Pope to ambassadors: Always strive to be peacemakers

Pope Francis reflects on family, hope, and peace as he welcomes ambassadors from Ethiopia, Zambia, Tanzania, Burundi, Qatar, and Mauritania.

Jun 10, 2024

Pope Francis addresses ambassadors from six countries during the formal presentation of their Credential Letters (VATICAN MEDIA Divisione Foto)

By Christopher Wells
Pope Francis highlighted the themes of family, hope, and peace as he welcomed ambassadors to the Holy See from Ethiopia, Zambia, Tanzania, Burundi, Qatar, and Mauritania.

Family a fitting image of the international community
Beginning with the idea of nations as members of “one human family,” the Holy Father said that the “noble work of diplomacy” is directed to the promotion and values that are first “lived out and handed on” in families. 

While encouraging diplomats – and the governments they represent – to continue “to build a culture of fraternal solidarity and cooperation,” the Pope also lamented that the “fabric of the family of nations today” is being torn apart by violence.

He lamented the humanitarian crises caused by conflict, while also raising the issues of forced migration and internal displacement, human trafficking, and climate change, as well as economic inequality and the declining birthrate in many countries. 

“In view of such challenges,” he said, “it is essential to undertake a far-sighted, constructive and creative dialogue, based on honesty and openness, in order to find shared solutions and strengthen the bonds that unite us as brothers and sisters within the global family.”

Ambassadors as signs of hope
The answer to these challenges, the Pope said, involves “hope,” a virtue that lies at the heart of the Church’s upcoming Jubilee Year. Hope leads us to recognize “the goodness present in the world and provides the strength need to meet the challenges of our day.”

He said he sees ambassadors as “signs of hope… men and women who seek to build bridges between peoples, not walls,” and reminded them that “common ground, mutual understanding, and concrete expressions of social friendship are still possible.”

‘Strive to be peacemakers’
After highlighting their responsibility to help nations and peoples “advance together along the path of fraternity and peaceful coexistence,” Pope Francis turned to the idea of peace, rooted in “relationships that recognize and welcome others in their inalienable dignity.”

“Only when we set aside indifference and fear,” he said, can a genuine climate of mutual respect that leads to lasting concord grow and flourish.”

He concluded his address by expressing his hope that diplomats might “always strive to be peacemakers, those who are blessed by the Almighty.”--Vatican News

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