1 February 2008
The 40th anniversary of the Community of Sant'Egidio, established in Rome in February, 1968, is a moment of reflection on what this Community represents for the religious world, in general, and for many Christians, in particular. Being present in more than 70 countries in the world, the Community works in a way in which mission and enculturation interweave naturally; thus, while working in a globalised world, the Community of Sant'Egidio puts also solidarity with each one of those in need at the very core of its action.
We appreciate the efforts that the Community of Sant'Egidio undertakes in giving a witness of love and dialogue, based on the imperatives of the Gospel. The way it manifests itself is a symbol of peaceful coexistence in a world tempted by evil and hatred among individuals or nations. This endeavour is even more valuable by the fact that this Christian message is transmitted to the world through prayer and by communicating the Gospel. What the Community of Sant'Egidio does so well is to extend its presence and action in what it calls a community without borders, becoming friends with poor people. Not least, what is most welcome in today's world is the fact that it renders service peace and promotes ecumenical and inter-religious dialogue, for goodwill and peace among people.
In this jubilee year, we fondly recall the 12th International Meeting of people and Religions, which took place in Bucharest, 10 years ago, when the world inter-religious meeting for peace was held for the first time in an Orthodox country. Truthful to the words of Christ be at peace with one another (Mc.9:50), we are convinced that, as the Appeal for Peace from 1998 was stating, no hatred, or conflict can resist in front of prayer, forgiveness and love.
With these thoughts, we congratulate the Community of Sant'Egidio at this special anniversary and wish all those who are volunteering in this movement to always work for the glory of God and the benefit of His children.
With congratulations, best wishes and blessings,
Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church