The answers to the ills facing society today can be found when one turns to Christ, says Benedict XVI.
The Pope said this today upon receiving in audience Fernando Sanchez Campos, the new ambassador of Costa Rica to the Holy See, who presented his letters of credence.
The Holy Father congratulated that nation on the Jubilee Year that is under way that marks the 375th anniversary of the discovery of the image of Our Lady of the Angels, the national patron.
Costa Ricans, the Pontiff reflected, are "a people who centuries ago welcomed the evangelical seed," and who know that "in Christ, the Son of God, man can always find the strength to combat poverty, domestic violence, unemployment and corruption, seeking social justice, the common good, and the integral progress of human beings."
"No one must feel themselves to be detached from the attainment of these exalted goals," he affirmed.
Benedict XVI urged public authorities to be "the first to seek out what is of benefit to everyone, working principally as a moral force that augments each individual's freedom and sense of responsibility."
He encouraged lawmakers to "not undermine the fundamental values that support the inviolable dignity of the person, beginning with the unswerving protection of human life."
He praised the nation for signing in 1969 the American Convention on Human Rights, also known as the "Pact of San Jose, Costa Rica," which the Pope said "expressly recognizes the value of human life from conception."
"Thus it is to be hoped that Costa Rica does not violate the rights of the unborn with laws that legitimize in vitro fertilization or abortion," he added.
The Holy Father also urged the nation to "reject impunity, juvenile delinquency, child labor, injustice and drug trafficking, encouraging such important measures as security in cities, adequate education of children and young people, due attention to those in prison and effective health care for everyone," as well as those policies that would allow its citizens to "achieve a dignified standard of living and find decent work."
"Moreover," he continued, "it is vital that new generations should acquire the conviction that conflicts cannot be won by mere force, but by converting hearts to goodness and truth, eradicating poverty and illiteracy, strengthening the rule of law and stimulating the independence and effectiveness of the law courts."
To this end, Benedict XVI encouraged the promotion of the family, which he said is "one of society's fundamental and irreplaceable pillars."
"This institution is suffering," he noted, "perhaps like no other, the effects of the broad and rapid transformations of society and culture; nonetheless, it must not lose its true identity."
"No measure will be in vain if it favors, safeguards and supports marriage between a man and a woman," the Pontiff added.
The Pope also praised Costa Rica for its efforts to "search for a balance between human development and the safeguarding of natural resources."
"I encourage all Costa Ricans," he stated, "to continue to work toward what favors true human development, in harmony with the creation, while avoiding spurious and false interests, and lack of foresight in a field of such transcendent importance."