Pope Benedict calls for peace and religious freedom addressing new ambassadors


Benedict XVI today received the Letters of Credence of five new ambassadors to the Holy See, encouraging them to strive to build bridges between countries in the area of fraternal solidarity and in that of economic and cultural exchanges.

The five new ambassadors are Moukhtar Wawa Dahab from Chad; Amitava Tripathi from India; Domingos Dias Pereira Mascarenhas from Cape Verde; Valeriu Bobutac from Moldova; and Anne Maree Plunkett from Australia.

Pope Benedict invited the new ambassadors to “a solid commitment that does not seek only the interest of a particular section of society, to the detriment of the general interest, but that aims above all at the common good of a whole country, and of humanity.”

The Pontiff called for Peace “rooted in respect for religious liberty, which is a fundamental and primordial aspect of the freedom of belief of individuals and of the freedom of peoples.

Pope Benedict wished to stress the importance of Religious freedom, to “practice it openly and without fear, because no one can base their existence only on material well-being.”

The Holy Father concluded his address by calling on the international community to show more concern for people than for mere economic questions. "It is our duty," he said, "to be responsible for one another and for the progress of the world, because no one can answer as Cain did to God: 'Am I my brother's keeper?'"

The Pope then gave each diplomat a written copy of a speech addressing the particular situation in his or her own country. The Holy Father congratulated the Indian diplomat for his country's efforts to resolve, "with negotiations and peaceful methods, the long running controversy with Pakistan,"

Addressing the Australian representative, the Holy Father writes of his joy at the celebration of World Youth Day 2008 in Sydney, and highlights the "respect for transcendent order that has led Australians to recognize the fundamental importance of marriage and stable domestic life at the heart of society."

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