Speeches 2002 - ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER
You know that it is at difficult moments and trying times that the quality of our choices is measured. There are no short cuts to happiness and light! Only Jesus can supply answers which are neither illusion nor delusion!
With a sense of duty and sacrifice, therefore, take the path of conversion, of inner growth, of professional commitment, of voluntary work, of dialogue, of respect for all, never surrendering in the face of difficulties or failures, in the full knowledge that your strength is in the Lord, who guides your steps with love (cf. Neh Ne 8,10).
4. The second word that I want to leave with you this evening is the one I have addressed to the young people of the world who are preparing to celebrate World Youth Day in two months time in Toronto, Canada: "You are the salt of the earth; you are the light of the world" (cf. Mt Mt 5,13-14).
In Scripture, salt is a symbol of the covenant between man and God (cf. Lev Lv 2,13). By Baptism, the Christian shares in this pact which endures for ever. Salt is also a sign of hospitality: "Have salt in yourselves and be at peace with one another" (Mc 9,50). To be the salt of the earth means to be a channel of peace and a witness to love. Salt is also used to preserve food, to give it flavour, and it becomes a symbol of endurance and immortality: to be salt of the earth means to be the bearer of an eternal promise. Yet again: salt has healing power (cf. 2R 2,20-22), which makes it an image of inner purification and conversion of the heart. Jesus himself speaks of the salt of purifying and redeeming suffering (cf. Mk Mc 9,49): the Christian is a witness on earth of the salvation won through the Cross.
5. The symbolism of light is equally rich: a lamp gives light, warmth and joy. "Your word is a lamp for my steps and a light for my path", the faith of the Church declares in prayer (Ps 118,105). Jesus, the Word of the Father, is the inner light that dispels the darkness of sin; he is the fire that drives away all cold; he is the flame that gives joy to life; he is the splendour of truth which, shining before us, leads us on our way. Those who follow him do not walk in darkness, but have the light of life. Thus the disciple of Jesus must be a disciple of the light (cf. Jn Jn 3,20-21 Jn 8,12).
"You are the salt of the earth; you are the light of the world". Never have words at the same time so simple and so exalted been spoken to man! Certainly, it is Christ alone who can be fully called salt of the earth and light of the world, for only he can give flavour, strength and durability to our life which, without him, would be insipid, feeble and ephemeral. He alone can give us light, warmth and joy.
But it is he who wants you to share in his own mission and who therefore in no uncertain terms speaks these words of fire to you: "You are the salt of the earth; you are the light of the world". In the mystery of the Incarnation and Redemption, Christ makes himself one with every Christian and puts the light of Life and the salt of Wisdom into the depths of the Christian heart, sharing with those who welcome him the power to become a child of God (cf. Jn Jn 1,12) and the duty to bear witness to this intimate presence and this hidden light.
Therefore, accept with humble courage what God sets before you. In his great power and tenderness, he calls you to be saints. It would be foolish to vaunt such a call, but it would be reckless to refuse it. It would be condemning yourself to failure in life. Léon Bloy, a French Catholic writer of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, wrote that "there is only one sadness, that of not being saints" (La femme pauvre, II, 27).
6. Never forget, young friends: you are called to be the salt of the earth and the light of the world! Jesus does not ask you just to say or do something; Jesus asks you to be salt and light! And not just for a day, but for your whole life. It is a task that he puts before you every morning and in every setting. You must be salt and light with your family and friends; with other young people – Orthodox, Jewish, Muslim – with whom you have daily contact wherever you study, work or relax. It is also up to you to build a society where all people can find their proper place and where their dignity and freedom is recognized and respected. Do your part, so that day by day Bulgaria will be more and more a land of hospitality, prosperity and peace.
Each of you is responsible for the choices you make. Nothing can be taken for granted, as you well know. Jesus himself speaks of possible infidelity: "If salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored?" (Mt 5,13). Dear young people, never forget that when dough fails to rise, it is not the fault of the dough but of the yeast. When house is in darkness, it means that the light has been turned off. Therefore, "let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven" (Mt 5,16).
