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   Government of the Republic of Fiji

  Ministry of Foreign Affairs

    A Better Fiji through Excellence in Foreign Service

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Media Release

Holy Father Receives Fiji’s Ambassador to the Holy See

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4th May, 2012, London: His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI received Fiji’s Ambassador to the Holy See in an official audience for the presentation of His Excellency’s Mr Solo Mara’s Letters of Credence on Friday 4 May 2012. In receiving Ambassador Mara, the Holy Father conveyed his best wishes for Fiji’s development agenda and highlighted in his speech the importance of incorporating spiritual and moral values in the implementation of national development agendas.

His Holiness then called on States to ensure that the social laws do not increase inequalities, adding that in order to strengthen the human foundation of the socio-political reality, “we must be attentive to another kind of poverty: that of the loss reference to spiritual values, to God”. This vacuum – he continued - makes discernment between good and evil more difficult and adherence to fashionable ideals easier. Subsequently, “many young people in search of an ideal, turn to artificial paradises which destroy them. Addiction, consumerism and materialism, do not fill the heart of man made for infinity. For the greatest poverty is the lack of love”. Pope Benedict then concluded, “religion permits us to recognize in the other a brother in humanity”. 

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Prior to meeting the Holy Father,  Ambassador Mara also took the opportunity in Rome to brief senior Vatican officials on the implementation of Fiji’s political and development agendas as outlined in the Government’s Roadmap to Democracy and Sustainable Socio-Economic Development 2009-2014. In separate meetings with the Secretary of State, His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone and the Secretary for Relations with States, H.E Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Ambassador Mara briefed the Vatican on the recently announced Constitutional Consultation process announced by Prime Minister Bainimarama on 9 March and the objective of the process in formulating an all-inclusive and truly representative constitution by 2013 and democratic election by 2014. Cardinal Bertone who have had some experience in constitutional work welcomed Ambassador Mara’s written and oral presentation and conveyed the Vatican’s support towards the realisation of the objectives of the Peoples’ Charter in forging a peaceful and multicultural society in Fiji. Cardinal Bertone and Archbishop Mamberti in wishing Fiji well both assured Ambassador Mara that the country will be remembered in their prayers as it progresses towards its political objective in the months ahead.

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(Photo caption 1: Fiji’s Ambassador to the Holy See, H.E. Mr Solo Mara presenting his credential to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI on Friday 4 May 2012, caption 2 and 3: Ambassador Mara and the Secretary of State, His Eminence Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone.)