Speeches 2005-13 42611



Mr President,
Dear Cardinals,
Brother Bishops,
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen,
Brothers and Sisters,

I am very glad that the first engagement of my visit should be with you, representing as you do key sectors of Croatian society and the Diplomatic Corps. My cordial greetings go to each of you personally and also to the important communities to which you belong: religious, political, academic and cultural, the world of the arts, finance and sport. I thank Archbishop Puljic and Professor Zurak for the kind words they have addressed to me, and I thank the musicians who have welcomed me in the universal language of music. This dimension of universality, characteristic of art and culture, is particularly appropriate for Christianity and the Catholic Church. Christ is fully human, and whatever is human finds in him and in his word the fulness of life and meaning.

This splendid theatre is a symbolic place, expressive of your national and cultural identity. For me to come together with you in this place is a further cause of joy in spirit, because the Church is a mystery of communion and always rejoices in communion, in the richness of diversity. The participation of representatives from other Churches and Christian communities, as well as the Jewish and Muslim religions, helps remind us that religion is not a separate area marked off from society. Rather, it is a natural element within society, constantly recalling the vertical dimension: attentive listening to God as the condition for seeking the common good, for seeking justice and reconciliation in the truth. Religion places man in relation with God, the Creator and Father of all, and must therefore be a force for peace. Religions need always to be purified according to their true essence in order to correspond to their true mission.

Here I would like to introduce the main topic of my brief reflection: the theme of conscience. This cuts across all the different fields in which you are engaged and it is fundamental for a free and just society, both at national and supranational levels. Naturally, I think of Europe, to which Croatia has always belonged on the historical and cultural plane, and which it is now about to enter on the political and institutional level. Truly, the great achievements of the modern age – the recognition and guarantee of freedom of conscience, of human rights, of the freedom of science and hence of a free society – should be confirmed and developed while keeping reason and freedom open to their transcendent foundation, so as to ensure that these achievements are not undone, as unfortunately happens in not a few cases. The quality of social and civil life and the quality of democracy depend in large measure on this “critical” point – conscience, on the way it is understood and the way it is informed. If, in keeping with the prevailing modern idea, conscience is reduced to the subjective field to which religion and morality have been banished, then the crisis of the West has no remedy and Europe is destined to collapse in on itself. If, on the other hand, conscience is rediscovered as the place in which to listen to truth and good, the place of responsibility before God and before fellow human beings – in other words, the bulwark against all forms of tyranny – then there is hope for the future.

I am grateful to Professor Zurak for reminding us of the Christian roots of many of the cultural and academic institutions of this country, as indeed all over the European Continent. We need to be reminded of these origins, not least for the sake of historical truth, and it is important that we understand these roots properly, so that they can feed the present day too. It is crucial to grasp the inner dynamic of an event such as the birth of a university, of an artistic movement, or of a hospital. It is necessary to understand the why and the how of what took place, in order to recognize the value of this dynamic in the present day, as a spiritual reality that takes on a cultural and therefore a social dimension. At the heart of all these institutions are men and women, persons, consciences, moved by the power of truth and good. Some examples have been quoted, from among the famous sons and daughters of this land. I would like to single out Father Ruder Josip Boškovic, a Jesuit born in Dubrovnik three hundred years ago on 18 May 1711. He is a good illustration of the happy symbiosis of faith and scholarship, each stimulating the other through research that is at the same time open, diversified and capable of synthesis. His principal work, Theoria philosophiae naturalis, which was published in Vienna and later in Venice in the mid 18th century, bears a highly significant sub-title: redacta ad unicam legem virium in natura existentium, that is, “according to the one law of the forces existing in nature”. In Boškovic, there is analysis, there is study of multiple branches of knowledge, but there is also a passion for unity. This is typical of Catholic culture. Hence, the foundation of a Catholic University in Croatia is a sign of hope. I trust that it will help to foster unity among the various fields of contemporary culture, the values and the identity of your people, lending continuity to the fruitful contribution of the Church to the history of the noble Croatian Nation. To return to Father Boškovic, the experts say that his theory of “continuity”, which holds true both in the natural sciences and in geometry, accords well with some of the great discoveries of modern physics. What are we to say? Let us pay tribute to the illustrious Croat, but also to the true Jesuit; let us pay tribute to the cultivator of truth who knows how far the truth surpasses him, but who also knows, in the light of truth, how to engage fully the resources of reason with which he has been endowed by God himself.

