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Monday, 8 April 1974


Mr Ambassador,

It gives us great pleasure to receive your visit today and to accept from you the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Korea to the Holy See.

We are likewise pleased to reciprocate the cordial greetings which you have conveyed to us from His Excellency the President of your country.

We have noted with satisfaction the serious intent with which you assume your responsibilities. We assure you that your major concern, to strengthen and further develop the relations happily existing between Korea and the Holy See, will always meet with our fullest response and support.

Prompted by the words of your address, we are also happy to state that, from the standpoint of the Holy See, the maintaining of diplomatic relations has primarily a spiritual motivation and aim.

Through its diplomatic mission, the Holy See seeks only to promote the advancement of mankind, employing this form of representation as a means of contributing to the solution of fundamental problems concerning human life and dignity.

We can assure you therefore that the Church will always seek to serve the welfare of the Korean people in whatever way she can and within the limits of her resources. For while engaged for the most part in serving man’s specifically spiritual needs, the Church is at the same time called to concern herself with man’s integral well-being, both within and beyond her own community.

Because her message is a spiritual one of love, the Church strives to be present to help man whenever he is in need.

We appreciate very much your reference to the first Christian missionaries in your country and to the flourishing fruits of their work to be seen today. We would like you to know how much the Pope loves and esteems the Church in Korea for that strength and firmness in the faith which distinguishes her.

Finally, Mr Ambassador, while we invoke upon all the beloved people of your country the divine favours of harmony and prosperity, we extend to you personally our best wishes for the happy and profitable fulfilment of your mission.

*AAS 66 (1974), p.262-263.

Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol.XII, p.331-332.

L’Attività della Santa Sede 1974, p.112-113.

L'Osservatore Romano, 8-9.4.1974, p.1.

ORa n.17 p.4.

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