Leader of Europe's Bishops Hails Catholic-Orthodox Message

Notes Hope for Whole of Continent

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ST. GALLEN, Switzerland, AUG. 20, 2012 (Zenit.org).- The president of the Council of European bishops welcomed the joint statement signed Friday by the Russian Orthodox patriarch and president of the Polish episcopal conference, saying the declaration is a sign of hope for Europe in the promotion of Christian values.

Cardinal Péter Erdő, president of the Council of European Bishops' Conferences, hailed the message signed by Patriarch Kirill of Moscow and all Russia, and the president of the Polish

Bishops' Conference, Archbishop Józef Michalik.

"We thank God for this exemplary Message and we hope that it may be of help for the whole of Europe in the promotion of true human and Christian values," the cardinal said in a message to the co-signers. "At a time of great spiritual and social confusion throughout our continent, your Message gives us hope because it witnesses truly to the fact that 'Jesus Christ is our peace and our reconciliation.'"

Cardinal Erdő also noted a "symbolical and exemplary value" of the joint declaration, a statement from the council reported. He expressed his hope "that this Message may be a first step on a new path of relations between Poland and Russia, we hope that it can be an example for all those who have not yet had the courage to allow themselves to be guided by God’s wisdom and goodness, which always leads to pardon and reconciliation."