Pope Francis expresses joy for being able to walk as pilgrim among the Romanian people

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Pope Francis reflects on his recent Apostolic Visit to Romania during his Wednesday General Audience, saying it was a joy to be able to walk as a pilgrim among the Romanian people.

During his Catechesis at the Wednesday General Audience, Pope Francis recalled his recent visit to Romania following in the footsteps of Saint John Paul II.

The motto of the visit was “Let’s walk together” and the Pope expressed his joy at being able to walk as a pilgrim among the Romanian people, vaticannews.va informs.

The Pontiff said that the various meetings whilst there “highlighted the value and the need to walk together both among Christians, on the level of faith and charity, and among citizens, on the level of civil commitment.”

The Pontiff Sovereign thanked the Romanian President and Prime Minister, all the civil and ecclesiastic authorities, all those who collaborated in order to make the visit possible.

Pope Francis expressed his deep gratitude as he recalled his warm meeting with Patriarch Daniel and the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, in which he renewed the Catholic Church’s commitment to walking together towards full unity.

He added that this important ecumenical dimension of the journey culminated in the solemn Prayer of the Our Father in the new Orthodox Cathedral in Bucharest.

“This was a moment of great symbolic value”, the Pope said, “because the Lord’s Prayer is the Christian prayer par excellence, the common heritage of all the baptized.”

Pope Francis also looked back on the three celebrations of Holy Mass and the Beatification of seven Greek-Catholic bishops.

Each of these martyrs bore witness to the freedom and mercy brought by the Gospel, he said.

The Pope commented that the meeting with young people and families, held in Iaşi, was particularly intense and festive. It is a place, he remarked, “that invites us to open roads on which to walk together, in the richness of diversity.”

Pope Francis went on to say that “this meeting also had a Marian dimension and ended with the young people and families being entrusted to the Holy Mother of God.”

The last stage of the Pope’s journey was a visit to the Roma community in the city of Blaj. Pope Francis underlined how important it was for him to greet them and renew his appeal against all forms of discrimination and for respect for people of all ethnicity, languages and religions.

According to ziare.com, several representatives from Romania attended the General Audience. The delegation was headed by metropolitan Archbishop Ioan Robu, President of the Conference of Catholic Bishops in Romania. Representatives from Bucharest, Sumuleu-Ciuc, Iasi and Blaj were present, according to a message posted on the Facebook page by Francis Dobos, spokesman for the Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Bucharest.

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