Christian Churches seek to be credible reflections of God’s presence and living witnesses of His example.
Pope Francis kicked off his May 31 – June 2, 2019, visit to Romania stressing this point to Romanian authorities and the diplomatic corps this morning in Bucharest.
This visit marks his 30th Apostolic Visit, 45th country visited. ZENIT French journalist, Anne Kurian, is following the trip from the papal flight.
“I am happy to find myself in your beautiful land twenty years after the visit of Saint John Paul II and in this semester when Romania, for the first time since its entrance into the European Union, holds the presidency of the Council of Europe.”
The Holy Father greeted “with fraternal love my brother Daniel,” also extending his respectful greeting to all the Metropolitans and Bishops of the Holy Synod, and to all the faithful of the Romanian Orthodox Church.
Confirming Country’s Catholics in Faith
“With affection, I greet the Bishops and priests, men and women religious, and all the members of the Catholic Church, whom,” he underscored, “I have come to confirm in faith and to encourage on their journey of life and Christian witness.”
Christian Churches, the Holy Father said, “can help to rediscover and strengthen the beating heart that can be the source of a political and social action based on the dignity of the person and leading to commitment to work with fairness and generosity for the overall common good.”
“At the same time,” he continued, “they themselves seek to become a credible reflection of God’s presence and an attractive witness to his works, and, in this way, they grow in authentic mutual friendship and cooperation.”
This, Francis said, is the path that the Catholic Church wishes to follow. “She desires to contribute to the building up of society. She desires to be a sign of harmony in the hope of unity and to be at the service of human dignity and the common good.”
Pope Francis concluded, offering his prayerful good wishes for Romania’s prosperity and peace, and invoking an outpouring of God’s blessings and the protection of the Holy Mother of God.
“God bless Romania!” he said.
Below is the full Vatican-provided text of the Pope’s remarks, following their introduction: