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Papal Message on Progress in Ties With Greek Orthodox

Notes the Publication of "Menologion of Basil II"

VATICAN CITY, NOV. 18, 2005 (Zenit) - Here is the message Benedict XVI sent to Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran, archivist and librarian of the Holy Roman Church, on the occasion of the publication of the "Menologion of Basil II." The Vatican Library collaborated with the Greek Orthodox Church on the project.

* * *

Lord Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauran
Archivist and Librarian of the Holy Roman Church

I received with interest the news of the collaboration that has been created between the Vatican Apostolic Library and the Orthodox Church of Greece on the occasion of the publication of the "Menologion of Basil II," the manuscript of which is kept in the Vatican Apostolic Library, and I express my gratitude for the good development of the different stages of this project.

Given that you are going to attend the meeting in Athens on the occasion of the first official presentation of the manuscript's facsimile, I request that you express to His Beatitude Christodoulos, archbishop of Athens and of All Greece, my cordial and fraternal sentiments and my full satisfaction for this important achievement, fruit of the new relations that have been interwoven after the unforgettable visit of my venerated predecessor, His Holiness Pope John Paul II to Athens, on the occasion of his jubilee pilgrimage in the footsteps of St. Paul. It makes me profoundly happy to see that an ever more active cooperation is developing between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church of Greece.

With this motive, I ask you to transmit to His Beatitude Christodoulos the joy it would give me to welcome him in Rome to manifest together that a new stage has been reached in the path of reconciliation and cooperation. Attest to my heartfelt desire to develop with ever more intensity relations of trust and fraternity between us to work together in the numerous challenges of evangelization: In particular, we can with greater strength help European nations to reaffirm their Christian roots to again find the sap that nourishes and fertilizes the future itself for the good of persons and of the whole of society. It will be a way of proclaiming together the Good News of Christ to the contemporary world, which so needs it. In this way, we will respond ever more to the ardent desire expressed by the Lord himself: "That they be one!" (cf. John 17:21), until the day in which, when God wills and under the attentive guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will be able to celebrate the full regained communion.

I request at the same time that you greet cordially in my name the members of the Sacred Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece, as well as my brother bishops of the Catholic Church, His Excellency, the Lord President of the Republic of Greece, and the other authorities gathered in this circumstance.

With these sentiments of trust and hope, I wish you full success in your mission. Invoking on your person the loving intercession of the Mother of God, I impart, Lord Cardinal, a particular and affectionate apostolic blessing.

Vatican, October 27, 2005


[Original text in French]


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