The wellcoming speech of His Beatitude Teoctist

The Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church

At the arrival on the Bucharest Airport of His Sanctity the Pope John Paul II

Friday, the 9th of May, 1999

With the blessing of God, you step, Sanctity, on the Romanian land, a land which received the seed of the word of the Gospel of Christ our Savior, from just one of His apostles, the Saint Andrew, the brother on body of Saint Peter. Today, Your Sanctity, you arrived in Romania, a country whose sons are in majority orthodox, a hallowed country by the blood of martyrs, of those in former times, in history as well as of those fallen in the oppresive time of atheist and communist dictatorship. To those who added their nouns young and elder men fallen in the revolution of 1989. This is a hallowed land by the tears of our prayers and by the striving of monks and all christian people of here. Our country is sprinkled, from and end to another, by the cross towering the steeples of chur- ches and monasteries, the crossroads and tombs of our ancestors, as a sign of our hope in resurrection. Receiving you with love, now, Your Sanctity, we confess, together with Saint Paul the Apostle that, as Christ's sufferings were in excess for us, also were in excess, by Christ, the consolation for us. Therefore, we give glory to God, for all ! From the first christian centuries, our ancestors were considered, in all reason, as a bridge between east and West. The great Fathers of Church, sons of this Romanian land as Dionisius Exiguus and Saint John Cassian, to remember only these two, they served for the Church of Rome. Later, the kings of Romanian principalities were a shield, with the price of many sacrifices, in the defence of christian Europe. Our settlement at crossroad between Orient and Occident, our spiritual legacy which is the unchanged belief of the fathers of ecumenical synods, as well as the history of the Romanian people constitutes a precious dowry, decisive for the vocation and the mission of our people and our church today. Your Sanctity, the second millenium of christian history started with a painful tearing of the Church's unity. But it ends, however, under the sign of affir- mation of a sincere wish and of efforts toward unity, efforts illustrated by the endeavours of christian churches of everywhere, for healing these wounds in the body of the Church of Christ. The Orthodox Church of Romania assumes with responsability its part of work, in the context of the efforts of all churches, of approaching and remaking the unity of faith of all christians. Your ecumenical visit itself of today in our Roma- nian Orthodox Church and all sister churches from Romania is inscribing in this approach. We will have occasion in these days, by the will of God, to have a consolation together, by our faith of yours and ours, according to the word of Saint Paul the Apostle, to make the joy for those very sadden by the separation of our churches and to bring together the goodnew for those who have hope in our work together. We tell you, therefore, in these moments, wellcome in our country and in our church, in the middle of a faithful people, which always is tending toward God as thirsty soil, with the hope that the Good Spirit will advise toward the Land of Justice, as Davis sings. We receive You with an open heart and a good thought, in the name of our hierarchs, priests, monks, and faithfuls of our church. And we embrace You with a holy and fraternal embrace in Christ, with the hope and prayer that the God of love and peace wil be with us, in these days of holy work. Wellcome in the middle of us !" -- Gerard Serafin

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