ADDRESS OF HIS HOLINESS PIUS XII
TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA*
Wednesday, 13 June 1956
Our cordial welcome to Your Excellency, Mr. President, and to you, Right Honourable Gentlemen, who have come with him and are associated with him, some very closely, in the government of your country. We assure you of Our prayerful good wishes for your success.
Surely no one enters the field of government without very soon realizing what a momentous task has been given to accomplish. Civil government, one knows and all free people acknowledge, exists for the good of the governed. Tranquillity and order, security and freedom in justice under God, so that all citizens may be able to use the opportunities afforded them for their physical, intellectual and moral progress – this will be the statesman's care and responsibility.
It is indeed a heavy responsibility. Its weight will be lightened by the whole-hearted, loyal cooperation of all those who are dedicated to the happiness, advancement and prosperity of the nation. And We are confident, gentlemen, that the government of the Indonesian Republic can count as such the almost million Catholics who gladly owe them allegiance. What they have already accomplished in the fields of education and charity and civic duty has been recognized and makes this confidence doubly sure. It is their high resolve, as they know it is their sacred duty, to contribute, as far as their means allow, to the strengthening of those indispensable supports of genuine and enduring political prosperity, which are Religion and Morality.
In carrying out her divine commission it has always and everywhere been the solicitude of the Church to select and train a clergy native to the region, who after diligent preparation and adequate experience would be able to care for the spiritual needs of their own people. Obviously time and patience are needed for this, and until the native clergy is sufficient in numbers and formation, the Catholics of a region will have to depend on help from other nations. But this is a transitional period – a period through which the Church in Indonesia is still passing, though marked progress is being made to move out from it. We noted with a keen sense of gratification how promptly, some six years ago, the Republic of Indonesia took steps to establish diplomatic relations with the Holy See: and We take this also as a token and pledge of its patience and readiness to assist the Church in her efforts towards a goal desired by both parties.
We may conclude by repeating the sentiments We expressed on the occasion of receiving the Credential Letters of your first Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary. We gave the assurance «that We shall rejoice always in being witness to the progress achieved by your State, young but conscious of its lofty destiny, in a temper of self-reliance, wisdom and moderation, until it takes its place in the council of nations», – a wish happily fulfilled since then – «where its endeavours for national prosperity and greatness will be found to harmonize effectively with a united service dedicated to the universal good of all mankind. God grant it».
*Discorsi e Radiomessaggi di Sua Santità Pio XII, XVIII,
Diciottesimo anno di Pontificato, 2 marzo 1956 - 1° marzo 1957, pp. 283 - 284
Tipografia Poliglotta Vaticana.
L'Osservatore Romano 14.6.1956, p.1.
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