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Pope: Out of the ashes of war, bridges for peace

2012-09-01 Vatican Radio

(Vatican Radio) Pope Benedict XVI has sent a Message, through his Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, to the participants in this weekend’s global gathering of young people of the Focolare Movement, called “Genfest”, taking place in the Hungarian city of Budapest. The Message is addressed to Maria Voce, President of the Focolare Movement.

Please find the full text of the Message below.

Dear Miss Voce,

The Holy Father was pleased to be informed of the celebration of Genfest 2012, taking place in Budapest from 31 August to 2 September, and he sends heartfelt greetings to all the young people taking part.

His Holiness notes that the city itself is an eloquent symbol, on many levels, of inspirations that bring so many young people together for the celebration entitled Let’s Bridge. The numerous bridges across the Danube, linking the former settlements of Buda and Pest and bringing them into unity, were all destroyed in the wake of the Second World War. Yet out of the ashes of that terrible conflict, there arose a determination to build peace on lasting foundations, a determination which was to be the inspiration behind the founding of the Focolare Movement. The bridges across the Danube were rebuilt, and the international community set itself the goal of eliminating once and for all the conditions that might lead to future conflict.

While Budapest itself, together with much of Eastern Europe, continued to suffer under the oppression of a totalitarian regime, there too, new possibilities for freedom and fraternal outreach have come about since the end of the Cold War. May this beautiful city be a sign of hope to inspire all the young people present to offer the hand of friendship to those from other backgrounds and cultures, “in such a way as to shape the earthly city in unity and peace, rendering it to some degree an anticipation and prefiguration of the undivided city of God” (Caritas in Veritate, 7).

With these sentiments, the Holy Father gladly imparts his Apostolic Blessing to all those taking part in Genfest 2012, as a pledge of lasting peace and joy.

Yours sincerely,
Signed +Tarcisio Card. Bertone
Secretary of State