Addressing seven new ambassadors to the Holy See, Pope John Paul insisted on the need for an international effort to put an end to increasing violence in the world.
On Thursday morning, Pope John Paul received the credentials of Edgard Stephanus Ragoenath Amanh of Suriname, Sarala Manourie Fernando of Sri Lanka, Mohamed Salia Sokona of Mali, Yaha Ali Mohamed al-Abiad of Yemen, Anderson Kaseba Chibwa of Zambia, Kingsley Sunny Ebenyi of Nigeria and Afif Hendaoui of Tunisia.
John Paul II lamented the fact that “disturbing news constantly arrives from all continents concerning the human rights situation, showing how men, women and children are tortured and how their dignity is profoundly offended, contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”
“In this way, all humanity suffers injury and contempt. As all human beings are our brothers, we cannot remain quiet in the face of these intolerable abuses,” said the Pope; and he added that all men and women of good will “must do what they can to ensure that all human beings are respected.”
“Consciences must be educated,” he continued, “so that the unbearable violence weighing upon our brothers ceases once and for all, and so that all people mobilize to ensure that everyone’s fundamental rights are respected. We cannot live in peace, and our hearts cannot remain in peace, if people are not treated in a dignified way. We have the duty to show solidarity towards everyone.”
The Holy Father highlighted the fact that “there will be peace if we all mobilize - and you particularly, as diplomats – to ensure every person on the planet is respected. Only peace enables hope for the future. For this reason, your mission is to remain at the service of fraternal relations between individuals and between peoples.”
The Pope delivered a written message to each one of the ambassadors.
In his words to the representative from Tunisia, the Holy Father writes that “no one doubts that the different religions, in particular Christianity and Islam, still have much left to do, each in their proper place, to establish true, respectful and fruitful dialogue, and to denounce all forms of the manipulation of religion at the service of violence.”