As well as paying tribute, however, we must learn to appreciate the method, the mental openness of these great men. This brings us back to conscience as the keystone on which to base a culture and build up the common good. It is by forming consciences that the Church makes her most specific and valuable contribution to society. It is a contribution that begins in the family and is strongly reinforced in the parish, where infants, children and young people learn to deepen their knowledge of the sacred Scriptures, the “great codex” of European culture; at the same time they learn what it means for a community to be built upon gift, not upon economic interests or ideology, but upon love, “the principal driving force behind the authentic development of every person and of all humanity” (Caritas in Veritate ). This logic of gratuitousness, learnt in infancy and adolescence, is then lived out in every area of life, in games, in sport, in interpersonal relations, in art, in voluntary service to the poor and the suffering, and once it has been assimilated it can be applied to the most complex areas of political and economic life so as to build up a polis that is welcoming and hospitable, but at the same time not empty, not falsely neutral, but rich in humanity, with a strongly ethical dimension. It is here that the lay faithful are called to give generously of the formation they have received, guided by the principles of the Church’s Social Doctrine, for the sake of authentic secularism, social justice, the defence of life and of the family, freedom of religion and education.

Distinguished friends, your presence here and Croatia’s cultural tradition have prompted these brief reflections. I offer them to you as a mark of my esteem and above all of the Church’s desire to walk in the midst of this people in the light of the Gospel. I thank you for your attention, and from my heart I bless all of you, all those you love and all that you do.

PRAYER VIGIL WITH CROATIAN YOUTH Bano Josip Jelacic Square - Zagreb Saturday, 4 June 2011


Dear Young People!

I greet all of you with much affection. I am particularly happy to be with you in this historic Square which is really the heart of the city of Zagreb. It is a meeting-place and a centre of communication often overwhelmed by the noise and activity of daily life. Your presence has now transformed it into a kind of church whose vault is the sky itself, which this evening seems almost to bend low over us. In silence we want to receive the word of God which has just been proclaimed, so that it will enlighten our minds and warm our hearts.

I thank Archbishop Srakic, President of the Bishops’ Conference, for his words introducing our gathering; and in a special way I greet and thank the two young people who offered us their fine testimonies. The experience recounted by Daniel evokes that of Saint Augustine: it is the experience of seeking love “outside”, and then discovering that it is closer to me than I am to myself; love “touches” me deeply and purifies me. Mateja then spoke of the beauty of community, which opens the heart, the mind and the spirit… I thank you both!

In the reading we have just listened to, Saint Paul tells us to “rejoice in the Lord always” (
Ph 4,4). These words are stirring if we consider the fact that the Apostle of the Nations is writing this letter to the Christians of Philippi while imprisoned and awaiting trial. He is in chains, yet the preaching and testimony of the Gospel cannot be chained. Saint Paul’s experience reveals how it is possible, along the journey of our lives, to preserve joy even in moments of darkness. But what is the joy to which he refers? We all know that lodged in the heart of every person is a strong desire for happiness. Every action, every decision, every intention holds hidden within itself this deep, natural desire. But all too often we realize that we put our trust in things that cannot fulfil that desire, things that turn out to be shifting sands. At such moments we recognize our need for something “greater”, capable of giving meaning to our daily lives.

Dear friends: this time of youth is given to you by the Lord to enable you to discover life’s meaning! It is a time of vast horizons, of powerful emotions, but also a time of concern about demanding, long-term choices, a time of challenges in your studies and in the workplace, a time of wondering about the mystery of pain and suffering. What is more, this wonderful time of life is marked by a deep longing which, far from cancelling everything else, actually lifts it up and fulfils it. In the Gospel of John, Jesus asks his disciples: “What are you looking for?” (Jn 1,38). Young friends, these words, this question reaches beyond time and space, it challenges every man and woman who is open to life and in search of the right path… And, startlingly, the voice of Jesus also says to you: “what are you looking for?” Jesus speaks to you today, through the Gospel and his Holy Spirit. He is your contemporary! He seeks you even before you seek him! While fully respecting your freedom, he approaches each one of you and offers himself as the authentic and decisive response to the longing deep within your hearts, to your desire for a life worth living. Let him take you by the hand! Let him become more and more your friend and companion along life’s journey. Put your trust in him and he will never disappoint you! Jesus enables you to know at first hand the love of God the Father; he helps you realize that your happiness comes from his friendship, from fellowship with him. Why? Because we have been created and saved by love, and it is only in love, the love which desires and seeks the good of others, that we truly experience the meaning of life and find happiness in living it, even amid difficulties, trials and disappointments, even when it means swimming against the tide.

