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Christians must cherish the ideal of fraternity, Pope tells new ambassadors

December 16, 2010

In a December 16 address to five new ambassadors accredited to the Holy See, Pope Benedict XVI observed with regret that the ideal of fraternity “has become become a dead letter in contemporary political societies, due above all to the influence of individualist and collectivist ideologies.”

Fraternity, the Pope told the new envoys, may have “less resonance in the development of philosophical and political ideas than other ideals such as freedom, equality, progress or unity.” But for Christians, who recognize that all men are brothers in Christ, the ideal of fraternity has enormous resonance. He explained:

The Church believes that Christ revealed to us that God is love. Thus people who believe in divine charity are certain that the path of love is open to all men and women, and that efforts to establish universal fraternity are not in vain.

Fraternity takes on great practical importance in the face of natural disasters, when whole populations are in need, the Pope said. He cited the devastation of Haiti, “devastated first by the earthquake and them by the cholera epidemic,” as a prime example, although only one of many.

The Pontiff offered these thoughts about fraternity in an address to the new ambassadors as a group. As he accepted their diplomatic credentials, he gave each ambassador a written message addressed to the particular situation facing his country.

The new ambassadors were Suresh Prasad Pradhan of Nepal, Royson Mabuku Mukwena of Zambia, Miquel Angel Canturri Montanya of Andorra, Vivianne Fock Tave of Seychelles, and Boubacar Sidiki Toure of Mali.


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