ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER JOHN PAUL II
Thursday, 16 November 2000
Dear Friends in Christ,
I am especially happy to meet you during your visit to Rome; and I am grateful to the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity for organizing your programme, intended to help you understand the Catholic Church more deeply.
In this year of the Great Jubilee, you come from many countries as pilgrims to this City where Saint Peter suffered martyrdom at the end of his journey as a disciple and apostle of Christ. It was here too that Saint Paul preached the Gospel not only in word but by the supreme witness to Christ which he gave by his death. You come then to a place revered not only for its history and art, but for the heritage of the blood of the martyrs which has proven so rich a seed of Christian life throughout the world.
In recent months, the staff of the Institute have helped to prepare you who are students to be better equipped to serve the cause of Christian unity in your respective countries. In this great task, you will find the Catholic Church a trustworthy partner. There can be no turning back from our shared commitment to work for the full, visible union of all the followers of Christ. I pray that your visit will remain in your hearts and minds as an unfading promise of the future to which Christ himself is calling us. Both now and in what lies ahead may God who is love (cf. 1 Jn 4:8) bless you abundantly in Jesus Christ who is "the same yesterday, today and for ever" (Heb 13:8).
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