Dear young people: if you are rooted in Christ, you will fully become the person you are meant to be. As you know, this is the theme I chose for my Message for the coming World Youth Day, which will see us gathered this August in Madrid and towards which we are now making our way. I began with an incisive expression of Saint Paul: “Rooted and built up in Christ, and established in the faith” (Col 2,7). As you grow in friendship with the Lord through his word, the Eucharist and life in the Church, you will be able, with the help of your priests, to testify to the complete joy of having encountered the One who always stands at your side and enables you to live in confidence and hope. The Lord Jesus is not a Teacher who deceives his disciples: he tells us clearly that walking by his side calls for commitment and personal sacrifice, but it is worth the effort! Young friends: do not let yourselves be led astray by enticing promises of easy success, by lifestyles which regard appearances as more important than inner depth. Do not yield to the temptation of putting all your trust in possessions, in material things, while abandoning the search for the truth which is always “greater”, which guides us like a star high in the heavens to where Christ would lead us. Let it guide you to the very heights of God!

In this springtime of your youth, you can find support in the witness which so many of the Lord’s disciples gave in their own days by treasuring the newness of the Gospel in their hearts. Think of Francis and Clare of Assisi, Rose of Viterbo, Theresa of the Child Jesus, Dominic Savio: think of all the many young saints in the great company of the Church! Here in Croatia, though, you and I think of Blessed Ivan Merz. A brilliant young man, completely involved in social life, who began his university studies after the death of young Greta, his first love. During the years of the First World War he was confronted by destruction and death, but this experience shaped and forged him, helping him to overcome moments of crisis and spiritual struggle. Ivan’s faith grew so strong that he devoted himself to the study of the liturgy and embarked upon an intense apostolate among other young people. He discovered the beauty of the Catholic faith and came to understand that his own calling in life was to experience, and to help others experience, the friendship of Christ. The path of his life was strewn with astonishing and moving acts of charity and goodness! He died on 10 May 1928, at only 32 years of age, after a few months of sickness, offering his life for the Church and for young people.

This young life, completely given over to love, bears the fragrance of Christ; it invites all of us not to be afraid and to entrust ourselves to the Lord as did the Virgin Mary, Mother of the Church, who is venerated and loved here under the title of Our Lady of the Stone Gate. This evening I wish to entrust each of you to her, asking her to accompany and protect you, and above all to help you to encounter the Lord and in him to discover the full meaning of your life. Mary did not fear to surrender herself completely to God’s plan; in her we see the goal to which we are called: full communion with the Lord. Our entire life is a journey towards the Unity and Trinity of Love which is God; we can live our lives in the certainty that we will never be abandoned. Dear young people of Croatia, I embrace all of you as sons and daughters! You have a place in my heart and I leave you my blessing. “Rejoice in the Lord always!” May his joy, the joy of true love, be your strength. Amen. Praised be Jesus and Mary!


Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Stephen, Zagreb

Dear Brother Bishops and Priests,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,

I give thanks to God for this encounter, in prayer, which allows me to spend a special moment of communion with you, Bishops, priests, consecrated men and women, seminarians and novices. I greet all of you with affection and I thank you for the witness that you render to the Church, following the example of many Pastors and Martyrs down the centuries in this land, from Saint Domnius to Blessed Cardinal Stepinac, the beloved Cardinal Kuharic and many others. I thank Cardinal Josip Bozanic for the kind words which he has addressed to me. This evening we gather for a devoted and prayerful remembrance of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac, a fearless Pastor and an example of apostolic zeal and Christian fortitude, whose heroic life continues today to illuminate the faithful of the Dioceses of Croatia, sustaining the faith and life of the Church in this land. The merits of this unforgettable Bishop are derived essentially from his faith: in his life, he always had his gaze fixed on Jesus, to whom he was always conformed, to the point of becoming a living image of Christ, and of Christ suffering. Precisely because of his strong Christian conscience, he knew how to resist every form of totalitarianism, becoming, in a time of Nazi and Fascist dictatorship, a defender of the Jews, the Orthodox and of all the persecuted, and then, in the age of communism, an advocate for his own faithful, especially for the many persecuted and murdered priests. Yes, he became an advocate for God on this earth, since he tenaciously defended the truth and man’s right to live with God.

