.- Pope Benedict XVI received the Letters of Credence, the formal document granting diplomatic accreditation, of Victor Manuel Grimaldi Cespedes, the new ambassador of the Dominican Republic on Friday and assured the ambassador that the Church will always assist in helping the country become "a freer, more peaceful, just and fraternal civilization."
In his address to Ambassador Cespedes, the Pope noted that for more than 500 years, "the Church in Latin America, which with the passing of the years has given abundant fruits of sanctity, culture, and prosperity for all members of society."
Benedict XVI also recalled the contribution to the Dominican Republic that the Catholic Church has made in "the field of education, with various universities, technical training centers, institutes and parish schools; and in the field of assistance, with the concern she shows towards immigrants, refugees, disabled, sick, elderly, orphans and the poor"
"I am referring primarily to the defense and dissemination of such basic human values as the recognition and protection of the dignity of the person, respect for human life from the moment of conception until natural death, and the safeguarding of the institution of the family based on marriage between a man and a woman, because these elements are indispensable to the social fabric."
Benedict XVI also spoke of recent achievements "in social and economic plans" that encouraged hope for a "more peaceful future" without "poverty, drug trafficking, marginalization, and violence."
The Pope concluded his comments by saying, "in establishing a climate of true harmony, and in searching for effective and stable answers to their most pressing problems, the Dominican authorities will always find the Church's hand outstretched for the building of a freer, more peaceful, just and fraternal civilization."