Today at the Vatican, Benedict XVI received the Letters of Credence of Antoine Zanga, the new ambassador of Cameroon to the Holy See. The Holy Father took the occasion to address the authorities and people of the African country exhorting them to always seek the common good.
Through the new ambassador, the Pope greeted the civil and religious authorities, and Catholics of Cameroon, encouraging them to spread, “fundamental human and Christian values for the life of society,” to help the nation to develop “for the well-being of everyone."
Comparing Cameroon to other African countries that suffer greatly, the Holy Father said their suffering results from families being unable “to meet their most elemental needs.” He also pointed out that this “does not favor the growth of the nation.”
However, the Pontiff pointed out, “there are internal factors that could help. All nations must seek their own economic and social stability, using their own means and respecting their institutions.” This can be done by supporting “micro-projects which provide local employment, at the same time combating illegal trafficking and corruption. Hence, I invite all Cameroonians to become ever more aware of the common good."
The international community can also help Cameroon in its plight by providing “concrete and appropriate forms of assistance and by economic planning on a world-scale” so that “the vicious circle of under-development and poverty" is broken, the Pope said.
The Holy Father then went on to express his hope that the international institutions will collaborate with authorities in Cameroon "in order to diminish or cancel external debt, and with a view to a fairer distribution of wealth," may favor "a new economic and social drive for the good of all inhabitants and to give young people hope in a better future."
Turning to address the leaders of the nation, the Pope brought to mind recent violence in Cameroon emphasizing the tragic deaths of Msgr. Yves Plumey, of the Jesuit Engelbert Mveng and of the Claretian Anton Probst, highlighting how "one of the fundamental duties of political leaders is to offer their citizens a peaceful society.”
These leaders must “undertake to put an end to those tensions which regularly generate conflicts, so that dialogue and respect for legitimate cultural diversity between social and ethnic groups may prevail, in order to build and unify the nation."
In closing, the Pope mentioned the Church's efforts in the fields of healthcare and education, which are greatly appreciated by the local people of Cameroon. "Local ecclesial communities, missionaries and Catholic charity institutions seek above all the good and development of the population."