VATICAN CITY, 31 OCT 2009 (VIS) - This morning the Holy Father received the Letters of Credence of Nikola Ivanov Kaludov, the new ambassador of Bulgaria to the Holy See.
At the beginning of his address the Pope told the ambassador, whose country joined the European Union in 2007, that "countries must not sacrifice their own cultural identity in the process of constructing Europe. Quite the opposite, they must find the means to produce good fruits that enrich the entire community. ... Bulgaria undoubtedly plays an important role in creating serene relations among neighbour States, and in the defence and promotion of human rights", he said.
Speaking then of the concern expressed by the Bulgarian diplomat for the common good of peoples, Benedict XVI said "this cannot be limited to the frontiers of the European continent; rather, it is necessary to create the conditions for an appropriate form of globalisation".
Recalling then his recent Encyclical "Caritas in veritate", the Holy Father pointed out that "it is vital for development not to be limited exclusively to economic domination, but that it take account of the integrity of the human person. Human beings must be measured not by what they possess, but by the extension of their being in accordance with the capacities of their nature. This principle finds its ultimate justification in the creative love of God, which fully reveals the Divine Word. In this context, in order for the development of mankind and society to be authentic, it must necessarily have a spiritual dimension".
Benedict XVI drew attention to the fact that "the Christian culture which profoundly impregnates" the Bulgarian people "is not just a treasure of the past to be conserved, but testimony to a truly promising future which protects human beings from the temptations that always threaten to make them forget their own greatness, the unity of the human race and the requirement for solidarity that such unity implies".
Dialogue with the many religious communities present in Bulgaria, in order "to be sincere and constructive", said the Pope, "requires mutual understanding and respect. For its part the Catholic community", he concluded, "wishes to open generously to everyone and to work with everyone. This finds concrete expression in its social work which it does not wish to reserve exclusively for the benefit of its own members".
CD/LETTERS OF CREDENCE/BULGARIA:KALUDOV VIS 20091103 (400)