ROME, JAN. 22, 2010 (Zenit.org).- A 424-page “Codex Pauli” that honors the Apostle to the Gentiles with illustrations and writings in the spirit of the ancient monastic codices, will be presented to Benedict XVI.
Benedictine Abbot Edmund Power will present the volume to the Pope on Monday at the closing vespers of the Jan. 18-25 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which will be held at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.
The “Codex Pauli” includes original contributions from the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I; Patriarch Kirill of Moscow; Gregorios III Laham, patriarch of Antioch for the Greek Melkite Church; and Anglican Archbishop Rowan Williams.
In his contribution, Bartholomew I wrote: “For St. Paul, unity on the one hand, and ecumenism on the other, are at the same time either virtues to which we should aspire, or gifts that come from on high.
“Moreover, the concepts of unity and ecumenism are not simply metaphorical, but ontological in content.”
For Patriarch Kirill, “making himself imitator of the Apostle to the Gentiles, the Christian is called to be a living image of the Lord and thus help the modern world to receive with faith and hope the Word of God.”
In this connection, he adds, the publication of the “‘Codex Pauli’ will be a worthy contribution to the Jubilee of the Proto-Apostle and will help readers to put into practice in their own life the divine message transmitted by St. Paul.”
Gregorios III Laham wrote: “May all men of the world be able to walk on the road of Damascus, so that the world will change and men will be able to pass from darkness to light, from sin to justice, from persecution to love, from violence to goodness, from terrorism to solidarity, from fundamentalism to openness and from the spirit of revenge to sentiments that St. Paul expressed when he exhorted the faithful to have in themselves the thoughts and attitudes that are in Jesus Christ.
“The apostle’s mission, as Paul understood it, is to point beyond his own individual concern, to give space to the maturation of his ‘children,’ so that they also can learn and point beyond themselves, in love at a dear price, and thus express the fullness of Christ, whose rejection and crucifixion, as the Gospel says, are not only the foundation but the corner stone of the new temple, his Body, his Church.”
Only 998 copies of the volume have been created. A special font, called “Paulus 2008,” was designed for the work, which mirrors the handwriting of the scribe who copied the 9th century Carolingian Bible.