“For by a single offering [Christ] has perfected for all time those who are sanctified” (
He 10,14). This phrase from the Letter to the Hebrews which we have just heard, invites us to consider the figure of Blessed Cardinal Stepinac according to the “form” of Christ and his sacrifice. Christian martyrdom is in fact the highest measure of holiness, but it is so always and only thanks to Christ, by his gift, as a response to his oblation which we receive in the Eucharist. Blessed Alojzije Stepinac responded with his priesthood, with the episcopate, with the sacrifice of his life: a unique “yes” united to that of Christ. His martyrdom signals the culmination of the violence perpetrated against the Church during the terrible period of communist persecution. Croatian Catholics, and in particular the clergy, were objects of oppression and systematic abuse, aimed at destroying the Catholic Church, beginning with its highest Authority in this place. That particularly difficult period was characterized by a generation of Bishops, priests and Religious who were ready to die rather than to betray Christ, the Church and the Pope. The people saw that the priests never lost faith, hope and charity, and thus they remained always united. This unity explains what is humanly inexplicable: that such a hardened regime could not make the Church bow down.

Today too, the Church in Croatia is called to be united, to meet the challenges of a changed social context, identifying with missionary fervour new ways of evangelization, especially in the service of younger generations. My dear Brother Bishops, I would like to encourage you above all in the fulfilment of your mission. The more you work in fruitful cooperation among yourselves and in communion with the Successor of Peter, the more you will be able to confront the difficulties of our age. It also important for Bishops above all and for priests to strive for reconciliation among separated Christians and between Christians and Muslims, following the footsteps of Christ who is our peace. Regarding your priests, do not neglect to offer them clear spiritual, doctrinal and pastoral directions. While the Christian community admits legitimate diversity within itself, it cannot render faithful witness to the Lord except in the communion of its members. This requires of you the service of vigilance, offered in dialogue and with great love, but also with clarity and firmness. Dear Brothers, adhering to Christ means “keeping his word” (cf. Jn 14,23).

To this end, Blessed Cardinal Stepinac expressed himself in this way: “One of the greatest evils of our time is mediocrity in the questions of faith. Let us not deceive ourselves… Either we are Catholic or we are not. If we are, this must be seen in every area of our life” (Homily on the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, 29 June 1943). The Church’s moral teaching, often misunderstood today, cannot be detached from the Gospel. It falls particularly to the Bishops to propose it authoritatively to the faithful, in order to assist them in evaluating their personal responsibilities and in harmonizing their moral choices with the demands of the faith. In this way, your society will make progress towards that “cultural shift” necessary for promoting a culture of life and a society worthy of man.

Dear priests – especially those of you in charge of parishes – I know the importance and the variety of your tasks in an age when the scarcity of priests is beginning to make itself felt strongly. I urge you not to lose heart, to remain vigilant in prayer and in your spiritual lives, in order to perform your ministry fruitfully: to teach, to sanctify and to guide all those who are entrusted to your care. Welcome with magnanimity those who knock at the door of your heart, offering to each one the gifts that divine goodness has entrusted to you. Persevere in communion with your Bishops and in mutual cooperation. Nourish your commitment at the life-giving waters of Scripture, the Sacraments, the constant praise of God, always open and docile to the actions of the Holy Spirit; you will thus be effective workers in the new evangelization, which you are called to realize together with the laity, in a coordinated way and without confusing what pertains to ordained ministry with what belongs to the universal priesthood of all the baptized. Keep close to your hearts the promotion of vocations to the priesthood; by your enthusiasm and your fidelity, strive to transmit a living desire to respond generously and without hesitation to Christ, who calls each one to be conformed more intimately to himself, Head and Shepherd.

Dear consecrated men and women, how much the Church expects of you, who have the mission of bearing witness in every age to “the way of life which Jesus, the supreme Consecrated One and missionary of the Father for the sake of his Kingdom, embraced and proposed to his disciples” (Vita Consecrata VC 22). May God himself be your only treasure: let yourselves be formed by him, thus making visible to the men and women of today – athirst for true values – the holiness, truth, and love of our heavenly Father. Sustained by the grace of the Spirit, speak to the people with the eloquence of a life transfigured by the newness of Easter. Your whole existence will thus become a sign of, and a service to, the consecration received by each of the baptized when they were incorporated into Christ.

