We are honoured by your visit, and We are happy to receive you, not only as the Foreign Minister of Korea, but also as a representative of a nation of the Far East, towards which We direct with particular interest Our esteem and Our good wishes.
We are most pleased to receive, together with Your Excellency, the Korean Ambassadors resident in Europe and in the Middle East, who have taken part in the Conference held for them in Rome in recent days.
To Your Excellency, and to the esteemed gentlemen who accompany you on this visit, We express Our deferential and cordial greetings.
We willingly avail Ourself of this happy circumstance to assure the entire Korean people of Our deep fellow-feeling. We are well aware of the antiquity and nobility of its traditions; We are informed of the natural goodness, the industry, the artistic talent of that fertile and populous land; from earliest childhood, We have heard the dramatic history of your Nation during the last century, and have followed with attention the events of recent years.
Among the various aspects of modern Korean life, We cannot overlook what concerns the Catholic religion, which experiences most praiseworthy favourable conditions of freedom in South Korea, and which manifests its ability to interpret, in original and sublime manner, the great spiritual riches of the Korean soul.
In this regard, We would remind Your Excellency that the Catholic religion nourishes profound respect for all the human values is encounters; indeed, it is proper to its inmost universal nature to encourage the development of virtue, of the good traditions specific to each people; and hence We can give assurance that the Catholic Church will always consider it an honour to promote, as far as lies in its power, the civil, moral and cultural prosperity of Korea; for, in this way, the Catholics of Korea strive to be its best citizens, ever loyal and faithful, ever working for its true happiness.
To the Korean Catholics, then, We send Our greetings, and to the entire noble Nation We express Our sincere good wishes for welfare and for peace. And may God, in the name of Our Lord Jesus Christ, make these Our wishes efficacious, for His Excellency your President, for Your Excellency, for the gentlemen accompanying you, and for the whole Korean people.