Both Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Teoctist used to be champions of the Christian faith and felt in their activity the help of Jesus Christ, on Friday said Daniel, the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church, at his meeting with Pope Francis.
"With the pascal salute 'Christ has Risen!' we welcome you in this hall of the Patriarchal Palace where on 8th of May 1999, Pope John Paul II was welcomed by Patriarch Teoctist and several members of the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church. This hall is symbolically dubbed Conventus in Latin, which means Reunion. Pope John Paul II during his episcopate in Poland and Patriarch Teoctist, as a bishop in Romania, have shared a common spiritual experience, namely they knew the hard years of the communist regime when the Church was marginalised and persecuted. Which is why, their meeting in Bucharest in 7 - 9 May 1999, was marked by the joy of the Christians' religious freedom and amplified by the celebration of the Holy Easter. Both Pope John Paul II and Patriarch Teoctist used to be the champions of the Christian faith and felt in their activity the help of Jesus Christ the Crucified and Resurrected. In this respect, our predecessors are calling us too, today to defend and promote the faith in Jesus Christ and the Christian values in a Europe that has been secularised to convey to the young generation the faith in the merciful love of Christ for the world and the faith in the eternal life of the human person. Moreover, they call us to confess, to defend, to promote the traditional Christian family made up of man, woman, children, in a Europe with an obvious fall, a continent that grows old rapidly," the Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church said at the meeting of Pope Francis with the BOR Permanent Synod at the Patriarchal Palace.
He also spoke of the Gospel, saying that "Preaching the Gospel of Christ means today to put together Liturgy with philanthropy, the prayer with the social action in helping the poor, the ill and the marginalised. At the same time, the Gospel of Christ is calling us to promote justice, reconciliation and solidarity in the society so that the love of Jesus Christ for all the people be perceived as a blessing, as peace and joy, for persons and for peoples," Patriarch Daniel said.