Archbishop Ioan Robu invites Pope Benedict XVI to visit Romania

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Bucharest Ioan Robu on Friday was granted an audience with Pope Benedict XVI to whom the former extended the invitation to come on a pilgrimage to Romania, ‘to witness and fortify the faith of the Greek and the Roman Catholic believers living in this country and to meet the entire Romanian people.’

Most Rev. Ioan Robu informed the Sovereign Pontiff about the condition of the Catholic Church of Romania, about its pastoral, social, educational and ecumenical achievements, but also about the difficulties the local Church still has to face, reads the release by the Roman-Catholic Archbishopric of Bucharest.

During the talks, Archbishop Robu mentioned the still unsolved situation of the properties and ownerships of the Greek Catholic Church, that were seized in 1948 and never returned, and the sluggish dialogue with the Romanian Orthodox, and the social and the pastoral hardships triggered by the social and the cultural changes both at home and in diaspora.

Most Rev.Ioan Robu displayed his dissatisfaction with the fact that the ‘Romanian authorities show indifference to the situation the Bucharest-based St. Joseph Roman Catholic Cathedral had been experiencing because it had been jeopardized by a 19-storey building under construction.
In his turn, Pope Benedict XVI expressed hope that as for the dialogue between the Catholic and the Orthodox churches of Romania, they are to find ‘ appropriate, spiritually fair solutions, which have to hearten and liven up the relationships between Christian brethren.

The Sovereign Pontiff urged the Catholic bishops to cooperate with the Orthodox Church to defend Europe’s Christian roots and tenets and for the joint witness on topics such as the family, the bioethics, the human rights, the honesty in the public life and the ecology.’

The Romanian Catholic bishops have been on an ad limina Apostolorum visit (a pilgrimage to the sepulchres of St. Peter and St. Paul in Rome), on Feb 8-13, when they had private and joint meetings with Pope Benedict XVI and the officials of several Dicastere vaticane.
This is the fourth ad limina Apostolorum visit the Romanian Catholic bishops pay after 1990, and the first to the incumbent Sovereign Pontiff Pope Benedict XVI.

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