Pope urges diplomats to 'mobilize for peace'

 Yesterday Pope called on seven new ambassadors to the Vatican to do all in their power to end violence. He made the statement after receiving the Letters of Credence from Edgard Stephanus Ragoenath Amanh of Suriname, Sarala Manourie Fernando of Sri Lanka, Mohamed Salia Sokona of Mali, Yaha Ali Mohamed al-Abiad of Yemen, Anderson Kaseba Chibwa of Zambia, Kingsley Sunny Ebenyi of Nigeria and Afif Hendaoui of Tunisia. After addressing all the ambassadors together, the Pope gave each of them a written discourse concerning questions specific to their own countries. John Paul II lamented the fact that "disturbing news constantly arrives from all continents concerning the human rights situation, showing how men, women and children are tortured and how their dignity is profoundly offended, contrary to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In this way, all humanity suffers injury and contempt. As all human beings are our brothers, we cannot remain quiet in the face of these intolerable abuses. All men and women of good will . must do what they can to ensure that all human beings are respected." "Consciences must be educated so that the unbearable violence weighing upon our brothers ceases once and for all, and so that all people mobilize to ensure that everyone's fundamental rights are respected. We cannot live in peace, and our hearts cannot remain in peace, if people are not treated in a dignified way. We have the duty to show solidarity towards everyone." The Holy Father highlighted the fact that "there will be peace if we all mobilize - and you particularly, as diplomats - to ensure every person on the planet is respected. Only peace enables hope for the future. For this reason, your mission is to remain at the service of fraternal relations between individuals and between peoples." In his discourse addressed to the ambassador of Suriname, the Holy Father wrote: "In your own country, . with its especially rich and varied cultural and religious traditions, the importance of recognizing the innate human dignity of every individual is immediately apparent." To the representative from Sri Lanka, the Holy Father stressed that the Catholic Church firmly deplores all violence perpetrated against others in the name of religion. She likewise rejects any form of proselytization, understood as the attempt to violate another person's freedom of conscience through moral or financial coercion." The Pope wrote to the ambassador from Mali expressing his desire "once again to sensitize the countries involved, and the entire international community, concerning the terrible scourge of the trade in children and the forced labour of minors." In his discourse to the diplomatic representative of Yemen, the Pope spoke of "the duty to guarantee human rights. Not least of these rights are: the freedom of authentic religious practice; the entitlement to build and maintain places of worship, including those for religious minorities; active participation of all citizens in democratic civic life; and access to education." Speaking to the representative from Tunisia, the Holy Father wrote that "no one doubts that the different religions, in particular Christianity and Islam, still have much left to do, each in their proper place, to establish true, respectful and fruitful dialogue, and to denounce all forms of the manipulation of religion at the service of violence." Source: VIS

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