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Monday, 12 February 2001


Your Beatitude,
Dear Brothers in the Episcopate and the Priesthood,
Dear Friends,

We are about to concelebrate the Sacrifice of the Lord. The communion of Pastors and disciples in faith and love around the Successor of Peter becomes a reality in Christ. Your presence this morning is particularly significant.

I greet Your Beatitude Grégoire III, the new Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church. In your communion with the Bishop of Rome you bring the spiritual treasures of the people whose care the Lord has entrusted to you, thereby showing the Church's catholicity. I pray that Christ will grant you his gifts in abundance, so that each day, along with all the Bishops and clergy, you may be a Pastor after God's heart.

My thoughts turn to the communities of your Patriarchate, as I ask the Lord to accompany them in their spiritual life and in the witness of faith and hope which they must give to all people. Drawing support from the enthusiasm we witnessed during the Great Jubilee, may they remain closely united to Christ, in order to receive from him the power of faith, the courage of hope and boldness in proclaiming the Gospel! May the Theotokos and the saints of your Church intercede for you all!


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