When John Paul II arrived at Unirii Square in Bucharest, it was the first time the Bishop of Rome was attending an Orthodox liturgy celebrated in an Orthodox country.
    The service, which was presided by His Beatitude Patriarch Teoctist. The homily was given by Archbishop Daniel of Moldavia, considered Patriarch Teoctist's successor.
    Commenting on the Gospel passage of the Samaritan woman, Daniel said: "Jesus has taught us that the true God cannot be contained within the limits of a particular place or people. Man is thirsty for water for his body, but he is also thirsty in spirit."
    The Holy Father closed this historic event by expressing his desire that the Jubilee of the year 2000 "find all of us (Christians), if not totally united, at least closer to full communion."
    Roles were reversed during the afternoon, with John Paul II celebrating Mass in the presence of the Orthodox Patriarch. The Mass gave the Pontiff the opportunity to acknowledge the courage with which Rumanian Catholics preserved the faith during the communist persecution and which they will need to collaborate in the construction of a new Romania based on Gospel values.

10:07am 11/5/99 / Zenit


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