AUDIENCE with POPE BENEDICT XVI
                    Thursday January 26 2006, 12:00pm, Vatican City

                          Greeting to Pope Benedict XVI
                       CCEE President, H.E. Mons. Amédée Grab

Most Blessed Father,
after praying together for unity yesterday in the Basilica of St. Paul, our joy in being here
with You again is truly great,. We come from 44 countries of Europe, and we bring You
the greeting of 40 Churches, 34 Bishops’ Conferences, 25 Councils, federations,
alliances of Churches and 45 ecumenical organizations, associations, communities,
movements, all committed to the path of reconciliation in our countries.

In these days here in Rome , we have begun the process of the Third European
Ecumenical Assembly, that will continue with a second stage at a local level, a third in
Wittenberg, and the last one in Sibiu, Romania, in September 2007.

As president of the Council of Bishops’ Conferences of Europe, I assure You that we are
driven by the strongest desire to reach reconciliation among Christians in any way

The continued co-operation that has existed for decades between KEK and CCEE
represents the fact that, as Christians, we have the chance to create a space to live and
witness the Gospel.

We have come as pilgrims to the tombs of the apostles Peter and Paul. Here in Rome
we are living a deep experience of communion, astonished by the work of the Holy Spirit
among us. The beginning of our pilgrimage in Rome is aimed at better understanding the
specific gifts that God has given to the Catholic Church. Despite the painful rifts and
misunderstandings that still exist among us, we feel encouraged to continue our
dialogue, which is nourished by common prayer and love. We are well aware that the
Lord entrusts us to be, in Europe and among all peoples, “light of the world”, as You old
us last night in the Basilica of St. Paul.

Most Blessed Father. We know Your concern when it comes to the unity of the disciples
of the only Lord. Your guidelines challenge us to seek a high profile ecumenism, without
superficiality. I would like to take this opportunity to thank You Also You for Your
Encyclical published yesterday: Deus Caritas Est. Also our experience confirms that
Love is the solid rock in which the “patient quest for full communion among the disciples
of Christ stands”.

Most Blessed Father, we would like to express once more our deepest affection and our
Thanks for Your untiring ministry in confirming brothers in the faith and in seeking ways
for unity. We assure You our prayers for Your intentions. May light, courage and joy
accompany You in Your great service.

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