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John Paul II Recalls Key Moments in Ukraine
VATICAN CITY, JULY 4, 2001 (Zenit.org).- The beatification of Ukrainian martyrs, ecumenical dialogue, and a big meeting with youth are among the moments John Paul II recalled from his recent historic trip.
05.07.2001 (11:47) // Religious Information Service of Ukraine
Source: Zenit.org, July 4, 2001
The Pope highlighted moments of his June 23-27 Ukraine visit at this morning's general audience in St. Peter's Square.
"I thank God for making this pilgrimage possible, which meant so much to me," the Pope told the 14,000 pilgrims gathered in the square. "It was meant to be a homage to those people, to their long and glorious history of faith, witness and martyrdom."
Following this trip, the Holy Father said he hopes that Ukraine will "receive renewed apostolic enthusiasm from the legacy of holiness left by these exemplary disciples of Christ and so many others that they represent in some way."
The Pontiff sent "respectful and fraternal greetings to the Orthodox Church," which in Ukraine is divided by schisms. The Moscow Patriarchate, obeyed by the majority of Orthodox faithful, opposed the papal pilgrimage.
In today's address, the Holy Father said that Ukraine, a country where Christians of the Eastern and Latin traditions coexist, is called "to be a ‘bridge' between divided brothers." He emphasized the decisive role of the Pan-Ukrainian Council of Churches and Religious Organizations, which includes Protestants, Jews and Muslims.
"Rejecting every form of violence, all believers in God are called to nourish the absolutely necessary religious roots of every authentic humanism," John Paul II explained.
He recalled his meeting in Lviv with half a million youth on June 26. "To [youth], who are the hope of the Church and civil society, I pointed out Christ," he said.
He also noted that he pointed them to "the divine law of the Decalogue, as the indispensable compass for their way, alerting them to the idols of a false well-being and the temptations to evade their own responsibilities."
"May God heal every wound of that people and guide them toward a new future of hope," John Paul II concluded.