December 15, 2011. (Romereports.com)
From now on, the pope will not deliver a personal speech to each new
ambassador to the Vatican. It's a custom that was introduced in the
sixties by Pope Paul VI and that's not done by any other head of State.
This is not a small change considering that the Holy See has diplomatic relations with 178 nations and each year the pope receives the credentials of dozens of new ambassadors.
Benedict XVI has shown how the new protocol will work with 11 of the newest ambassadors. Usually, the pope would say a few words about the relationship with each country. This time he made a collective address.
Benedict XVI“Trinidad and Tobago, Republic of Guinea-Bissau, Swiss Confederation, Burundi, Thailand, Pakistan, Mozambique, Kyrgyzstan, Principality of Andorra, Sri Lanka and Burkina Faso.”
During the meeting, the pope stressed the importance of solidarity for global development and called on the ambassadors to teach young people in their countries about ethical values.Benedict XVI“I encourage everyone, whatever their level of responsibility, and especially to the governments, to be innovative, invest the necessary resources to give young people the fundamental ethical basis, that help to form and to fight against social evils such as unemployment, drugs, crime and lack of respect for people.”
In addition to nation states, the Vatican also sends representatives to the European Union, the Order of Malta, and maintains special relations with Palestine.
However, no diplomatic relations are held with countries like China, Saudi Arabia or North Korea.