New Zealand has particular moral responsibility - Pope Benedict XVI

New Zealand ambassador to the Holy See, His Excellency George Robert Furness Troup, was one of six new ambassadors whose credential letters were received by Holy Father Pope Benedict XVI yesterday.

The Holy Father gave one speech addressing all the new diplomats and then gave letters to each individually, which addressed the specific nations they represent.

In his letter to the New Zealand ambassador, Pope Benedict XVI expressed his good wishes and prayers for the well-being of the nation and his solidarity with those still suffering from the 22 February Christchurch earthquake.

“Conscious of the considerable work of reconstruction on which you and your fellow citizens have embarked, I am confident that the impressive outpouring of generosity and the countless acts of charity and goodness which were seen in the wake of the disaster will contribute in no small part to meeting the material and moral challenges of the immense task now before you,” the Holy Father said.

Pope Benedict XVI also suggested that New Zealand’s geographical position gives it a particular moral responsibility.

“Due to its geographical position, your country is able to assist in the development of smaller, more distant countries with fewer resources. Some neighbouring countries, including the Small Island Developing States, look to New Zealand as an example of political stability, rule of law and high economic and social standards. They also look to you as a source of assistance, encouragement and support as they develop their own institutions,” said the Holy Father.

“Faithful to the best of its traditions, New Zealand is called to use its position of influence for the peace and stability of the region, the encouragement of mature and stable democratic institutions, and the fostering of authentic human rights and sustainable economic development... I would like to encourage the work being done to promote models of development at home and abroad that reflect a truly human ecology, are economically sustainable and fulfil our duty as stewards of creation”.

Full text of the Holy Father's letter to His Excellency George Robert Furness Troup