POPE FRANCIS in Bucharest
THE STORY BEHIND THE VISIT OF POPE FRANCIS IN ROMANIA
"Romanian president Klaus Iohannis first invited the Pontiff to Romania in 2015, on the 25th anniversary of the re-establishment of diplomatic ties between Romania and the Vatican, and reconfirmed the invitation in a letter in 2017, according to Transylvania Now." - Pope Francis in Romania
“I am glad to be in your beautiful country 20 years after the visit of St. John Paul II, now that for the first time since joining the European Union, Romania holds the Presidency of the European Council. This is a good time to have an overview of the 30 years since Romania liberated itself from a regime that hindered civil and religious liberty and isolated it from the other European countries, and which, in addition, led to the stagnation of the economy and the exhaustion of his creative forces,” Pope Francis said.
“In the Church, when different rites meet, when the most important thing is not one’s own affiliation, group or ethnicity, but the People that together praises God, then great things take place. Again, let us state it emphatically: Blessed are those who believe (cf. Jn 20:29) and who have the courage to foster encounter and communion. (...) We can apply to ourselves the prophet’s call not to fear, not to let our arms grow weak! For the Lord our God is in our midst; he is a powerful saviour and he is in the midst of his people. This is the secret of every Christian: God is in our midst as a powerful saviour. Our certainty of this enables us, like Mary, to sing and exult with joy. (...) Without joy, we remain paralyzed, slaves to our unhappiness. Often problems of faith have little to do with a shortage of means and structures, of quantity, or even the presence of those who do not accept us; they really have to do with a shortage of joy. Faith wavers when it just floats along in sadness and discouragement.When we live in mistrust, closed in on ourselves, we contradict the faith,” said Pope Francis.
“To move forward together, as a way of shaping the future, requires a noble willingness to sacrifice something of one’s own vision or best interest for the sake of a greater project,” said Francis in the first papal visit to Romania. Addressing the country’s leaders, he added that cooperation “makes it possible to advance securely toward shared goals.”
Special thanks to Canon Romania, Artklub, to my brother George and to my incredible team: Bogdan Mocanu, Claudiu Jegan, Alex Giurea, Razvan Tautu, Sorin Badea.