After meeting privately at the presidential palace of Cyprus in the capital city of Nicosia with president Demetris Christofias, the Holy Father spoke to diplomats and civil authorities in the palace gardens. He emphasized the importance of “clear moral insight and courage” to their service for the common good.
The encounters with the president and public servants were the first on the schedule for the second day of the Holy Father’s Apostolic Journey to Cyprus, where he will be until Sunday afternoon.
Recalling the example of Archbishop Makarios III, who was elected the nation’s first president of 50 years ago, the Holy Father asked the government representatives to be “like him” in committing their public service to the good of society.
Indirectly referring to the political situation on the island of Cyprus, which has been divided into the Turkish Cypriot-governed North and the Greek Cypriot-governed South, the Pope observed that in “delicate political situations,” public servants can create “a much greater good for entire societies and peoples” through the exercise of truth, integrity and respect when relating to others.
From a religious perspective, the Pope explained, we are called as members of God’s “single human family” to “foster unity and to build a more just and fraternal world based on lasting values.”
He highlighted a lesson from the ancient Greek philosophers who taught that the common good “is served precisely by the influence of people endowed with clear moral insight and courage.” In this light, he offered suggestions to the gathering on how to pursue truth and “bring greater harmony to the troubled regions of the earth.”
The promotion of moral truth, he said, means “acting responsibly on the basis of factual knowledge, rising above the situation to obtain an objective and comprehensive vision. He said it also consists of “deconstructing political ideologies which would supplant the truth” and requires “a constant effort to base positive law upon the ethical principles of natural law.”
From the presidential palace, the Holy Father moved on to St. Maron elementary school, where he met members of the island’s Catholic communities.
The Holy Father's full remarks can be found here: http://www.catholicnewsagency.com/cyprus10/resource.php?res_id=1425