People and nations must work together
for the good and development of all
On Saturday, 6 June , the Holy
Father received in audience Mr. Ronald Reagan, President of the United
States of America. On the occasion of that visit the Holy Father greeted
Mr. Reagan as follows:
This is the second time that
I have the pleasure of welcoming you to the Vatican. Although this visit
is somewhat brief, I am grateful for the opportunity to assure you again
of my great esteem for all the people of the United States of America.
On the occasion of your
previous visit, I spoke of the importance of building society on "the
strong foundation of moral and spiritual values", and I
expressed the hope that world peace might be fostered through greater
trust between peoples and nations—"a
trust that is manifested and proved through constructive negotiations
aimed at ending the arms race, and at liberating immense resources that
can be used to alleviate misery and feed millions of hungry human beings".
I am confident, Mr President,
that you share my continued concern about these issues. Whenever moral and
spiritual values are rejected, or even given mere lip service and not
truly integrated into daily life, then we, as individuals or groups, as
communities or nations, fall short of what we were intended to be as men
and women created in the image of God. At the same time, the absence of
trust, and an unwillingness to work together for the good of all, breed
division in the world and become a great stumbling block to the pursuit of
true justice and peace.
In order to secure a brighter
future and to overcome the obstacles to peaceful coexistence in the world,
we must keep in mind a fundamental. truth about human life, namely, that
together we make up a
single human family. We are sons and daughters of one and
the same God, brothers and sisters in a common humanity. As I stated in my
Message for the 1987 World Day of Peace: "By simply being born into this
world, we are of one inheritance and one stock with every other human
being. This oneness expresses itself in all the richness and diversity of
the human family: in different races, cultures, languages and histories.
And we are called to recognize the basic solidarity of the human
family as the fundamental. condition of our life together on this earth"
Collaborate effectively for the common good
The consequences of this
important truth are many and profound. If taken to heart, this truth will
shape the attitudes of mind and spirit which make it possible for
peoples and nations to collaborate effectively for the good of all—to
overcome strife and conflict, to promote authentic integral development
and to assist refugees and victims of natural disasters. The oneness of
humanity must have an impact on the policies and practices of governments,
providing a solid foundation for international cooperation which reaches
beyond political, racial, geographical and ideological boundaries and
forges new bonds of trust and mutual service. Even those who have
previously been labelled as enemies can be seen in a new perspective, as
brothers and sisters in the one human family.
Not long ago it became
possible to establish full diplomatic relations between the Holy See and
the United States. You view such relations as an important way of
furthering mutual understanding and constructive collaboration. The Holy
See has no political ambitions, but it does consider it part of its
mission in the world to be vitally concerned about human rights and the
dignity of all, especially the poor and suffering. Drawing its
inspirations and guidance from the Gospel of Jesus Christ, who came "to
bring glad tidings to the poor" (Lk 4:18), the Holy See seeks to promote
the highest spiritual values and ethical principles. In this regard,
diplomatic relations are meant to facilitate a more fruitful dialogue on
the basic questions facing the international community.
In sharing these thoughts
with you today, I also wish to say how much I look forward to my
forthcoming visit to the United States. Memories of my previous visit
remain for me a source of joy. I am grateful for this further opportunity
to travel to a number of cities in your country, and thus to be once again
in the midst of the American people, so as to join my heart and voice with
theirs in praise of the living God.
May the Lord assist you, Mr.
President, in all your lofty responsibilities, and may his blessings be
upon you and all the people of the United States of America.