Pope John Paul II made a quick evaluation of the ending year in a speech delivered to four new ambassadors to the Holy See, including the first ambassador ever from Qatar.
Speaking in French, the Pope accepted the diplomatic credentials of Birger Dan Nielsen of Denmark, Walter Woon of Singapore, Mohamad Jaham Abdulaziz Al-Kawari of Qatar and Priit Kolbre of Estonia.
“The end of the civil year,” the Holy Father said, “is a propitious occasion to analyze the world situation and the events to which we are witnesses. As all diplomats, you attempt to create bonds among persons and among countries, thus favoring peace, friendship and solidarity among peoples.”
“You do so in the name of your governments, who have as their concerns a globalization of fraternity and solidarity, with the certitude that what brings men together is more important than what divides them,” he added.
The Pontiff went on to say that “for a lasting development as well as for international stability and the very credibility of government bodies, national or international, those involved in public life, especially in the political and economic domains, must have an ever more refined moral sense in conducting public affairs with, as their primordial goal, the public good, which is the sum of all individual goods.”
He then asked those in service to their country to “place your skills in the service of your fellow countrymen, and more broadly, of the international community.”
In conclusion, the Pope said that “in this season where men and women around the world exchange wishes for peace and happiness, these are what I wish for you, your governments, the people of your nations and, indeed, for all of mankind.”