7. Shining in splendour before us are the figures of the Blessed Martyrs of Bulgaria: Bishop Eugene Bossilkov, the Assumptionist Fathers Kamen Vitchev, Pavel Djidjov and Josaphat Chichkov. They knew what it meant to be salt and light in very hard and trying times for this country. They did not hesitate to give even their lives in order to stay faithful to the Lord who had called them. Their blood is still yielding a harvest in your land today; their dedication and their heroism are an example and inspiration for all.
I entrust you to their intercession, and I remind you of Blessed Pope John XXIII, who knew them personally and who so loved Bulgaria. I am sure that I express his view of young Bulgarians in his time when I say to you today: it is in following Jesus that your youthfulness will achieve all its rich potential and acquire its full meaning. It is in following Jesus that you will discover the beauty of life lived as a free gift, inspired by love alone. It is in following Jesus that you will taste even now something of the joy that will be yours for ever in eternity.
I embrace you all, and with great affection I bless you!
In Polish at the end he added:
May I say something in Polish? Why does the meeting with the young Bulgarians take place? Because I think that young people look more toward the future. I don't know if it will be given to me to return again to Bulgaria. It is wonderful to be able to meet with young Bulgarians at the end of my visit. Young people direct their vision more toward the future. With allmy heart I formulate the prayer for Bulgaria and for all of you, that the future may belong to you. To you belongs tomorrow. I wish for your nation that it may be the best possible tomorrow. God bless young Bulgaria.
Sunday, 26 May 2002
Dear Brother Bishops,
Sisters and Brothers in the Lord!
1. My visit to the beloved land of Bulgaria, although brief, has filled my heart with emotion and joy. The Pope has been given the opportunity to meet the Bulgarian people, to admire their virtues and qualities, to appreciate their great talents and generous energies. I give thanks to God who has granted me the possibility of making this pilgrimage during the very days on which the memory of the Holy Brothers Cyril and Methodius, the Apostles of the Slav peoples, is celebrated.
The expression of my gratitude goes to all who have contributed to making this visit pleasant and purposeful. In the first place, I thank the President of the Republic and the Government Authorities, who invited me, worked efficiently in planning the visit and have honoured me by their presence at the different venues.
My heartfelt thanks go also to His Holiness Patriarch Maxim, to the Metropolitans and Bishops of the Holy Synod, and to all the faithful of the Orthodox Church of Bulgaria. Not so long ago, both Catholics and Orthodox underwent harsh persecution for their fidelity to the Gospel: may so many sacrifices make the witness of Christians in this country bear much fruit and, with the grace of God, may they hasten the day when we shall be able to rejoice in the rediscovered fulness of unity among us!
I extend a cordial greeting also to the followers of Islam and to the Jewish community: may worship of the one Most High God inspire in everyone intentions of peace, understanding and mutual respect, and a commitment to build a society founded on justice and solidarity.
2. With particular affection, my farewell is addressed to my dear Brother Bishops and to the sons and daughters of the Catholic Church: I came to Bulgaria to celebrate together with you the mysteries of our faith and to acknowledge the sublime gift of martyrdom with which Blessed Eugene Bossilkov, Kamen Vitchev, Pavel Djidjov and Josaphat Chichkov confirmed their fidelity to the Lord. May their example be for you all a powerful incentive to generous consistency in the practice of the Christian life.
In the light of their glorious witness I exhort you: "In your hearts reverence Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to make a defence to any one who calls you to account for the hope that is in you" (1P 3,15). In this way you will effectively serve the cause of the Gospel and contribute with particular creativity to the true progress of Bulgaria.
3. One last word to all the beloved Bulgarian people, without distinction. A word that echoes what was said by my predecessor, Blessed Pope John XXIII, when he left this country in December 1934. On that occasion he referred to an Irish tradition according to which, on Christmas Eve, every house places a lighted candle in the window, as an indication to Joseph and Mary that inside there is a family awaiting them at the fireside. To the crowd that had come to bid him farewell, Archbishop Roncalli said: "If anyone from Bulgaria should ever pass by my house, at night, amid life’s difficulties, he will always find the candle burning in my window. Let him knock, let him knock! He will not be asked whether he is Catholic or Orthodox: he is a Bulgarian brother and that is enough. Let him come in: two brotherly arms and a friend’s warm heart will welcome him to the feast" (Christmas Homily, 25 December 1934).
