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 possible. 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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