06/05/2010, 00.00
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Pope: we can not remain indifferent to the need to support Christians in the Holy Land

On the second day of his visit to Cyprus, Benedict XVI emphasizes the importance of ecumenism also in helping Christians in the region. Politicians urged to "deconstruct the political ideologies that otherwise supplant the truth," with the results seen in the last century. A meeting with the small Catholic community.
Nicosia (AsiaNews) - "No one can remain indifferent to the need to support in every way possible the Christians of that troubled region, so that its ancient Churches can live in peace and flourish. " Cyprus has traditionally been considered the Holy Land and a visit by Benedict XVI is taking on a decidedly ecumenical connotation and therefore lending strong importance to the hope that the Pope expressed today that the "Christian community" looking at the Holy Land and in the Holy Land "can find a most fruitful area for ecumenical cooperation in praying and working together for peace, reconciliation and stability in the lands blessed by the earthly presence of the Prince of Peace." Words, moreover, spoken during his meeting with Orthodox Archbishop Chrystodulos II.

The second day of the visit of Benedict XVI to Cyprus is intense.  It began with a visit to President Demetris Christofias, during which he also met accredited diplomats, a celebration with the small Catholic community in Cyprus and the meeting with Chrystodulos , with whom he also dined.

Different spheres, therefore, which allowed Benedict to address different issues.  In fact in the presidential palace, he spoke about a politics for the common good, inspired by moral truth. According to the Pope promoting the moral truth "consists in deconstructing political ideologies which would supplant the truth. The tragic experiences of the twentieth century have laid bare the inhumanity which follows from the suppression of truth and human dignity. In our own day, we are witnessing attempts to promote supposed values under the guise of peace, development and human rights. In this sense, speaking to the United Nations General Assembly, I called attention to attempts in some quarters to reinterpret the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by giving satisfaction to particular interests which would compromise the Declaration’s inner unity and move away from its original intent (cf. Address to the United Nations General Assembly, 18 April 2008).

Promoting moral truth in public life, in the end, "calls for a constant effort to base positive law upon the ethical principles of natural law. An appeal to the latter was once considered self-evident, but the tide of positivism in contemporary legal theory requires the restatement of this important axiom. Individuals, communities and states, without guidance from objectively moral truths, would become selfish and unscrupulous and the world a more dangerous place to live. On the other hand, by being respectful of the rights of persons and peoples we protect and promote human dignity. When the policies we support are enacted in harmony with the natural law proper to our common humanity, then our actions become more sound and conducive to an environment of understanding, justice and peace".

Peace, justice and respect for human rights that the small Catholic community living in Cyprus is called to love by" by adding your voices and actions to the promotion of the Gospel values." The meeting takes place with the Catholic elementary school in the courtyard of St. Maron in Nicosia. It is a real celebration: the children organized a small play on the life of their villages during the four seasons, sowing, harvesting, baking and other rural activities, which Benedict XVI closely followed, with a smile on his face.

The words addressed to the Catholics of Cyprus also bore a clear ecumenical stamp: "Given your circumstances, you are able to make your personal contribution to the goal of greater Christian unity in your daily lives. Let me encourage you to do so, confident that the Spirit of the Lord, who prayed that his followers might be one (cf. Jn 17:21), will accompany you in this important task.  With regard to interreligious dialogue, much still needs to be done throughout the world. This is another area where Catholics in Cyprus often live in circumstances which afford them opportunities for right and prudent action. Only by patient work can mutual trust be built, the burden of history overcome, and the political and cultural differences between peoples become a motive to work for deeper understanding. I urge you to help create such mutual trust between Christians and non-Christians as a basis for building lasting peace and harmony between peoples of different religions, political regions and cultural backgrounds”.

The ecumenical key is, of course, to be found primarily in his meeting with Chrysostomos.  In his greeting, Benedict XVI stresses and expresses thanks for " for the support that the Church of Cyprus, through the clarity and openness of her contributions, has always given to the work of the dialogue. May the Holy Spirit guide and confirm this great ecclesial undertaking, which aims at restoring full and visible communion between the Churches of East and West, a communion to be lived in fidelity to the Gospel and the apostolic tradition, esteem for the legitimate traditions of East and West, and openness to the diversity of gifts by which the Spirit builds up the Church in unity, holiness and peace".

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See also
Pope: Christian unity in the Middle East, witnesses of the Gospel in difficult circumstances
Pope talks about the Middle East, the Holy Land and the food crisis with Bush
Pope: Synod to reinforce solidarity among Christians of the Middle East
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Benedict XVI in Cyprus: a significant step in the ecumenical journey


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