These words are repeated today by the Pope of Rome, who, as he takes leave of this beautiful Land of Roses, keeps before his eyes and in his heart the images of his meetings with all of you.
God bless Bulgaria, with the abundance of his grace may he make its people feel my affection and gratitude, and may he grant to the Nation days of progress, prosperity and peace.
Brothers in the Episcopate and in the Priesthood,
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
1. I am pleased to meet with you on the occasion of the convocation organized by the Congregration for the Evangelization of Peoples with the superiors of the Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life committed to the service of the mission ad gentes.
2. I greet Cardinal Crescenzio Sepe and thank him for his cordial words on your behalf. I greet each of you, brothers and sisters, who represent the institutes and societies involved in missionary work. I thank you for your ecclesial service, which you carry out according to your own charism, and for the cooperation you offer to taking the Gospel to the ends of the earth.
In the Encyclical Redemptoris missio, I wrote that after 2,000 years: "the mission of Christ the Redeemer, which is entrusted to the Church, is still very far from completion" (n. 1). The Second Vatican Council confirmed that the whole Church is missionary, and so every one of the baptized must feel called to offer his contribution to proclaiming the Gospel.
2. Besides, it is clear that mission and consecrated life are strictly interdependent. If the missionary dimension belongs to the nature of the Church, it cannot be optional for men and women religious, who "because of the dedication to the service of the Church deriving from their very consecration, have an obligation to play a special part in missionary activity, in a manner appropriate to their Institute" (ibid., n. 69; CIC 783). So one can say that "the sense of mission" is at the heart of every form of consecrated life (cf. Vita consecrata VC 25). Through the ages, consecrated persons have always been at the forefront of missionary action ad gentes. Many of them left their homes, families and countries of origin to go forward with courage "to the ends of the earth" (cf. Ac 1,8), to bring to every person the Gospel message. They often had to accept difficulties, obstacles, renunciation and sacrifice. Some, indeed many, sealed with martyrdom their witness to Christ.
Following them, your institutes continue to go on with a single goal, that of making the light of the Gospel shine on those who still "sit in darkness and in the shadow of death" (Lc 1,79).
3. I am happy to have a chance to thank you for your generous dedication to the mission. At the same time, I want to invite you to dedicate yourselves with even greater determination to this cause, reviving in your hearts the burning zeal of Paul who exclaimed: "Woe to me if I do not preach the Gospel!" (1Co 9,16).
Missionary work is quite demanding and, in the face of problems, hardships and misunderstandings, along with the decline of lifelong missionary vocations, the temptation to discouragement and weariness might sometimes appear. The daily routine may sap your generosity or leave you with a sense of dryness. Resist these risks by drawing from deep union with God the vigour to overcome every obstacle.
May the certainty that Christ is present sustain you. He assures us: "I am with you always, even to the end of time" (Mt 28,20). The Lord is always with us, in moments of spiritual intensity and of "harvesting the grain" and in the demanding, fatiguing periods "of sowing". As the Psalmist recalls, the missionary too "goes forth weeping, bearing the seed for sowing", but "comes home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him" (Ps 125 , 6).
4. In the promising season of the new evangelization that we are living, it is necessary to continue to cultivate fruitful communion among the missionary institutes, the bishops and the particular Churches engaging in a constant, loving dialogue at the national and diocesan levels, with the Unions of Superiors of male and female orders and recognizing different charisms, tasks and ministries.
In this regard, the agreements stipulated between the bishops and the moderators of institutes dedicated to missionary work (cf. CIC CIC 790 1,2°) are very useful, so that the relations established, the efforts made and the structures created may contribute in the best possible way to the missionary action of the Church.
The spirit of communion, that is born from thinking with the Church (cf. Vita consecrata VC 46), is lived preeminently in collaboration with the Apostolic See and with the organisms that coordinate missionary activity. The first of these is the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples whose task is "to direct and coordinate throughout the world the actual work of spreading the Gospel ..." (Pastor Bonus, art. 85). I rejoice with the meeting organized these days that has been dedicated to reflection, exchange and the investigation of a more intense and fruitful collaboration. I invite you to repeat this experience and to keep alive the climate of communion that is created at these meetings.
