ISTANBUL, Turkey, DEC. 19, 2007 (Zenit.org).- Like Benedict XVI, the Orthodox patriarch of Constantinople is sending his best wishes to an ecumenical youth meeting in Geneva, organized by the Taizé Community.
The encounter will gather some 40,000 youth in Switzerland from Dec. 28 to Jan. 1.
In his note, Patriarch Bartholomew I recognized, “The place of young people who desire to live the Gospel in contemporary society is not easy. We live at a time when a relativism of values is dominant. Frequently young people are faced with lies, with contempt for human dignity, with injustice and social inequalities, with the harshness of exploitation, with the violence by which one group of people dominates another, one nation dominates another.”
“For us, there is no other road than that of following Christ,” he continued. “He is the only one who provides an answer to the problems tormenting the world. […] There is no life, truth and justice outside of Christ. If we remain in Christ and he remains in us, then truth and justice will remain in us, and the love of God will make us his children so that, just as children are free before their father, we too may be free before God. He respects human freedom infinitely and, in his abundant mercy, has given it to human beings as one of his most precious gifts.”
The program includes moments of prayer, silence, song and testimonies from the ecumenical community of Taizé, founded in 1940 in France by Roger Schutz, also known as Brother Roger.