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Cardinal Parolin concludes visit to Singapore

Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin - ANSA

Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin - ANSA

17/08/2015 14:22

(Vatican Radio) The Vatican Secretary State, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, concluded his visit to Singapore on Monday with a farewell dinner at the Tower Club.

Cardinal Parolin said his two-day visit to the country gave him the opportunity to “understand and appreciate something of the vitality of Singapore and of this local church,” adding that he was “truly grateful” for the many encounters he had while there.

“This beautiful island stands as a beacon among the nations of the region, and it is my hope that Singapore might continue to shine as an example in fostering harmonious and respectful relations among the different constituents of this religiously diverse, multi-cultural society,” said Cardinal Parolin.

Earlier on Tuesday, Cardinal Parolin attended a luncheon hosted by Singapore’s Foreign Minister, K. Shanmugam.

“Singapore is able to stand shoulder to shoulder with many first world countries and contribute to the global quest for peace and prosperity, especially at this time, when the world is faced with enormous challenges, such as religious fundamentalism and terrorism,” Cardinal Parolin said during the luncheon.

“I am pleased to learn that Singapore is a harmonious multi-religious society and I would like to encourage the commitment to an effective Inter-Religious Dialogue and a real Freedom of Religion,” he said.

The full text of Cardinal Parolin’s speeches on his final day in Singapore are below.

 

Speech at Luncheon

Hosted by Foreign Minister

Singapore, 17 August 2015

 

Your Excellency Mr K Shanmugam, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law,

Distinguished guests,

It is indeed a great joy for me to be in Singapore and I am grateful for the warm welcome I have received.  I feel honoured to be in the Istana and I wish to thank Your Excellency for hosting this lunch in my honour.  I wish particularly to convey to you, and to all Singaporeans, my best wishes as Singapore celebrates her fiftieth anniversary of independence.

Though Singapore is a small country, it has emerged as a modern state city and a thriving metropolis in this part of South East Asia.

As you know, “small is beautiful!”. Singapore and Vatican City shares the same situation of being a little dot! Red dot for Singapore. Yellow dot for the Vatican!

Singapore is able to stand shoulder to shoulder with many first world countries and contribute to the global quest for peace and prosperity, especially at this time, when the world is faced with enormous challenges, such as religious fundamentalism and terrorism.

I am pleased to learn that Singapore is a harmonious multi-religious society and I would like to encourage the commitment to an effective Inter-Religious Dialogue and a real Freedom of Religion.

The “Garden City” seems to me to be an appropriate expression, not only to describe the green and pleasant surroundings in which you live, but also to depict Singapore in the endeavour to safeguard the environment, and increase consciousness with regard to the fragility of our world.  Pope Francis in his recent Encyclical Letter “Laudato Si’ On Care for Our Common Home”, highlights the connection between ecology, individual freedom and community responsibility.

Your Excellency,

Over the past 34 years, the Holy See has had fruitful engagement and has enjoyed good relations with the Republic of Singapore and we look forward to greater growth in our relationship and in mutual support in our effort at fostering a global culture of respect, equity, love and peace.

Majulah Singapura!

 

Speech at Farewell Dinner

Tower Club

Singapore, 17 August 2015

 

Your Excellences,

Distinguished guests,

 

Although my stay has been but a brief two days, it has nevertheless afforded me the opportunity to understand and appreciate something of the vitality of Singapore and of this local church.  I am truly grateful for the many encounters I have had.

It was a particular honour for me to be welcomed by the President of the Republic of Singapore, as well as the Prime Minister and the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law.

This beautiful island stands as a beacon among the nations of the region, and it is my hope that Singapore might continue to shine as an example in fostering harmonious and respectful relations among the different constituents of this religiously diverse, multi-cultural society.

I have been especially heartened by the warm welcome extended by His Grace, Archbishop William Goh.  Thank you for the hospitality and friendship you have shown.

The priests, religious men and women, and the laity of Singapore have shown the strength of the bonds of communion and love between Singapore and the Holy See.

What’s more, the Church in Singapore has the privilege of having many qualified individuals and some of them, here present, are involved in the Holy See entities and in the international Catholic organisations. This wonderful sign of the active participation of the laity augurs well for the future of this Church.  I thank you all for continuing to be of service to the Church and to society.

Thank you once again for your kind hospitality!

17/08/2015 14:22