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SALUTO DEL SANTO PADRE GIOVANNI PAOLO II
AI MEMBRI DELL'ISTITUTO ECUMENICO DI BOSSEY
DEL CONSIGLIO ECUMENICO DELLE CHIESE DI GINEVRA

Giovedì, 25 novembre 1999

Dear Friends,

It is indeed a great pleasure for me to welcome you, the students and staff of the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey, as you come to the end of your pilgrimage to Rome. Your visit takes place on the threshold of the Great Jubilee, when Christians throughout the world will celebrate the Birth of Christ in Bethlehem two thousand years ago. The Jubilee Year is an opportunity for all Christians to give thanks to the Father for bringing about in Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, the salvation of humanity. At the same time, the Jubilee invites the pilgrim Church on earth to lift up her gaze in joyful expectation of the fullness of salvation to come at the end of time.

In the past three months you have been reflecting on the important theme of “Christians in a Religiously Plural World”. This theme has profound implications for the Church’s universal mission at the dawn of the new Millennium. In an increasingly pluralistic religious context, Christians are called to offer common witness to their faith in Jesus Christ the Saviour of the universe, to show esteem for the spiritual and moral values present in other religions, and to dialogue with the followers of those religions in building a world of peace, freedom and respect for human dignity.

Dear friends, may this experience of ecumenical study and discernment inspire you to ever greater efforts on behalf of Christian unity. Upon you and your families I cordially invoke the joy and peace of our Lord Jesus Christ.

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