In his first message to the presidents of Europe’s bishops’ conferences, Pope Francis expressed his appreciation and closeness to their work in Europe, in particular their reflections on the theme of secularity and the promotion of a culture “which links in constant harmony faith and reason, truth and freedom.”
The Pope’s message, sent by the Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, and addressed to Cardinal Péter Erdő, Archbishop of Esztergom-Budapest and CCEE President, was read at the opening of the four-day CCEE Plenary Assembly, which began today in Bratislava.
The CCEE Presidency met Pope Francis in private audience on May 9.
Below is the text of the Pope’s message
SECRETARY OF STATE
HIS EMINENCE CARDINAL PETER ERDŐ PRESIDENT
COUNCIL OF THE EPISCOPAL CONFERENCES OF EUROPE
GALLUSSTRASSE 24 – CH-9000 ST.GALLEN (SCHWEIZ)
ON THE OCCASION OF THE CCEE PLENARY ASSEMBLY, GATHERED IN BRATISLAVA ON THE 1150TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE ARRIVAL OF SAINT METHODIUS IN THOSE LANDS, HIS HOLINESS POPE FRANCIS SENDS HIS CORDIAL GREETINGS TO ALL THE PARTICIPANTS ASSURING THEM OF HIS SPIRITUAL CLOSENESS. THE HOLY FATHER EXPRESSES HIS GRATEFUL APPRECIATION FOR THE CONTRIBUTION THROUGH REFLECTION WHICH THE BISHOPS’ CONFERENCES OF EUROPE ARE MAKING ON THE THEME OF SECULARITY AND ABOVE ALL FOR THE SERVICE WHICH THE CHURCHES PROVIDE TO THE PEOPLES OF THE CONTINENT PROMOTING A CULTURE WHICH LINKS IN CONSTANT HARMONY FAITH AND REASON, TRUTH AND FREEDOM. AND THROUGH THE INTERCESSION OF MARY MOST HOLY AND SAINTS CYRIL AND METHODIUS HE INVOKES ABUNDANT GRACE ON THE PASTORS OF THE CHURCHES IN EUROPE AND ON THEIR MINISTRY, AND WITH FRATERNAL AFFECTION SENDS THE DESIRED APOSTOLIC BLESSING.
CARDINAL TARCISIO BERTONE HIS HOLINESS’ SECRETARY OF STATE