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Diplomat's work is to facilitate positive encounter, Pope says

December 20, 2013

Diplomacy should “promote the culture of encounter,” Pope Francis told a group of Italian diplomats at a meeting on December 20.

The Pope met with the staff of the Italian embassy to the Holy See, to exchange Christmas greetings and to thank them for their cooperation. He mentioned, in particular, the diplomatic coordination of events for the March 19 ceremony at which he solemnly inaugurated his pontificate.

Diplomacy, the Pope remarked, is designed to help people, countries, and international groups “encounter one another fruitfully.” He emphasized the importance of this work, which entails “the growth of positive relationships, based on mutual knowledge, respect, and the common search for pathways to development and peace.”

Italian diplomats have an extra advantage, the Pontiff said, because of their country’s rich cultural heritage.


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