Message of the Holy Father Benedict XVI
18 września 2005 | 10:59 | Ⓒ Ⓟ
To the Most Reverend Brother
Archbishop Henryk Muszyński
Metropolitan of Gniezno
Continuing the tradition of my Predecessor John Paul II, I wish to extend my words of welcome to the Organisers and Participants of the VI Gniezno Convention. I do it all the more willingly since – when a cardinal – I myself was invited to take part in the Convention.
“The Europe of Dialogue. Being a Christian in a Pluralist Europe” – the subject of this year’s Convention relates to an issue fundamental for the construction of societies and nations, as well as for the construction of international structures which support peaceful cooperation between states. Naturally, this is not only a common exchange of ideas but a joint search for the truth, in the spirit of love and respect for each and every man, for his culture and spiritual tradition. This calls for an ability to listen, an openness to arguments of others, and at the same time courage and peace in defence of one’s own beliefs. Seen in such a way, dialogue is a difficult challenge, which Christians must accept. That is why I am glad that the Organisers and Participants of the Convention wish to show the fundamental areas of dialogue between Christianity and the lay culture as well as the place of religion in public life. My joy is still greater since this is done not only through conferences but also through prayer and cultural events, with the participation of representatives of other Churches and Religious Communities. I pray that the area of a joint witness of those who believe in Christ in our Continent may increase constantly.
I extend my most cordial welcome also to representatives of non-Christian religions. I rejoice in the fact that they have wanted to take part in this important event.
The VI Gniezno Convention has been conceived as “a school of dialogue” for the communities of the laity of many countries of Europe, first of all of Central and Eastern Europe. May it then enkindle and enhance the observance of the values that have shaped the spiritual countenance of the Continent and which today – in accordance with the spirit of the founders of the European Union – are the foundation and the starting point of the process of integration.
Your meeting is the biggest encounter of Christian movements and associations in this part of Europe. Just like my beloved Predecessor in the Holy See, the Servant of God John Paul II, I too attach hopes of a new spring of Christianity with the evangelical activity of contemporary movements. Communities consciously referring to the legacy of the past and at the same time dynamically undertaking apostleship are a valuable gift of the Holy Spirit for the Church, a gift irreplaceable in the dialogue with the contemporary world.
In last year’s message from “The Europe of the Spirit” Convention you wrote as follows: “Europe depends on us”. This is a profound truth. The future of the Old Continent depends on the power of our witness. May, then, the Patron Saints of Europe assist you in your prayers and debates. I stand in spirit at the tomb of St. Adalbert and through his intercession ask God to grant you all His bountiful grace and blessing.
Benedictus pp. XVI
Castel Gandolfo, 8 August 2005
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