Pope's Address to Delegation From the Caucasus

Says he perceived in Patriarch Elias II simply a “man of God”

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Pope Francis today received in audience a delegation of faithful of the Apostolic Administration of the Caucasus, who came to the Vatican to thank the Pope for his visit to Georgia last September/October.
Here is a translation of the Holy Father’s greeting:
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First of all thank you, thank you for this visit, which brings so many memories.
I never thought I would find in Georgia what I saw: culture, spirituality, a people that praises Jesus Christ as Savior, because they are a Christian people. It was a great joy for me.
Moreover, another thing that struck me very much, under the ecumenical profile, was the person of Patriarch Elias II: I simply perceived there a man of God. I know that there are so many problems, but I think the positive proposal of His Excellency [Monsignor Pasotto, Apostolic Administrator of the Caucasus] will go well; to find the way, without forcing it, to walk together, slowly.
And I remember also with great pleasure the meeting in the Cathedral … the questions of the laity … I saw the responsibility of the laity in your Church, and that is a great thing, it’s a great thing! Also the priests, the Religious, all … I remember well … And I thank you so much for this. Go forward! This work is like the leaven, to make the dough grow.
Thank you so much! And don’t forget to pray for me. And now I give you my blessing.
[Original text: Italian]  [Translation by ZENIT]

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