ADDRESS OF PAUL VI
TO THE AMBASSADOR OF NICARAGUA TO THE HOLY SEE*
Thursday, 6 July 1972
We listened with attention to the words you have just addressed to us on presenting the Letters that accredit you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Nicaragua to the Holy See.
We warmly thank Your Excellency for the respectful expressions about our action and that of the Church in favour of peace and social progress. This is a field in which the Church is resolutely committed because "the joys and the hopes, the grieves and the anxieties of the men of this age, especially those who are poor or in any way afflicted, these too are the joys and hopes, the grieves and anxieties of the followers of Christ" (GS. 1).
It is her supernatural mission that is the driving force of the Church in this task of illuminating mankind, which has its aim of fullness in eternity. The Church has to help men, however, to reach the latter as they proceed on their way through this world, living even now in a tension of definitive hope. This hope gives rise to deep and universal aspirations which, covering all men and the whole man, entail the necessity of a full life and a really free life, worthy of the human being.
In her work to help humanity, the Church does not seek her own interests or human advantages; her one desire is to serve generously. Therefore she considers it legitimate – as the Second Vatican Council says – “for her to preach the faith with true freedom, to teach her social doctrine, and to discharge her duty among men without hindrance. She also has the right to pass moral judgments, even on matters touching the political, order, whenever basic the personal rights or the salvation of souls make such judgments necessary" (GS. 76). This is a delicate and difficult task, which the church exercises inspired by the love and teachings of the Gospel, while keeping clearly in mind the different circumstances and situations, in order really to be a light and leaven in the midst of society.
The Church wishes to continue to develop her action flung this guide-line, in order always to remain faithful to herself and to be able to carry out her high mission in the service of the whole Nicaraguan community, in which the serious renewal of ecclesial life and the serene words of those whom the Lord has placed as Shepherds of his flock, cannot but be reflected positively:
Mr. Ambassador, expressing our fervent wishes for the successful accomplishment of your high mission and assuring you of our benevolence, we are happy to reciprocate with gratitude the greeting you extended to us on behalf of the Authorities of your country; while we willingly impart our fatherly Apostolic Blessing to all our beloved sons of Nicaragua.
*ORa n.29 p.5.
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