MESSAGE OF JOHN PAUL II
To my Venerable Brother
This year too, venerable Brother, I am glad to convey through you my affectionate greeting to the participants in the Seventh Inter-Christian Symposium on the theme:
"Soteriological perspectives in the Eastern and Western traditions". It has been organized in the city of Reggio Calabria by the Institute for Spirituality of the Pontifical Athenaeum "Antonianum" of Rome and by the Theological Faculty of Aristotle University in Thessalonika, Greece.
At this time, I fondly recall my meeting last May with His Beatitude Christodoulos, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece. Together we declared "We firmly believe that in all their manifestations relations among Christians must be marked by honesty, prudence and knowledge of the problems" (Common Declaration, n. 2). May the Lord guide our steps on the path of Truth and Love. May there be increased opportunities for dialogue and fraternal reflection among Christians, so that we may attain as soon as possible that full unity for which the Lord prayed during the last moments of his earthly life.
The theme chosen for the symposium this year touches on an essential aspect of the Gospel proclamation: redemption, brought about by Christ with his Death and Resurrection, the redemption of man, created to share in the very life of God, as St Athanasius says in his famous words: "For the Son of God became man so that we might become God" (De Incarnatione, n. 54).
Consequently, the topic you are addressing during these days is an important one: without a doubt, deep examination of it and reflection on its evolution in the East and in the West will be a precious opportunity to grasp all its richness.
I am sure that intense prayer will accompany the work of the symposium and will help you in your research, along with a sincere will for understanding and reciprocal fraternal charity.
From Castel Gandolfo, 10 August 2001.
JOHN PAUL II