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Message to the Holy Father

18 września 2005 | 12:22 | Ⓒ Ⓟ

Gniezno, 18 September 2005
Your Holiness,
Beloved Holy Father,
We, participants of the VI Gniezno Convention organised under the motto “The Europe of Dialogue. Being a Christian in a Pluralist Europe”, extend our sincere gratitude to Your Holiness for the spiritual community with us, for the prayer in the intention of the Convention and the message addressed to us on this occasion. It was a valuable inspiration for a more profound reflection and set a direction for our common endeavours and debates.

The three-day meeting in Gniezno once again revealed a unique genius loci of this place. The first capital of Poland belongs to those locations on the map of Europe which, on account of the role they have played in history, continue to be living monuments, determining the direction of historical paths of individual communities and entire nations. It was in Gniezno that ten centuries ago was born a significant impetus for the formation of the identity of Europe as an encounter of the East and the West, as a union of diverse peoples and nations joined by faithfulness to Jesus Christ. It was also in Gniezno, in 1979 and 1997, that the servant of God John Paul II called for a community of nations beyond historical and religious divisions.

This year the tomb of St. Adalbert, a Patron of Poland and a Saint of the still undivided Church, was a meeting place for leaders of over 200 religious movements and organisations from the entire Europe as well as representatives of the Holy See, heads of states, members of the European Commission, clergy of various denominations, politicians and representatives of the world of culture, science and communications media. They all have come to share their experience and jointly point out the major challenges for the dialogue between religions and within the Church, for the dialogue of the Churches with the European Union institutions, for the unity of Christianity and the unity of Europe and for the responsibility of Christians for the spiritual dimension of the Old Continent.

With a sense of responsibility for the future of our Continent and at the same time faithful to our own religious and cultural traditions, we have reflected on how to take advantage of the spiritual space for the development and intensification of mutual relations and for a witness to the One God in the contemporary, secular Europe.

The VI Gniezno Convention, an ecumenical gathering of Christians from many countries of Europe, for the first time ever enriched with the dialogue with the followers of Judaism and Islam, has become an extremely significant event of interfaith dialogue. A joint prayer of representatives of three major monotheistic religions was one of the most symbolic moments of this year’s Convention, enhancing the climate of a genuine dialogue of love and an ever closer approach to the truth. We are also confident that the participation of Jews and Muslims in the Convention as well as their joint prayer addressed to God in the intention of peace and the future of our Continent is a substantial contribution to the alleviation of the tensions and anxieties that divide the contemporary world and Europe.

In conformity with the ideas of the Founders of the European Union, the Christians present at the Convention have unanimously expressed their will to inspire and intensify the values that through the centuries have shaped the spiritual countenance of our Continent.

Beloved Holy Father,

In the course of our meeting we have been able to experience first-hand that Catholic movements and associations assume responsibility for the spiritual dimension of the Europe of the future with renewed enthusiasm and firm commitment and that already today they are a visible token of “the new spring of Christianity”.

We also wish to assure Your Holiness that the young people who have taken an active part in the work of our Convention perceive themselves as the yeast of the new Europe they want to live in, which they want to permeate with the spirit of the Gospel.

The experience of the VI Gniezno Convention has been for all of us a veritable school of dialogue and at the same time provided a significant impetus for an active participation in the dialogue on which to a large extent the future countenance of Europe depends.

We pray and trust that this meeting may bear bountiful spiritual fruit and strengthen us in our witness to the Christian identity of our Continent.

With deepest gratitude, filial devotion and love.
On behalf of the Organisers and Participants of the VI Gniezno Convention
Metropolitan of Gniezno

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