On Friday, 4 December, the Holy Father received in audience the new Ambassadors from Jordan, Kazakhstan, Zambia, Mauritania, Uzbekistan, Madagascar, Estonia, Rwanda, Denmark and India, who presented their Letters of Credence by which they are accredited to the Holy See. The following is the English text of his address.
It is a pleasure for me to receive you for the presentation of the Letters accrediting you as Ambassadors Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of your countries to the Holy See: Jordan, Kazakhstan, Zambia, Mauritania, Uzbekistan, Madagascar, Estonia, Rwanda, Denmark and India. I would ask you to convey my sentiments of esteem to your respective Heads of State, together with the assurance of my prayers for them and for your fellow citizens.
You are beginning your mission at a time of great challenge facing the entire human family. Even before the outbreak of Covid-19, it was clear that 2020 was going to be a year marked by urgent humanitarian needs, due to conflicts, violence and terrorism in different parts of our world. Economic crises are causing hunger and mass migration, while climate change is increasing the risk of natural disasters, famine and drought. Indeed, the pandemic is aggravating the inequalities already present in our societies; as the poor and the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters risk being neglected, excluded and forgotten. The crisis has made us realize “that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other” (Extraordinary Moment of Prayer, 27 March 2020).
Today, perhaps more than ever, our increasingly globalized world urgently demands sincere and respectful dialogue and cooperation capable of uniting us in confronting the grave threats facing our planet and mortgaging the future of younger generations. In my recent Encyclical Fratelli Tutti, I expressed my desire that “in this our time, by acknowledging the dignity of each human person, we can contribute to the rebirth of a universal aspiration to fraternity” (n. 8). The presence of the Holy See in the international community stands at the service of the global common good, by drawing attention to the anthropological, ethical and religious aspects of the various questions that affect the lives of individuals, peoples and entire nations.
It is my hope that your diplomatic activity as representatives of your nations to the Holy See will foster the “culture of encounter” (Fratelli Tutti, 215) needed to transcend the differences and divisions that so often stand in the way of realizing the high ideals and goals proposed by the international community. Each of us is invited, in fact, to work daily for the building of an ever more just, fraternal and united world.
Dear Ambassadors, as you now undertake your mission to the Holy See, I offer you my prayerful good wishes and I assure of you of the constant readiness of the various offices of the Holy See to assist you in the fulfilment of your responsibilities. Upon you and your families, your collaborators and all your fellow citizens, I cordially invoke abundant divine blessings. Thank you!