Wounds of Communism Must Be Healed, Says Pope

Says Key for Romania Is to Recover Values, the Family

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VATICAN CITY, OCT. 22, 2010 (Zenit.org).- The deep wounds left by decades of Communism in Romania must be healed by recovering values and rebuilding the social fabric, Benedict XVI said Thursday on receiving in audience Bogdan Tataru-Cazaban, the new ambassador of Romania to the Holy See.

The Balkan country has undertaken a process of reconstruction, observed the Pope, though there still are open wounds.
«The management of the legacy left by Communism is difficult because of the disintegration of society and of the individual which it fostered,» acknowledged the Holy Father.
That is why it is necessary «to tackle the difficult task of ordering human affairs in a just way, making good use of liberty. And true liberty presupposes the search for truth, for the good, and it is effected precisely by recognizing and doing what is opportune and just.»
One of the first requirements to reconstruct the social fabric is to support the family. «Every effort must be made for it to fulfill its function of foundation of society,» asserted the Pontiff.
Another is education in values. «In the presence of great ideals, young people aspire to moral virtue and to a life open to others through compassion and kindness,» Benedict XVI continued.
«The family and education are the starting point to combat poverty and thus contribute to the respect of every person, to the respect of minorities, respect for the family and for life itself,» he explained. «They are the terrain where fundamental ethical values are rooted and where religious life can grow.
«Many are the challenges to be addressed if you wish your society not to be based solely on the search for well-being and the pursuit of profit, understandable consequences after a period of more than 40 years of privations.»
On the contrary, the Pope affirmed, «integrity, honesty and rectitude must prevail. These virtues must inspire and lead all members of society to good management.»
The Holy Father noted that one of these challenges is the multi-cultural and multi-ethnic reality of Romania: «Such variety can be seen as an obstacle to national unity, but it can also be seen as an enrichment of its identity by becoming one of its characteristics.
«It must be done in such a way that each individual has his legitimate place in society beyond this variety and respecting it,» said the Pope to the new ambassador.
Catholics and Orthodox
Benedict XVI also addressed the relationship between Catholics and Orthodox, and between religious communities in general, which «has also been affected by these dark decades and some of these wounds are still fresh today.»
«They must be treated by means that are acceptable to each of the communities,» he said. «Necessary, in fact, is to repair the injustices inherited from the past, without being afraid of doing justice.»
Benedict XVI suggested a twofold focus for this dialogue: on one hand, «at the state level, fostering genuine dialogue between the state and the different religious leaders, and on the other, encouraging harmonious relations between the different religious communities of your country.»
On this point he stressed the importance of the ecumenical dialogue with the Orthodox, who are the majority in the country, as well as the good disposition of the Catholic Church.
The Church «sees in the ecumenical dialogue a privileged way to again find its brothers in the faith and to build with them the Kingdom of God, respecting the specificity of each one.»
«The testimony of fraternity between Catholics and Orthodox, in a spirit of charity and justice, must prevail over the difficulties and open hearts to reconciliation,» exhorted the Holy Father.
In this connection, he stressed the importance of the visit, now 10 years ago, of Pope John Paul II to Romania.
Ecumenical dialogue, Benedict XVI concluded, «will not fail to be ferment of unity and concord not only for your country but for the whole of Europe.»

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