2009-10-02 15:33:53

Pope welcomes new Philippine ambassador

(October 2, 2009) Pope Benedict on Friday commended the efforts of the Filipino people in building peace through reconciliation and mutual understanding, and encouraged the largely Catholic nation in charity and development initiatives. The Pope made the remark to Philippine ambassador, Mrs. Mercedes Arrastia Tuason, who presented her credentials to the Pontiff at a formal ceremony at the papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo, jut outside Rome. “In an age when the name of God is abused by certain groups, the “work of charity” is particularly urgent,” the Pope told the new ambassador. “This is especially true in regions that have been sadly scarred by conflicts,” he said hinting at the Philippines’ own problem with Islamic insurgency, especially in the south. “In the conviction that evil is only conquered with good,” the Pope observed that many in the Philippines were “taking courageous steps to bring people together in order to foster reconciliation and mutual understanding. Commending the variety of development initiatives in the Philippines, the Pope said they primarily aim at “improving the actual living conditions of the poorest…” The struggle against poverty, he stressed, calls for honesty, integrity and an unwavering fidelity to the principles of justice, especially on the part of those directly entrusted with the offices of governance and public administration. Pope Benedict also expressed his closeness with the victims of Typhoon Ketsana that caused widespread devastation in the Philippines.

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