Pope says Orthodox and Catholics have "common duty"

Pope Benedict XVI has said that Orthodox and Catholics have a common duty "to build together a more free, peaceful and solidaristic humanity."

Zenit reports that the Holy Father put forward his proposition on Monday while receiving President Georgi Parvanov of Bulgaria, a country he described as "one of the bridges between West and East."

After a 10-minute private meeting in the Apostolic Palace, the Pope delivered an address in which he recalled Sts. Cyril and Methodius, co-patrons of Europe, and the contribution they made to Bulgarian spirituality.

With the visit, the Bulgarian president, who was accompanied by his wife and entourage, was celebrating the Orthodox liturgical feast of the two saints from Salonika, Greece, evangelizers of the Slav peoples.

After asking the president to greet Patriarch Maxime of the Bulgarian Orthodox Church on his behalf, Benedict XVI said that Orthodox and Catholics "have before us a common duty: We are called to build together a more free, peaceful and solidaristic humanity."

"In this perspective, I would like to express the fervent desire that your nation will be able to promote continually in Europe the cultural and spiritual values that constitute its identity," said the Pope.

Benedict stressed the good relations that Bulgaria has had with the Holy See since the collapse of communism. Pope John Paul II visited the country three years ago, and Bulgarian leaders participated in the mourning when he died. They also joined in the Mass inaugurating the pontificate of Benedict XVI.

Some estimates say 82% of Bulgaria's 7.5 million inhabitants are Orthodox; 12.2% are Muslim, 1.7% Catholic, 0.1% Jewish, while 3.4% is made up of other Christian confessions.

Orthodox and Catholics Have Common Duty, Says Pope (Zenit 23/5/05)

Pope's Old Apartment Building Goes on EBay (Associated Press/Daily Democrat 24/5/05)
Benedict, the Bear, and the Shell (Adoremus Bulletin May 2005)
Pope urges East European countries to protect Christian cultures (Catholic News Service 23/5/05)
Pope visits Secretariat of State, source of daily 'pile of documents' (Catholic News Service 23/5/05)
Pope says Christian belief in Trinity affirms that God is love (Catholic News Service 23/5/05)
'The Godfather' filmmaker releases film on John Paul II (Catholic News Agency 24/5/05)
Benedict XVI will captivate young people, says Spanish cardinal (Catholic News Agency 24/5/05)
Pope Benedict at 30 Days (American Spectator 19/5/05)
Relics of Curé of Ars Make Stop in Papal Chapel (Zenit 23/5/05)
Pope Hopes Macedonia Adds Its Spirituality to Europe (Zenit 23/5/05)
Pope Defends Church's Role in Life of Spain (Zenit 23/5/05)
Dublin Auxiliary Is Named Bishop of Galway (Zenit 23/5/05)
The British Press's Sharp Coverage of Benedict XVI (Zenit 23/5/05)
Fr Eric Hodgens: In office for two months So howzit going? Ominously (Online Catholics 25/5/05)

25 May 2005