ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Monday, 26 November 2001
Dearest brethren in Christ!
1. For me it is a great joy to meet you all, distinguished leaders of the United Biblical Societies (UBS), representatives of the Editors and members of Italian churches and ecclesiastical communities, on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of "Parola del Signore" (Word of the Lord) the interconfessional common language Italian New Testament. Particularly I thank Dr. Markku Kotila, President of the European-Middle East UBS Committee and Mons. Albert Ablondi, President of the Catholic Biblical Federation (CBF) for the kind words you have addressed to me on behalf of those who are present.
As you have mentioned, in 25 years this important biblical and ecumenical initiative has reached praiseworthy goals that have gone beyond the expectations of those that conceived and began it. The publication of the interconfessional translation in the language of the common people has to be acknowledged as the ecumenical initiative with the best results in Italy. For a great number of our people, it will be a valid contribution to making known and familiar the Word of God.
In the interconfessional translation that you have edited, you have tried to be faithful to the tenor of the original text and at the same time you have tried to make the text understandable for the contemporary readers, using words and forms of everyday speech.
The exceptional circulation of this book shows the favour and great appreciation it received in many ecclesiastical and cultural environments. By the way I am pleased to recollect that this translation was used during the 15th World Youth Day, that took place in Rome, August 2000, as well as in many other ecumenical initiatives that took place during the Jubilee Year.
I ask upon you and your precious work the abundant blessing of the Lord, and I hope that this interconfessional translation of the Bible will continue to have the greatest circulation. May the Word of God be always known better by the men and women of our time, be accepted with a sincere heart and be translated into the choices of real life.