

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