Pontiff Urges Romania Churches to Work Together

Echoes John Paul II’s Prayer for Christian Unity

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VATICAN CITY, MAY 8, 2009 (Zenit.org).- Benedict XVI is expressing the hope that by drawing on the teachings of Pope John Paul II, believers will unite to reinforce Christian values in modern society.

The Pope stated this in a message to Archbishop Ioan Robu of Bucharest, Romania, on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of Pope John Paul II’s May 7-9 visit to that country.

The message was delivered by Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, secretary for Vatican relations with states and the Pontiff’s special envoy for the celebrations surrounding this event promoted by the Catholic Church in Romania, the Romanian Orthodox Church and the state.

The Holy Father stated that this event «brings together the Catholic and Orthodox faithful of that country which, for its geographical location and its long history, for its culture and its traditions, has a unique ecumenical vocation inscribed in its very roots.»

He expressed the hope that «believers in Christ will not only treasure the memory of those unforgettable days, but that, drawing from the teaching of my venerated predecessor John Paul II, they will commit themselves to seeking courageous ways to face together the great challenges of our time.»

«I am thinking particularly of the defense of human life at every stage, protection of the family, respect for creation and promotion of the common good,» he added.

«Furthermore,» Benedict XVI affirmed, «making the wishes of the beloved John Paul II my own, I invite people to pray that, as soon as possible, we may achieve the full fraternal communion of all Christians, both of the West and the East.»

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