6. Dear brothers and sisters, I follow you and I am close to you in prayer, as I invoke upon your work the heavenly protection of the many martyrs and holy missionaries and of the founders and foundresses of your institutes. Today, on the feast of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, I entrust you to the Star of Evangelization, that she may support you in your daily missionary service and be your model of total dedication to the Gospel.
With these sentiments, I cordially impart to you a special Apostolic Blessing, which I gladly extend to the members of your respective communities, and to those whom you meet in your apostolate.
1. I am pleased to greet you, Brothers and Sisters gathered in Rome for the Eighth National Assembly of the Ecclesial Movement for Cultural Commitment (MEIC). I cordially greet the leaders of the association, the Ecclesiastical Assistant and each of the delegates, and I wish you every success.
Your assembly is taking place shortly after the meeting of the Italian Catholic Action. During these days, you intend to reflect on the Italian Church's pastoral plan for the coming decade - "Communicate the Gospel in a changing world" - in accord with the whole ecclesial community.
2. Your aim is to define with courage and honesty what the MEIC's mission should be today in the ecclesial community and civil society. In this way you will be faithful to your association's tradition. You also intend to renew your distinctive missionary consciousness in the complex cultural situation in which you work.
You will find original ways to translate "creativity in charity" into the forms, that will offer a "service to culture, politics, the economy and the family, so that the fundamental principles upon which depend the destiny of human beings and the future of civilization will be respected everywhere" (Apostolic Letter Novo Millennio ineunte, n. 51).
Today this renewed missionary consciousness calls you to be credible witnesses to Christian humanism. The way in which you will know how to affirm without doubt God's transcendent presence in history, will be the proof of how you accept and safeguard the mystery that envelops the person, the mystery that goes beyond every scientific explanation or rational interpretation and how in the mystery you find the basis for the sacredness and quality of human life.
3. Without reducing faith to culture, the Church strives to give cultural depth to the life of faith and to ensure that faith inspires private, public life, national and international realities. In this regard, you know how the Holy See follows with great interest the work of the European Convention. I myself have expressed regret that the Charter of Fundamental Rights does not even mention Christian and religious values. I warmly hope that the MEIC will do what it can to ensure that the religious element that has inspired the formation of the European institutions not be overlooked. One should not play down the Christian heritage that has made so important a contribution to defending the values of democracy, freedom and solidarity among the European peoples.
Your Movement also fosters an openness to the Church's ecumenical commitment and organizes theological study weeks to examine the challenges today's multi-ethnic society poses to interreligious dialogue. Continue this valuable ecumenical and interreligious activity. To help create a world of greater justice and solidarity, take to heart the need to promote the "Decalogue of Assisi", proclaimed at the Day of Prayer for Peace last 24 January. It is a way we must walk together. If it is difficult to coexist without political and economic peace, there is no life worthy of man without religious and interior peace. Here you can make a fundamental contribution by viewing the present situation and future prospects with the courage of prophecy and the optimism of evangelical hope.
4. Brothers and sisters, I ask you to be generous witnesses of Christ especially when you are able to discern the requirements of his Gospel or when these cannot be reconciled with the expectations of our era or culture (cf. The Italian Bishops' Conference, Comunicare il Vangelo in un mondo che cambia, n. 35). Indeed, the Gospel is more than a human teaching, it is the word of God about man, faithfully transmitted by the Church, to form consciences and make the message of salvation effective. God is calling you to take this path which leads to holiness, it is the universal vocation of the baptized. To respond to God's call, you will find nourishment in listening to his Word in prayer.
The Church needs your service; to be effective, you must be saints. I accompany you with my heart and I ask the Lord to confirm your resolutions and make them fruitful.
From the Vatican, 21 May 2002.
To the Very Reverend Abbot Primate Dom Notker Wolf, O.S.B.
Grand Chancellor of the Pontifical Athenaeum of St Anselmo
1. I learned with deep pleasure that the Monastic Institute of the Pontifical Athenaeum of St Anselmo in Rome is commemorating the 50th anniversary of its foundation. On this happy occasion, I am pleased to send my cordial greetings and good wishes to you, the body of teachers, the students and all who are taking part in the Jubilee celebrations.
