(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis has sent a message to Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, on the occasion of the XIV Inter-Christian Symposium taking place in Thessalonika from 28-30 August.
Sponsored by the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality of the Pontifical University Antonianum and the Department of Theology of the Orthodox Theological Faculty of the Aristoteles University of Thessalonika, the Symposium seeks to foster theological and cultural dialogue between Catholics and Orthodox. The theme of this year’s meeting is “The Need for a Re-evangelization of the Christian Communities in Europe.”
“The presence in Europe of so many people who, although baptized, are not aware of the gift of faith they have received, have not experienced the consolation, and do not fully participate in the life of the Christian community represents a challenge for all the Churches present in the continent,” Pope Francis said in his message. “In a reality like that of Europe, in which where there are ever fewer bonds with its Christian roots, there is clearly the need for a new work of evangelization.”
This “missionary duty,” he continued, “is sustained by the profound conviction that ‘with this newness, [Christ] is always able to renew our lives and our communities, and even if the Christian message has known periods of darkness and ecclesial weakness, it will never grow old.”
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