Pope John Paul received students of the Pontifical Ecclesiastical Academy -where future Vatican diplomats are formed - and said that the Holy See's representatives around the world must combine a spirit of dialogue and a deep fidelity to Jesus.
“May difficulties never hinder your generous commitment to Christ and His Church.”
The Pope noted that from the day they received the Holy Spirit, the Apostles “began to travel the world announcing the Good News. Since then, this announcement has never ceased to sound out among men: Christ, only-begotten of God is the Savior of man, of all men.”
“By maintaining contact with the Pope,” said John Paul II, “pontifical representatives are called to represent him before the ecclesial communities of the countries in which they work, before national governments and international organizations.”
The Holy Father said it was necessary that “the personnel of such missions have a capacity for dialogue, knowledge of various peoples, of their cultural and religious expressions, as well as of their legitimate expectations.”
“At the same time, an adequate theological and pastoral formation is indispensable, and above all a mature and total faithfulness to Christ. Only if you remain united to Him with prayer and the constant quest for His will, will your work be fruitful and will you feel fully realized in your priesthood,” affirmed the Pope.
John Paul II called on the priests “to keep alight in their minds and hearts the life-giving fire of the Holy Spirit, which in these days we ardently implore, and to be witnesses of peace and love wherever divine Providence may take you.”