Vatican City, 17 December 2015 (VIS) – The new ambassadors to the Holy See, representing Guinea, Latvia, India and Bahrain, respectively Fatoumata Balde, Veronika Erte, Smita Purushottam and Muhammad Abdul Ghaffar respectively, were received in audience by Pope Francis this morning. In his address, the Holy Father recalled the recent publication of his message for the World Day of Peace, entitled “Overcome indifference and win peace”, and took the opportunity to invite the diplomats to collaborate in promoting a culture of solidarity, counteracting the globalisation of indifference, one of the negative tendencies of our time.
“There are many ways in which this attitude of indifference manifests itself, and it has several causes”, he explained. “Essentially, however, these derive from an imbalanced humanism, in which man has taken God's place and has thus become the victim of various forms of idolatry. Even the grave ecological crisis that we are experiencing can be traced back to this anthropological imbalance. Indifference towards God, our neighbour and our environment are interconnected and grow reciprocally. Therefore, they can be combated only with a response that faces all three together, that is through a renewed humanism that relocates the human being in a correct relationship with the Creator, with others and with creation. It involves promoting a culture of solidarity and sharing, and this requires the commitment of those who with responsibility in the political, social, cultural and educational fields. … All this is necessary to combat indifference and to build peace”.
The Pope remarked that the year that is drawing to an end has been marked by violent conflicts and terrorism. “This situation is provoking in more mature consciences a non-violent, spiritual and moral reaction. It is this that we want and must nurture with the means available to us and according to our responsibilities. The Catholic Church, in accordance with her own mission, with the recently initiated Jubilee of Mercy, seeks to spread throughout the world the spirit of forgiveness and reconciliation, urging the faithful and men and women of goodwill to open themselves up to the grace of God and to practise what in our tradition are the 'works of corporal and spiritual mercy'. Civil society is likewise called to make specific and courageous gestures of concern for its most vulnerable members, such as prisoners, migrants, the unemployed and the infirm. Furthermore, I would also appeal to national leaders for concrete gestures in favour of our brothers and sisters who suffer from a lack of labour, land and lodging. In the international context I fervently hope that each Nation may be committed to renewing its relations with other peoples enabling fraternity also within the family of nations”.
The Pope concluded his discourse by sending, through the new diplomatic representatives, a fraternal greeting to the pastors and faithful of the Catholic communities present in those countries, encouraging them always to contribute loyally to the common good of society. “The more and the better they do this, the more their full religious freedom will be acknowledged. The Holy See is honoured to be able to establish with each one of you, and with the countries you represent, an open and respectful dialogue and constructive collaboration”.