Vatican City, May 20, 2004 / 22:00 pm
“New Zealanders have always cherished the fundamental value of freedom, justice and peace. Indeed, in the face of aggression or threat, they have generously sought to defend and promote such rights in the Pacific and beyond,” said the Holy Father this morning on receiving Prime Minister Helen Clark of New Zealand.
“Today,” he added, “in our world so troubled by the scourge of racial divisions and conflict, I encourage you and your fellow citizens to foster dialogue. In acknowledging the fundamental God-given dignity of every person, dialogue leads to a recognition of diversity while opening the mind to the mutual acceptance and genuine collaboration demanded by the human family’s basic vocation to unity.”