Pope Francis has sent a message for unity, on Friday, during the private meeting with Romanian Orthodox Church Patriarch Daniel, saying people should not cede to a culture of hatred and individualism.
The Pontiff Sovereign was present on Friday at the Patriarchy Palace in Bucharest, for a 30-minute meeting with Patriarch Daniel and the BOR Synod.
“Due to God, we have healthy roots, healthy and strong, although they have been deformed during the time, we are called to gratefully recall what God did in us, to praise Him. The remembrance of the steps made together encourages us to advance towards the future, having the consciousness of the differences, but finding the satisfaction of the family atmosphere, reviving the memory of communion, which, as a torch, illuminates the steps of our journey. Let’s go together in search of the Lord. We are an example of what the Lord did on Easter day as he walked with the disciples on the way to Emaus, they were discussing what had happened, about their anxieties, about their doubts, the Lord listened with patience and opened His heart to them, talked to them so they understand and discern the events,” the Sovereign Pontiff said.
Pope Francis also spoke about the rapid social and cultural changes that have taken place in recent years in the world, urging unity. “We need to help, not to succumb to the seduction of a culture of hatred, a culture of individualism that, although not less materialistic, less ideological, as in times of persecution, is still more convincing,” Pope Francis said.
In turn, Patriarch Daniel recalled the visit paid in 1999 by Pope John Paul II and the meeting with Patriarch Teoctist, calling them defenders of the Christian faith.
“Pope John Paul II, during his episcopate in Poland, and Patriarch Teoctist as Bishop in Romania, had a common spiritual experience, that is, they experienced the difficult years of the communist regime when the church was marginalized and persecuted. That is why their meeting in Bucharest on May 7-9, 1999 was marked by the joy of religious freedom of Christians and amplified by the celebration of the Holy Easter. Both Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Teoctist were defenders of Christian faith and felt in their work the help of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen. In this sense, our predecessors call on us to defend and promote faith in Christ and Christian values. In a very secular Europe to convey to the young generation the faith, love, Christ’s love for the world, and faith in the eternal life of the human person,” Patriarch Daniel said in his speech.