To the young people preparing themselves for the priesthood or the consecrated life, I wish to repeat that the divine Master is constantly at work in the world and he says to all those he calls, “Follow me” (Mt 9,9). It is a call which asks to be confirmed every day with a response of love. May your hearts always be ready! May the heroic testimony of Blessed Alojzije Stepinac inspire a renewal of vocations among the young people of Croatia. And you, dear Brothers in the Episcopate and the priesthood, do not neglect to offer to young seminarians and novices a balanced formation, to prepare them for a ministry that is well integrated into the society of our time, thanks to the depth of their spiritual lives and the seriousness of their studies.

Beloved Church in Croatia, with courage and humility take up the task of being the moral conscience of society, “salt of the earth” and “light of the world” (cf. Mt 5,13-14). Be always faithful to Christ and to the message of the Gospel, in a society which seeks to relativize and secularize every area of life. May the joy of faith and hope dwell within you. My dearest friends! May Blessed Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac and all the saints of your land intercede for your people and may the Mother of the Saviour protect you. With great affection, I impart to you and to the entire Church in Croatia my Apostolic Blessing. Amen.

Praised be Jesus and Mary!

FAREWELL CEREMONY Pleso International Airport, Zagreb Sunday, 5 June 2011


Mr President,
Distinguished Authorities,
Dear Brother Bishops,
Brothers and Sisters in the Lord!

My visit to your country is drawing to a close. Though brief, it has been graced with encounters that have made me feel part of you, and part of your history, and they have given me the opportunity to confirm the faith of the pilgrim Church in Croatia in Jesus Christ, our only Saviour. That faith, which came to you through the brave witness of many of your brothers and sisters, some of whom did not hesitate to die for Christ and his Gospel, I have found to be alive and sincere. Let us give thanks to God for the abundant gifts of grace which he dispenses generously on the daily path of his sons and daughters! I wish to thank everyone who helped in the planning and the smooth progress of my visit.

These days have left a deep impression on my mind and my heart. The people’s participation in this morning’s celebration of Mass on the occasion of the National Day of Croatian Catholic Families was unanimous and heartfelt. In yesterday’s gathering at the National Theatre I was able to share some thoughts with representatives of civil society and religious communities. The young people present at the prayer vigil showed me the radiant face of Croatia turned towards the future, illumined by a sincere faith, like the flame of a precious lamp handed down by our forebears for us to guard and replenish along the way. The prayer at the tomb of Blessed Cardinal Stepinac reminded us in a special way of all who have suffered - and still suffer today - on account of their faith in the Gospel. Let us continue to invoke the intercession of this fearless witness of the Risen Lord, so that every sacrifice, every trial offered to God out of love for him and for our neighbour, may be like the grain of wheat fallen to the ground that dies so as to bear fruit.

It was a joy for me to experience today the vitality of your people’s long-standing Christian tradition. I could sense it in the warm welcome given to me by the people, just as they welcomed Blessed John Paul II on his three visits, recognizing them as visits from the Successor of Peter who comes to confirm his brothers in the faith. This ecclesial vitality, which must be maintained and strengthened, will surely have positive results for society as a whole, thanks to the cooperation between the Church and public institutions which it is hoped will always be serene and fruitful. At a time when stable and trustworthy reference points seem to be lacking, Christians united “together in Christ”, the cornerstone, can continue to act as the “soul” of the Nation, helping it to develop and to make progress.

As I leave for Rome, I place all of you in the hands of God. May he who is infinite providence, the giver of all good things, always bless the land and the people of Croatia; may he grant peace and prosperity to every family. May the Virgin Mary watch over the historic journey of your homeland and of the whole of Europe. And let my Apostolic Blessing, which I offer you with great affection, accompany you on your way.


Mr Ambassador,

I am pleased to receive you this morning, at the moment when you are presenting the Letters accrediting you as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Moldova to the Holy See. I thank you for your kind words. To reciprocate I would be grateful if you would kindly express to Mr Marian Lupu, President ad interim of the Republic of Moldova, my cordial wishes for himself and for all the people of Moldova.