Conceived as a permanent institute for the systematic study of monastic life and culture, the Monastic Institute was established within the Theological Faculty of the Pontifical Athenaeum by a decree of the Sacred Congregation for Seminaries dated 21 March 1952. It was in response to the ardent desire of the Abbot Primate, Bernhard Kaelin to draw attention to the literary sources and great figures of monasticism, to encourage theological reflection and to study the institutional implications of monastic life. In fact, this drew attention to the urgent need for a systematic study of monasticism. In the letter that announced the Institute's opening, a precise task is outlined: "It is necessary that suitable monks, capable of teaching others, should cultivate a disciplined scientific methodology. It would be beneficial to give gifted young priests the possibility of specializing for two years in these studies" (26 May 1952).
2. The new Institute was entrusted to scholars of international repute so that the young monks might be suitably formed in monastic spirituality, history and doctrine. Among them I wish to remember Cipriano Vagaggini, master of "sapiential" theology, Basilius Steidle and Adalbert de Vogüé, who revealed the patristic roots of the Rule of St Benedict, Benedetto Calati and Gregorio Penco, outstanding historians of monasticism.
In these past decades the Monastic Institute has been able to translate its general aims into concrete academic courses and effective activities. For example, how can we forget the monks and nuns who were introduced, by means of appropriate instruments of inquiry, to a critical knowledge and systematic study of the sources and classical texts of monasticism? The opportunity for the comparative study of the history of Eastern and Western Christian monasticism made possible the recognition of the interaction existing between the respective schools of theology, spirituality and monastic life.
At a distance of fifty years, we give thanks to God for this Institute which has proven providential for many Benedictine monasteries. It has played an important role in weaving a fruitful relationship between the spiritual life and study, and has become an effective signpost and valuable centre of formation for the monastic world today.
3. The service rendered to the Church by the Benedictine Order through the now 50-year old Institute, which has contributed so much to the formation of many monks and those persons interested in obtaining a critical knowledge of and greater familiarity with the sources and classical texts of monasticism, finds its place within the general and appealing quest for God in which St Benedict, by establishing the "Schola Christi" (school of Christ), wanted to lead his disciples. I encourage the Benedictine religious and academic authorities to continue to labour on this path, following the Order's long and valuable cultural tradition.
May this happy anniversary, thanks also to the Jubilee celebrations planned, ensure that the Monastic Institute and the Athenaeum of St Anselmo be able to discern the future goals at which to aim in the task of promoting a vast spiritual renewal of the whole Benedictine family. "Put out into the deep"! May this be the task of all, in harmony with the expectations of the Church for the third millennium.
4. For this to happen, it is indispensable above all, that in each one a personal attachment to Christ, the only true source of renewed evangelical vitality, should be growing. Indeed, only on this condition is it possible to confront with courage the challenges of the present time. Today, as in the past, the monk is asked in the first place to cultivate an uninterrupted intimacy with the divine Master. In this way the ora of contemplation will be harmoniously joined with the labora of action, in a continuous perfecting of the monastic heritage, enriched through the ages, by the contribution of so many monasteries.
May the Virgin Mary and the Holy Father St Benedict protect all who are involved in the Institute and help to bring their plans to completion. Assuring you of a constant remembrance in prayer, I cordially impart a special Apostolic Blessing to you, Fr Abbot Primate, and to every member of the spiritual family of the Monastic Institute and of St Anselmo's Athenaeum, which I willingly extend to all who share in the joy of this 50th anniversary.
From the Vatican, 27 May 2002.
1. I would like to offer you a cordial welcome as I gladly receive the Letters with which President Ion Iliescu of the Republic of Romania accredits you as the new Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary to the Holy See. I express my gratitude to the First Magistrate of the nation you represent for the words of esteem and consideration he has addressed to me through you, and in return through you I offer him my best wishes and esteem.
The occasion takes me back to my long awaited and wonderful visit to Romania, in 1999 from 7 to 9 May, whose warm memories still live in my heart. On that occasion, I was also able to embrace the beloved and venerable Cardinal Alexandru Todea, whom the Lord recently called to his eternal reward. The warmth with which I was received gave me a glimpse of the lively faith of a people who, from the very beginning of its history, was formed by the Christian proclamation and made it the basis of their national identity.
After the sad and painful years of the Communist regime, Romania has started on the path of democracy. Concrete proof of the maturity of this change of direction is the peaceful alternation of political parties after the elections. I fervently hope that it will be a constant process, so that Romania may make its voice heard in a more influential way in Europe and in the world.
