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Vintage Pope Benedict

· The Address to the Diplomatic Corps to the Holy See at the center of a round-table on theYoutube channel of Vatican Radio ·

A round-table of ambassadors to the Holy See representing three of the world's seven continents. This was the scene on Monday afternoon, 7 January, in Studio 3 of Vatican Radio. The Swedish, Australian and Filipino Ambassadors sat down with radio presenter Christopher Altieri to discuss the roles of  Church and State in Benedict XVI’s annual Address to the Diplomatic Corps accredited to the Holy See. Ms Ulla Birgitta Gudmundson Perols of Sweden, Mr John McCarthy of Australia, and Ms Mercedes Arrastia Tuason of the Philippines reviewed the Pope’s so-called “state of the world” speech which he had delivered to them that very morning.

The theme of peacemaking and charity, especially in Syria, was what the Swedish, Australian and Filipino Ambassadors took to be one of the most important themes, drawing on the Pope’s call for a proper understanding of civil rights and an appreciation of religious liberty. The diplomats underlined the importance of cooperation and collaboration in providing aid to Syria and other parts of the world. They realize the importance of heeding the Holy Father’s words in order to make  their Governments aware that essential aid is necessary in this distinct but shared responsibility.

In his Address, the Pope spoke of the vision of the human person, as he has on so many occasions. The Swedish Ambassador remarked on how impressed she was that the Holy Father “covered every aspect of the human person”, mentioning that he was even able to address the spiritual dimension of human beings, “which is something only he can add”. Ms  Tuason described the address in its entirety as touching, citing that while she was reflecting on the global situation and listening to the Holy Father, she could not hold back her tears. “I cried because I felt what he was feeling”.

Thus Pope Benedict addressed the Diplomatic Corps, encouraging them to take direct action as diplomats and as human beings and   citizens of world; people who must work together for peace “not as a choice but a necessity”.

The discussion was broadcast on the Youtube channel of Vatican Radio at: www.youtube.com/radiovaticanavideo.

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