The year 2011 is the 20th anniversary of your country’s Independence. It is now possible to see what has been done and what has yet to be built. In your discourse you very rightly emphasized the trials your nation has had to face and the intense hope that prevails among the population for settling the financial problems and those of national unity. It is clear that unity in peace and serenity is a factor that encourages economic and social development but this development also serves to achieve unity.

Finally I pray that lasting solutions may be found for the good of all through proper political mediation and the preservation of the different identities. Your people have written glorious pages in the history of the European continent. May this past inspire your present!

Your country wishes to move forward. It has set very understandable and necessary economic priorities. However, these must also respect the interests of national sovereignty and contribute to the well-being of all the members of your society, seeking to avoid trends that favour some to the detriment of others. To help achieve this goal your country hopes to establish close relations with the European Union. It is right and fitting that Moldova wishes to return to the common European home, but this legitimate aspiration can only take place with respect for the positive values of your country and must not be determined solely by the economy and material well-being.

The fact that these two elements were ideologized in the past is an indication of the pitfalls to be avoided for they can lead to a unilateral abdication from the age-old values of your culture. This adherence, an important element, will be authentic only if the European Union recognizes the specific contribution that Moldova can make, so as to be able to move on together towards a future enriched by the identity of each nation.

Because of its tradition and its Christian faith, Moldova can courageously help the European Union rediscover what it no longer wishes to see and even denies. Moreover, the peace, justice and prosperity of Moldova that are bound to result from the realization of its European aspirations will only be effective if they are experienced by each one of our fellow citizens in the quest for the common good and with an ongoing concern for ethics. Among these essential values the religious values are to be found.

The harmonious diplomatic relations between Moldova and the Holy See, established 18 years ago, give me great pleasure. This harmony is due to the Christian faith that dwells in your nation and its inhabitants and I pay a tribute to the Orthodox Church as a whole. She has always shared with the Catholic Church the need to defend the religious and cultural values against the surrounding materialism and relativism which calls into question the Christian contribution to life and to society. May the brotherly relations between the Orthodox and the Catholic faithful grow deeper. These relations of reciprocal respect and friendship are a witness of love that over and above divisions and their consequences points out that hearts can be opened to reconciliation, solidarity and brotherhood.

The faithful of the Catholic Church in Moldova are not very numerous. I greet them through you, and especially the Bishop of Chisinau. I give thanks for the juridical recognition which the Catholic Church enjoys in Moldova, for her gradual organization and for the construction of new churches, including the cathedral. These facts show the excellency of the dialogue and collaboration between the civil institutions and the Catholic Church.

We all know that certain problems inherited from a recent past have yet to be resolved. The effort to care for and heal these wounds is another way of making a positive contribution to the unity of the country and to its development. May the civil authorities have the courage to find satisfactory solutions that are right and fair concerning the confiscated ecclesiastical patrimony, in order to allow the Catholic Church the means to fulfil her mission, not only in the religious domain but also in the educational, health-care and charitable sectors.

The Church does not ask to be granted special privileges. She wishes to be faithful to her own goal and to serve everyone, without distinction, in accordance with the mission entrusted to her by Christ. The successful integration of Catholics in your country, the excellence of relations with the Orthodox Church show her good will. Moreover many Moldovans have moved to the European nations of Catholic tradition. They seek there financial stability of course, but they also weave bonds with Catholics, thereby further deepening the good relations between both Churches. These two factors are encouraging in order to find other solutions to reinforce increasingly the harmony between the Moldovan State and the Catholic Church.

My thoughts go in particular to the young Moldovans. I pray for them and I would like to encourage them. I express to you my joy in knowing that 100 of them will be able to take part for the first time in the World Youth Day next August in Madrid. And, next October the Catholic Church will be organizing the first Social Week. The prospect of these two events gives me great pleasure. They should inspire your country’s pride.

At the time when you are officially beginning your mission to the Holy See, Your Excellency, I express my best wishes for its success. You may be sure, Mr Ambassador, that you will always find with my co-workers the attention and cordial understanding that your lofty office deserves, as well as the affection for your country of the Successor of Peter. As I invoke the Virgin Mary’s intercession, I pray the Lord to pour out an abundance of Blessings upon you, upon your family and upon your collaborators, as well as upon the Moldovan people and their leaders.

Speeches 2005-13 42611