"With the establishment of diplomatic relations with Libya, the Holy See intends to recognize the positive results obtained, with the cooperation of the Libyan authorities, in the field of religious freedom.
"To improve reciprocal relations there was the visit to Libya of Archbishop Jean-Louis Tauran, secretary of the Holy See for Relations with States, in March 1994, which was followed by the setting up of a mixed commission to resolve several practical points which allow for the enactment of religious freedom for the Catholic Church in Libya, and by visits of official delegations on the part of Libya.
"Today, with the nomination of the apostolic vicar of Benghazi and of the apostolic nuncio, one can say that all the conditions have been put into place to continue to make grow the friendship and collaboration between Christians and Muslims of that nation.
"Evidently, for the Holy See these diplomatic relations represent above all an instrument aimed at the good of the local Church. In this sense, the Holy See trusts that the presence and work of two bishops, the apostolic vicars of Tripoli and Benghazi, will satisfy in a more adequate manner the spiritual needs of the 50,000 Catholic faithful in the country.
"At the same time, with the normalization of its relations with the Socialist People's Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, the Holy See also desires to contribute to give a particular thrust to the international dialogue. The appropriate and thriving image of 'the community of nations' evokes the absolute commitment of every nation to find its own place and to assume specific responsibilities with a view to the common good.
"It is important that the southern shore of the Mediterranean become ever more a region of peace, stability and security. The Catholic Church and her children, from the earliest dawn of Christianity in that land, desire to offer their sincere collaboration to this work of fraternity."