Pope meets with new ambassadors, urges end to violence among nations

Today, Pope Benedict met with eleven new members of the Vatican diplomatic corps and called on their respective countries to help curb violence in all corners of the world. Each left with a particular message for their home countries from the Holy Father.

The Vatican’s new ambassadors include, Ali Abeid A. Karume of Tanzania; Madan Kumar Bhattarai of Nepal; Pekka Ojanen of Finland; Gilbert Ramirez Chagoury of Santa Lucia; Francisco A. Soler of El Salvador; Sten Erik Malmborg Lilholt of Denmark; Konji Sebati of South Africa; Idriss Jazairy of Algeria; Petros Tseggai Asghedom of Eritrea; Feliz Kodjo Sagbo of Togo; and Antoni Morell Mora of Andorra.

In an address to the group, the Pope pointed out how "news of conflicts arrives from all over the world."

In this context, he called on "the leaders of nations and all people of good will to unite and put a stop to the violence that disfigures humanity and places a heavy mortgage on the development of mankind and the hope of many peoples.”

He said that “Without a universal commitment to peace - in order to create a climate of pacification and a spirit of reconciliation at all levels of social life, beginning with the family - it is not possible to progress along the road to a pacified society."

The Pope then went on to put special emphasis on care for the young, saying that, "in order to achieve ever more harmonious development among peoples, it is important to pay special attention to youth…”

This means, he said, “ensuring that families, and the various educational structures are provided with the means to form and educate the young, transmitting essential spiritual, moral and social values, and preparing them for a better future.”

“The young must be made truly aware of their role in society and of the behavior they must adopt in order to serve the common good and to pay attention to everyone's needs," he added.

The Holy Father pointed out that this is "one of the essential ways to ensure that, in the long-term, the world exits from the cycle of violence," assuring that the Church, "present on all continents, will not cease to offer her assistance through…educational initiatives, and by forming people's religious conscience to ensure the development of a sense of fraternity and solidarity."

He urged the ambassadors, as well as all human beings to "commit to peace and reconciliation in all continents, because it is not enough to 'decide' on peace, but to attain it. All means must be used at all levels of society, in order to achieve this end."

In his message to the ambassador of Santa Lucia, the Holy Father recalls the Catholic Church's commitment "against the trade and use of drugs," and affirms that foiling "this pernicious threat to the fabric of society, which fuels crime and violence, ... demands great political resolve, international cooperation, and the support of the whole community."

In his specific message to the ambassador of El Salvador, the Pope said that the religious mission of pastors in that country "does not exempt them from fomenting national dialogue between the leaders of social life."

Likewise, he said, "that social improvement is not achieved only by applying the necessary technical means, but also by promoting reforms with a human and moral foundation."

The Pope stressed the need for inter-religious dialogue to the ambassadors from Finland and Denmark, recalling his own commitment to this field.

In his message to the Algerian ambassador, Benedict referred to the serious violence which has wracked that country in recent years, and urged “a spirit of reconciliation” and of human dignity to be inculcated in to the young.

In his message to the Eritrean diplomat, the Pope expressed the Church's closeness "to refugees and displaced persons, not only with her pastoral presence and material support, but also with her commitment to defend their human dignity."

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