MESSAGE OF CARDINAL ANGELO SODANO
With courteous concern you have desired to update the Holy Father on the Colloquium [that was] held in Vienna from 3 to 5 May, dedicated to a common reflection by Catholic and Orthodox representatives on the commitment of Christians in the context of public life in Europe.
This important meeting is the result of an encouraging cooperation between this Pontifical Council and the Patriarchate of Moscow, with the effective support of the Pro Oriente Foundation and, in particular, of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, its President.
The Supreme Pontiff desires to extend his cordial greeting to the participants in this important Symposium, which has gathered Catholic and Orthodox representatives who are engaged in making a common analysis of the challenges Europe is facing at this time in its history.
The Supreme Pontiff has frequently pointed out that the peoples of the European Continent are challenged in our time by questions concerning the meaning of life, the value of freedom and the future of Europe itself.
In this context, he has constantly invited them to build their present and their future in the light of the ethical and moral values that have illumined their history down the ages, and at the same time to ponder upon the negative experiences of the past as well.
The Church, "expert in humanity", never ceases to reassert that it is only by preserving and fully appreciating the legacy of values passed on by our ancestors that Europe, with respect for the different spiritual traditions that enrich it, can write a new page in its history, respecting human dignity and banishing once and for all abuse and violence against human rights, which are a serious obstacle to the integral development of nations, pollute human hearts and constitute a serious offence to the honour of the Creator (cf. Gaudium et Spes, n. 27).
His Holiness hopes that the forthcoming Convention will offer all the participants useful elements for undertaking together a courageous and renewed evangelization in the Europe of the third millennium. He assures them of his prayers for the European nations so that they will rediscover in Christ their common vocation at the service of peace and the authentic progress of the world, and invokes an abundance of divine Blessings upon all those taking part in the work.
I am glad to make the most of this occasion to confirm with the deepest respect that I remain, Your Most Reverend Eminence,
Yours most devotedly in the Lord,