ADDRESS OF PAUL VI
TO THE AMBASSADOR OF LEBANON*
Thursday, 2 October 1975
We thank Your Excellency for the noble words you have just addressed to us, and we are happy to bid you welcome on this day when you present the Letters that accredit you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Lebanese Republic to the Holy See.
The sentiments, which His Excellency the President of the Republic charged you to convey to us, fill us with satisfaction, and in return we ask you to convey to him our good wishes both for himself and for the successful accomplishment of his high functions in the service of your dear country.
You recalled, Mr Ambassador, the centuries old ties that unite Lebanon and the Church, through a history that goes hack to the apostle St Paul, whose memory you evoked with emotion. Your land considers itself in honour hound to preserve faithfully the vestiges of a past so rich in common memories. Would it not justify in itself the particular interest we feel fur Lebanon?
You know, however, that our affectionate concern goes in the first place to the people who live in that country and who endeavour to be worthy of flick glorious cultural and spiritual heritage. They are now, alas, living through very grave events, we me following them with anxiety, suffering with the unfortunate victims, praying that a just solution, acceptable to each of the parties concerned, will be found rapidly. Peace must return and at the same time it must be based on very solid foundations. The Holy See never spares its efforts when a situation of conflict exists. Is it not the mission of the Church to eon-tribute to peace? Is it not our role as Pastor to recall unceasingly the fundamental goods for man, and collaborate in establishing in the world a climate that will make it possible to reach them and enjoy them? But is it not also the role of all those in positions of responsibility with regard to the human community to be artisans of reconciliation?
Knowing that you bring to your new office the rich experience already acquired in your various functions in the past, we are certain that your action will be fruitful and beneficial, and we rejoice at this. It is in this spirit, therefore, that we wish to express to you the cordial and fervent wishes we form for yourself, Mr Ambassador, for your dear ones, arid for all the Lebanese people, for they are particularly near to us in these days.
*ORa n.42 p.2.
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