Here is the translation of the telegram sent by Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, Vatican Secretary of State, on behalf of the Pope to Cardinal Angelo Scola, Archbishop of Milan, on the occasion of the 1700th anniversary of the signing of the Edict of Milan.
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TO HIS MOST REVEREND EXCELLENCY
THE LORD CARDINAL ANGELO SCOLA
ARCHBISHOP OF MILAN
Informed of the visit in that city of the Ecumenical Patriarch, on the occasion of the solemn celebrations for the 17th centenary of the Constantinian Edict, the Supreme Pontiff sends his fraternal greeting to his His Holiness Bartholomew I, and sends a thought of welcome to the other illustrious guests gathered for the happy circumstance and rejoices with the beloved Ambrosian Church, with the civil authorities and with the whole city of Milan, for the importance given to the memory of the historic decision that, decreeing religious freedom for Christians, opened new paths to the Gospel and contributed decisively to the birth of European civilization.
Pope Francis hopes that today, as then, the common witness of Christians of the East and West, supported by the spirit of the Risen One, will agree to the diffusion of the message of salvation in Europe and in the whole world and that, thanks to the forsight of the civil authorities, the right of public expression of one’s faith will be respected everywhere, and that the contribution that Christianity continues to offer to the culture and society of our time will be received without prejudices. With these sentiments, the Holy Father, while renewing his greeting, assures all those present of his closeness in prayer and sends to you, Your Eminence, and to the whole flock entrusted to your pastoral care, a special heartfelt Apostolic Blessing, in pledge of copious heavenly graces.
Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone
Secretary of State
[Translation by ZENIT]