2. It is a widely held opinion that the democratic, economic and social reforms, which your country has been involved in for some time, have reached a satisfactory stage and, despite some discomfort, yield positive fruit for the good of all. Efforts have been made that, while favouring the internal progress of the country that is hoped for, bode well for Romania's incorporation into the European Union as it desires, and for its entry into other regional and international organizations that will certainly help it develop in peace and security.
In this path of renewal, through her structures and in accord with her expertise, the Catholic Church is making her own intelligent contribution. Among other things, the Catholic community is known for its work in the fields of social assistance, education and health-care, as well as in the delicate spiritual ministry of evangelization and the pastoral care of souls. On many occasions down through history, the Gospel has been the profound inspiration of the Romanian people in many of the historical manifestations that originated in Christian faith.
In view of these important spiritual antecedents, how can I fail to encourage the efforts for transparent honesty that all the country's leaders are making? May the fulfilment of their duties in accord with the dictates and spirit of the law contribute to keep the pace of reforms from slowing down and keep respect for the rights of all from being weakened, and in the final analysis, prevent betrayal of confidence in the stability of State institutions. Moreover, the more united and solidary Romania is, the better it will be able to appreciate its different members acting in such a way as to avoid giving priority to any one ethnic group, but ensure that all citizens feel an integral part of the nation.
3. During my visit to Romania, I could see at first hand the good will that permeates relations between the Orthodox Church, the majority religion, and the Catholic Church. I remember with admiration the words of His Beatitude Patriarch Teoctist, a beloved brother of mine: in them I could perceive a profound awareness of our duty to work together to announce the one Gospel of Christ, the Way, the Truth and the Life, in reciprocal respect and effective collaboration.
I know that ecumenical projects abound and that an atmosphere of brotherhood is being created in various dioceses. I pray that there will be more and more of such initiatives, so that we may obey Christ, who asks his disciples to be one (cf. Jn Jn 17,11).
4. There are real problems, but with everyone's help they can be resolved. I fervently hope, for example, that the agreements between the leaders of the Orthodox Church, the Catholic Church and the Holy See may be implemented as soon as possible. "The end of persecution", I said on this topic during my stay in Bucharest, "has restored freedom, but the problem of ecclesial structures still awaits a definitive solution. May dialogue be the way to heal the wounds that are still open and to resolve the difficulties that still exist!" (Address to H.B. Teoctist, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, 8 May 1999, n. 5; ORE, 19 May 1999, p. 3). With the necessary prudence, the Special Joint Commission must bear in mind the Catholic Church's real and urgent need to have sacred buildings available for her use.
It would strengthen respect and collaboration if the civil authorities not only help to find the appropriate solutions, but also to return, following a criterion of justice, the Church property that was previously confiscated, so that the Catholic Church may use them for the fulfilment of her mission. Never forget that the greater the efforts made to heal the wounds of the past, that are potential reasons for confrontation, the more Christians will be encouraged to devote their energies to the good of the entire society.
5. Mr Ambassador, in carrying out her mission, the Church does all she can to lead men and women fully to fulfil their vocation. She wishes to meet them at the various stages of life: in the family, at school, in the world of work and culture, in hospitals and in every place where they live. Indeed, she is conscious of having a message of hope for each one and holy gifts to offer.
For this reason I hope that the State will permit the Church to maintain a constant dialogue with the public authorities, in order to reach agreements for cooperation in the various sectors of social life.
The Church is not asking for privileges for herself or for immunity. On the contrary, faithful to her own inner ends, she desires to serve every person in the name of Christ, and her mission becomes all the more urgent when a human being is suffering or in difficulty. Here I am thinking of the many problems of unemployment, emigration, the unsettlement of families, as well as of the obstacles that prevent young people from looking serenely to the future.
6. Mr Ambassador, at the time when you are preparing to exercise the important office entrusted to you by the President, I would like to restate that you will always find my collaborators prepared to give you the help you need to carry out your duties. I warmly hope that you will contribute with your mission to reinforce the bonds that already exist between your country and the Holy See, and I invoke upon you and upon the beloved Romanian people an abundance of divine blessings.
Speeches 2002 - ADDRESS OF THE HOLY FATHER