In his first speech to members of the diplomatic corps accredited to the Holy See, Pope John Paul I has said that the church could best serve its international obligations by faithfully carrying out its pastoral mission.
In the Aug. 31 speech, he said the church could contribute to better relations among the nations of the world by "forming consciences - chiefly the consciences of Christians, but also those of men and women of good will, and through these, forming a wider public opinion - regarding the fundamental principles that guarantee authentic civilization and real brotherhood between peoples."
"These principles are respect for one's neighbor, for his life and for his dignity, care for his spiritual and social progress, patience, and the desire for reconciliation in the fragile building up of peace - in short, all the rights and duties of life in society and international life as they have been set forth in the (Vatican) council's constitution on 'the Church in the Modern World,' and in so many messages by the late Pope Paul VI," he said.
He offered church assistance in the search for better solutions to the great problems that he sees at stake: "detente, disarmament, peace, justice, humanitarian measures and aid, development etc."
The pope added, "We are ready to continue in this field the diplomatic and international activity already undertaken, to the extent that participation by the Holy See proves desired and fruitful, and is in correspondence with our means."
Pope John Paul praised the growth of the Vatican diplomatic corps under Pope Paul VI, saying that he hoped "these relations" would be "ever more cordial and fruitful for the good of your fellow-citizens, for the good of the church in your countries, and for the good of universal concord."
He underlined, however, that the pastoral work of the church could help create peoples working to "ensure more effectively the conditions for the common good and to discover the final meaning of their forward march.