12/13/2007, 00.00
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Pope appeals to governments to “restore peoples hope”

Benedict XVI underlines the need for an integral youth education as he receives a group of Ambassadors. In Kuwait he underlines religious freedom and the importance given to dialogue, he praises attention to moral formation of the youth in Seychelles, in Singapore warns that democracy requires an application of values which inspire progress, and in Thailand he shares his concern for the sexual exploitation of women and children.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) – “Restore peoples hope”, while keeping account of their deepest aspirations, of their right to benefit from their nations natural and economic resources “according to the principals of equity and justice”.  This was the appeal that Benedict XVI launched today as he met with the new Ambassadors from Thailand, Seychelles, Namibia, Gambia, Suriname, Singapore and Kuwait, who had made their way to the Vatican to present their letters of credentials.

In the words of the Pope in order to reach such a goal “particular attention needs to be paid to younger generations”, who are in need of and “integral education”, which pays attention not only to their technical and scientific formation but that is also open to human and moral values.  Youth formation, in fact, is a “particularly important method in combating that desperation which often lives in the heart of the young and is at the origins of numerous acts of individual and collective violence”.

Along with these general considerations, which Benedict XVI voiced during a group meeting, the Pope also went on to address them each of the Ambassadors individually.


Speaking to the Ambassador of Kuwait, Suhail Khalil Shuhaiber, Benedict XVI underlined the importance of inter-religious dialogue and educating young people to tolerance, aspects which are both present in the Arab Muslim nation, where Catholics can “pray freely in their Churches”.

The country,  “which has overcome the devastating effects of violence and war, continues to play an important role in the delicate process of reconciliation which offers the only sure hope for a resolution of the many complex problems affecting the Middle East”. Benedict XVI then expressed his appreciation for the diplomat’s reference to the importance of inter-religious and inter-cultural dialogue.  “Such dialogue – and I think here with satisfaction of the increasing contacts between Muslims and Christians – is essential for overcoming misunderstandings and forging solid relations marked by mutual respect and cooperation in the pursuit of the common good of the whole human family. Children, in particular, need to be educated in the authentic values underlying their own culture and in a spirit of openness to other cultures, respect for others and commitment to peace. In a world where intolerance, violence and oppression are all too often proposed as the solution to disagreements and conflict, there is urgent need of a “human ecology capable of extirpating these evils and sowing those virtues which will foster the growth of a truly humane culture of honesty, solidarity and concord”.


In his address to Ambassador Barry Desker of the “prosperous, well-ordered and democratic country” of Singapore, the Pope noted that “Economic success, however, needs a firm ethical grounding if it is to bring lasting benefits to society”. Therefore the person “must always be placed at the heart of economic enterprise”. The Pope continued that an authentic democracy, “is not merely the result of a formal observation of a set of rules, but is “the fruit of a convinced acceptance of the values that inspire democratic procedures: the dignity of every human person, the respect of human rights, and commitment to the common good”. For this reason – he added - I encourage your Government in its efforts to involve all citizens and groups to participate in political and social life”.


Benedict XVI speaking to Thai ambassador Chaiyong Satjipanon praised King Bhumibol for his efforts to promote unity, religious tolerance and compassion for the poor.

After reflecting on the positivist steps taken by the country within the ASEAN group to promote progress in the region, the Pope underlined the nations concern, shared by the Catholic Church, for the sexual exploitation of women and children which continues to plague the region.  He highlighted that the problem is “fuelled by the trivialization of sexuality in the media and entertainment industries” Benedict XVI maintained that “The complexity of this unspeakable human exploitation demands a concerted international response”. “This international cooperation, coupled with an unbending domestic political resolve to confront the corruption and impunity which facilitate such crimes, will lead to a turning point of hope and dignity for all concerned”. (FP)


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Pope to governments: have the courage to teach young people "the right values"
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