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Thursday, 17 November 1966


Mister Minister,

It is with joy that today We welcome Your Excellency to the Vatican. For many years the United Arab Republic has maintained diplomatic relations with the Holy See, and this fact is for Us - despite the many political trials of a great modern State such as yours - a guarantee that care for spiritual and Christian values holds an important place in the preoccupations of your Government.

In the course of the history of your country, these values have been made concrete in the many institutions, which have often received, in the past, laudatory testimony from public authorities. In effect these institutions, far from exercising political or ideological pressures, propose only to assure the true good of the sons of your noble nation and to contribute to their cultural and moral development.

This is the same goal that the Church has set for herself in the United Arab Republic, as she does in each country where she is free to exercise her mission. She wishes, above all, to place herself at the service of the people, and there to form men who will concede nothing to their compatriots in love of their motherland and in loyalty to the constituted authority.

We are happy, Mister Minister, to be able to avail Ourself of this circumstance of your visit to give you this assurance. And We are sure that in drawing your attention to the Catholic foundations in the United Arab Republic, We give you an occasion to appreciate anew the merit and the dedicated disinterest of those who labour there for the well-being of the sons of your nation.

We ask you, Mister Minister, to interpret these sentiments to His Excellency, the President of the Republic, to whom We address, through your good offices, Our cordial greetings.    

*Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. IV, p.569-570.


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