Pope reaffirms Catholic identity of Eastern European nations
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- On Thursday Pope Benedict XVI met with officials of Bulgaria and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and encouraged both countries to reaffirm their Christian identity as the backbone of their nations and cultures.

The pontiff met with the president of the Bulgarian parliament, Georgi Pirinski, and immediately afterwards with the president of the parliament of Macedonia, Liubisha Georgieyski, both of whom headed up the delegations of their countries that were visiting Rome for the feast of Saints Cyril and Methodius. 

Speaking to the Bulgarian delegation, the Pope said their visit was an expression of the nation’s desire to “reaffirm its European tradition deeply impregnated with gospel values.  Certainly, given its origin, the history of Bulgaria precedes Christian revelation.  But without a doubt, in the Gospel the nation found a source of values, capable of strengthening the culture, the identity and the genius that typifies this people.”

The Pontiff later mentioned the “sad and harsh Communist domination,” but he emphasized that Bulgaria is heading towards “full integration with the other European nations.”

The Pope concluded to express his hope that "Bulgaria and its people will conserve and promote those Christian virtues that descend from the teachings of Sts. Cyril and Methodius, and are still valid and necessary today."

Later during the audience with the president of the Macedonian parliament, the Holy Father expressed his desire that not only "the spiritual patrimony you have inherited be shared, but also that your particular identity be granted its due consideration by the other European peoples who are close to you in terms of tradition and culture."

“My cordial desire is that you may be able to always conserve faithfully the patrimony of your two protector saints, so that your voice, both in the civil sphere as well as the religious sphere, will be heard and be given just consideration,” concluded the Pope.

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20