ADDRESS OF PAUL VI
TO THE NEW MINISTER OF GREAT BRITAIN
TO THE HOLY SEE*
Thursday, 19 June 1975
We have much pleasure in receiving from you the Letters whereby Her Britannic Majesty accredits you as Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary to the Holy See. We extend to you a warm and sincere welcome. The kind expression of the Queen’s friendship and goodwill finds a ready echo in our own heart, and we would ask you to assure Her Majesty of our prayerful good wishes for herself and for all the members of the Royal Family.
Your generous appreciation of the Church’s contribution to harmony and justice throughout the world is greatly appreciated, and we are particularly happy that the development of ecumenical relations between Churches, in a climate of friendliness, respect and prayer, is setting a worthy example for men in other fields to follow.
You have alluded to the recent confirmation of the British people’s decision to continue close links with other European countries. We pray that the wider scope thus offered for mutual friendship and shared concern for the needs of the less fortunate may prove to be a valuable spur to the strengthening of brotherhood among men and stability and peace among nations.
The difficulties you have mentioned which impede full understanding and cooperation in Northern Ireland are an anxious burden for us too. We recall to everyone that violence and hatred are heinous offences in the eyes of God, and that mutual love and respect are the best and the most effective contributions to a just peace. We bless the efforts of all those who are truly seeking a solution by means which are within the framework of God’s Law and for the benefit of all citizens without distinction. Your Excellency, as we assure you that in the accomplishment of your mission you can be confident of the Holy See’s cooperation, we gladly commend to Almighty God yourself and your family and the authorities and people of your beloved country.
*AAS 67 (1975), p.445-446.
Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XIII, p.650-651.
L’Attività della Santa Sede 1975, p.212-213.
L'Osservatore Romano, 20.6.1974, p.1.
ORa n.27 p.2.
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