BENEDICT XVI: TO THE AUSTRALIAN AMBASSADOR, "CULTURAL DIVERSITY BRINGS MUCH RICHNESS"

"A welcome new stage in our diplomatic relations". By these words the Pope received today the credential letters of Timothy Andrew Fischer, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Australia to the Holy See. The Pope recalled the "vivid memories" of his recent visit to Australia and declared that "World Youth Day" in Sydney had been "an event of singular importance for the universal Church and for Australia." The Pope said he was praying "that this young generation of Christians in Australia and throughout the world will channel their enthusiasm for all that is true and good into forging friendships across divides and creating places of living faith in and for our world, settings of hope and practical charity". The Pope observed that "cultural diversity brings much richness to the social fabric of Australia today.ì". And praised the initiatives of reconciliation between Aboriginal people and the Government as well as the efforts to "facilitate inter-religious dialogue and cooperation both at home and in the region. Such initiatives help to preserve cultural heritages, nourish the public dimension of religion, and kindle the very values without which civic society’s heart would soon wither". (continued)

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