ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER PAUL VI
TO THE AMBASSADOR OF THE REPUBLIC OF CHINA
TO THE HOLY SEE*
Thursday, 9 February 1978
As we accept the Letters of Credence appointing you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of China to the Holy See, we thank you for the kind greetings you have conveyed on behalf of the President, the Government and people of the Republic.
We wish you success in your mission and, for its accomplishment, you may be assured of our benevolence and all necessary assistance on the part of the Holy See.
Your Excellency has rightly referred to the closeness of the ideals inherent in Chinese culture and tradition to principles propounded by the Catholic Church, and has also mentioned the emphasis placed in Chinese thought and teaching on the subject of peace.
Yes, peace is a topic that is particularly dear to us as well. Peace in every sphere of life and in all its aspects; peace in every heart and home, in every nation and continent; peace with all men and, above all, with God. It is with such sentiments of peace that our thoughts turn with love and affection towards the people of China, whose millennial history, so rich in renowned traditions, in natural sciences and human wisdom-much above and beyond historical and political contingencies and vicissitudes-commands the admiration and the respect of all. Wiewed in this perspective, it appears but natural that the seed of Christianity should have found-and should still find-fertile soil in Chinese culture and civilization. And, even if the fruits produced by that seed have not been equally abundant everywhere it was sown, no one can deny that, in many sectors, both the Church and society have reaped in large measure the harvest that has matured over the centuries, thanks to the patient and untiring labours of a whole array of able Christian workers, missionary as well as native Chinese.
For this reason, we are pleased to recall what we said, as Christ’s humble messenger of peace, in Hong Kong some years ago. As then, so also today-and, perhaps, more than ever today we are convinced and we proclaim that “Christ is a teacher, a shepherd and a loving redeemer for China too” (AAS 63 (1971) 80).
We avail out-self of this occasion to send a message of friendship to the beloved people of the Republic of China, while we assure them of our continued interest in their progress and welfare and pray Almighty God to bless them with true and abiding peace, and both spiritual and material prosperity.
*AAS 70 (1978), p.252-253;
Insegnamenti di Paolo VI, vol. XVI p.122-123;
L’Attività della Santa Sede 1978, p.49-50;
ORa n.8 p.3.
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