ADDRESS OF JOHN PAUL II
Saturday, 15 January 2005
Your Excellencies and dear Friends from Finland,
With affection I welcome the Ecumenical Delegation which has come to Rome on the occasion of the feast of Finlandís Patron, Saint Henrik.
With joy I recall the many visits of the Finnish Ecumenical Delegation to the Vatican. Let us give thanks for the warm relations between the Catholic Church, the Finnish Orthodox Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Finland. Over the years our dialogue has been strengthened by mutual visits, shared prayers and, in a particular way, by the Joint Declaration on Justification. All this is evidence of the significant progress we have made in the search for full unity among Christians.
As the people of Finland together celebrate eight hundred and fifty years of Christianity, I encourage you to build on the Christian roots of Europe, so vital for the future of this Continent. Upon you and all the beloved people of Finland I invoke the abundant blessings of Almighty God.