.- In a meeting today with Panama's new ambassador to the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI called on the country to work for equality among its peoples and to build a society based on stable moral virtues.
The Pope spoke to Ambassador Delia Cardenas Christie acknowledging that Panama’s identity, “which for centuries has been forged as a mosaic of ethnicities, peoples, and cultures, presents itself as an eloquent sign to the human family that peaceful co- existence between persons of diverse origins in a climate of communion and cooperation is possible.”
Having noted Panama's existence as a diverse but cooperative nation, the Pope encouraged the Central American country to continue working toward “greater social, economic, and cultural equality between the distinct sectors of society. He explained that this could be done by “renouncing selfish interests, strengthening solidarity, and reconciling wills.”
Pope Benedict also praised the efforts of Panamanian authorities “in strengthening democratic institutions and public life rooted upon strong ethical pillars.”
“In this respect they have spared no efforts to promote an efficient and independent juridical system and to act in all areas with honor, transparency in community activism, and professionalism and diligence in resolving the problems affecting the citizens.” The Pope implied such actions “will favor the development of a just and fraternal society in which no sector of the population is forgotten or doomed to violence or marginalization"
Benedict XVI also dwelt on the Church's role in Panama, which has “played an essential and constructive role in shaping Panama's identity, forming part of the nation's spiritual patrimony and cultural heritage.” The Church in Panama has been particularly relevant in education, and assistance to the poor, sick, weak, imprisoned. It has also worked for the defense of life and marriage, fought corruption, and worked towards peace.
All of the actions, the Pope noted, “are irreplaceable elements for creating a healthy social fabric and building a dynamic society, precisely because of the stability of the moral values sustaining, ennobling, and dignifying it.”
Benedict XVI concluded by emphasizing that the advancement of society depends on an abundance of “persons with inner righteousness, faultless conduct, and the resolute will to work toward the common good, and who also impart to further generations a true humanism, sown within the family and cultivated at school so that the welfare of the nation be the fruit of the fundamental growth of the person and of all persons.”