2009-10-29 13:29:59

Pope Benedict XVI Address to the Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran

(October 29, 2009) “Iran is a great nation that has eminent spiritual traditions and its people have a deep religious sensitivity. This may be a reason for hope for an increasingly open and trusting collaboration with the international community. For its part, the Holy See is ready to work in harmony with those who serve the cause of peace and promote the dignity with which the Creator has endowed all human beings,” said Pope Benedict XVI. He was addressing the new Ambassador of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Akbar Naseri, on the occasion of the presentation of the Letters of credence. The Pope added that the Holy See wishes to defend and promote human dignity and wants to serve the good of the human family, by showing a special interest in ethical, moral and humanitarian relations between peoples. Further the Pontiff said “Faith in God must bring all believers and encourage them to work together to defend and promote basic human values. Among the universal human rights, religious freedom and freedom of conscience are a fundamental, because they are the foundation of other freedoms.” He therefore welcomed the regular meetings organized jointly by the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue and the Organization for Culture and Islamic Relations, on themes of common interest. Pope Benedict then reminded the ambassador that Catholics are present in Iran since the early centuries of Christianity and they have always been an integral part of life and culture of the nation. The Holy See has confidence that the Iranian authorities will strengthen and guarantee the freedom of Christians to profess their faith and provide the Catholic community the essential conditions for its existence. In this perspective, the Pope said that he wants a sincere and trustful dialogue to improve the situation of Christian communities and their activities in the context of civil society and to increase their sense of the belonging to national life.

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