.- Today in the Vatican, the Holy Father received the Letters of Credence of Alfonso Rivero Monsalve, the new ambassador of Peru to the Holy See. The Holy Father asked the diplomat to pass on his "respectful greetings to Alan Garcia Perez," Peruvian president, and "to the beloved people of Peru,” and recalled the strong history of collaboration between the Church and state in Peru.
"This meeting calls to mind the profound ties that have existed and continue to exist between your nation and the Church," said Benedict XVI. The Pope recalled how "the Catholic faith, taken there by evangelizers such as St. Toribio de Mogrovejo, became accepted and slowly penetrated the cultural and social fabric of that blessed people among whom the first saints of Latin America soon appeared," such as "Rose of Lima, Martin de Porres, Francis Solano, Juan Macias, and the Blessed Ana de los Angeles Monteagudo."
Pope Benedict went on to refer to "the profound changes" that Peru is facing in the context of "social, political and economic transformations," observing that such processes "have a direct effect upon people and their values."
"We know," he said, "that Peru wishes to respond effectively to the phenomenon of globalization, taking advantage of the opportunities presented by economic growth to ensure that the resulting wealth and other social advantages reach everyone in an equitable way. Peruvians ... also hope that health services may serve all social categories, that education may be available to everyone, ... and that corruption may be contrasted with an integrity that enables the effective operation of public institutions, thus helping to overcome so many situations of hunger and misery."
"Furthermore," the Holy Father continued, "there is a pressing need for unity of intent among leaders to ensure they face the challenges of a globalized world ... with true solidarity. The Church, which recognizes the State's role in social, political and economic questions, assumes as her duty - deriving from her evangelizing mission - the protection and proclamation of the truth about human beings, about the meaning of life and its final destiny, which is God. She is the source of inspiration ensuring that the dignity of the person and of life, from conception to natural end, is recognized and protected, as guaranteed by the Peruvian Constitution."
"From the Apostolic See," Pope Benedict continued, "we will continue to support all social efforts currently being made in favor of equality of opportunity," and to ensure "that each Peruvian feels their inalienable rights are respected," and that "the Peruvian episcopate continues to foment, in the light of the Gospel and the Church's social doctrine, the search for truth in the family, the workplace and the socio-political field."
"The Church, aware of her religious mission (and for that reason sublimely human), and of her duty to propose the truth to all mankind (who as children of God have a superior dignity that comes before all positive law), will continue to work to reach these objectives," the Pope concluded. Moreover, as "an expert in humanity she teaches that only by respecting moral law which defends and protects the dignity of the human person, can peace by built, favoring stable social progress."