With great joy we participate at the presentation of Pope Benedict XVI’s book, with its texts on the Apostle Paul, whose centenary was celebrated by all Christians a few years ago. Invited by Pope Benedict himself, we had the honor to be present in the Basilica Fuori le mura for the beginning of the year dedicated to the Apostle Paul.
In 2008, as the Ecumenical Patriarchy, we organized a scientific Pauline symposium visiting different cities in Asia Minor, Rhodes, and Crete, places that the Great Apostle of the Peoples had sanctified with his presence. The proceedings of the meeting of the symposium were published in a special volume in English.
The Apostle Paul put his indelible seal not only on the history of Christianity, but also on all humanity. We Christians of all times have been nourished by his teachings. Thanks to him we learn how to overcome the restrictions of thought and racial discrimination and to embrace human kind and the universality of the Christian message.
We are certain that the twenty catechesis of the great theologian Pope Benedict XVI will edify and enlighten many here in our country, as the book we are presenting this evening has been translated into Turkish. We congratulate and thank all those who have contributed to this book especially the international Oasis Foundation, which has such a significant and symbolic name.
We also thank the community of Saint Anthony of Padua for their hospitality. The fathers here are always welcoming and loved!
We are very happy because we are making this presentation together with His Eminence, Cardinal Angelo Scola, beloved brother in Christ, successor to Saint Ambrose and illustrious guest of the ecumenical Patriarchy in these days.
We greet Him and the delegation from Milan with great affection and great love in Christ.
May the grace of the Apostle Paul be with all of us and all our sister churches. Amen.