Európai Találkozó Rómában

A találkozóra érkezett üzenetek (angolul)

Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople

Let me extend to you our warmest greetings and congratulate you on the occasion of the 35th young adult European meeting. You are taking part in an initiative able to overcome the pitfalls of time and the weariness of history. Indeed, we can only congratulate ourselves this year for celebrating the 35th anniversary of your meeting. This fact alone invalidates the most pessimistic considerations that tend to relegate ecumenism to the failed initiatives of history. If we can say, contrary to popular opinion, that ecumenism has not broken down, this is primarily because it is supported by the lifeblood of your youth. Youth is also charity, simplicity of heart and the struggle against an overly cynical view of life which makes it no longer possible to understand the basically good dimension of humanity.

Consequently, and against all odds, ecumenism is tracing out a path of excellence through the authentic Christian experience that you share together. This experience is above all one of trust.

But what is trust? Can we speak of a Christian understanding of trust? What about trust in God?

Trust, or confidence, is foremost a feeling of relying on someone or of relying on oneself. We say: have confidence in yourself, have trust in this or that person. But, unlike a trust which would only reflect a feeling, trust within Christianity is an act of faith, an act of adherence of the heart, adherence of the mind. Faith is therefore the leaven of our trust in God. The nature of this trust is not based solely on the possibility of happiness it gives us, but on the assurance that salvation was granted to all humankind through the death and resurrection of Christ. Paradoxical as it may seem, Christian life is rooted in the kenotic experience of the incarnation of a God become man, who recapitulated the weaknesses of the old Adam, to offer by the new Adam conditions for a new life, a life in Christ. Therefore, trust in God is a mark of openness for every Christian. The personal relationship we have established with a personal God is nourished by the opportunity we have to speak to him “as someone speaks to a friend” (Ex 33:11), by prayer. Prayer then becomes an act of faith: it is an act of faith recognizing the possibility of having a direct relationship with God and of discerning in every human being the divine spark that makes him or her a genuine child of God. Does not the Orthodox liturgy say in introducing the Lord’s Prayer: “that we may dare with trust and without fear, to address to you...”?

Today the violence in the world, the loss of Christian values and the extreme rapidity of time force us to adapt our message and to be attentive to live as best we can the life-giving commandments of our faith. Because trust is in crisis. Can we still trust our politicians? Can we still trust our religious institutions? Can we still trust a society in the process of impoverishment, both economically and culturally? It is not a matter of nourishing a discourse of mistrust of authority and power. But the fact of realizing humbly, on our level, that we experience the divine truth significantly alters the trust we can have in society and in ourselves. It should strengthen and increase our expectations in this respect, starting with ourselves. This is the way the words of the Prophet Isaiah should be understood: “They will rely with trust on the Lord...” (Isaiah 8:18)

Finally, we conclude this message by ensuring you of our own trust in you. We are confident that the generation that you represent is a sign that the life of the Church still dwells in, not to say inspires, today’s world. This confidence we have in you is motivated by the call of the Lord when he said to the rich young man: “Follow me.” Each of us is called to follow Christ in his or her own way, with his or her own charisms, as personal a way that pleases God in the forms with which our life is offered. A new dawn will arise by our trust in God’s love and by the reflection of this love in solidarity with our brothers and sisters around the world as well as in the preservation of the environment.

We congratulate you once again for holding such a meeting. We pray that it may bring to each of you the grace of unity that sustains the life of the Church.

The Moscow Patriarchate

Dear Brother Alois!
Dear brothers and sisters!

I cordially greet you in the name of His Holiness Kirill, Patriarch of Moscow and All Russia, and I send you my best wishes on the occasion of the celebration of the Nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ. According to tradition, the young adult European meetings, which are held each year in various cities under the auspices of the monastic community of Taizé, take place in the period of Christmas and New Year. For Christians this time is filled with the special joy of the fulfillment of God’s promises: the Lord was born in Bethlehem so that the sons of men might become sons of God. In the divine child Jesus Christ, we receive the gift of sonship; the path of divinization unfolds before us, that of our transfiguration into the image and likeness of the glory of God, which begins during our earthly existence and extends into eternity. That is why the apostle Saint John the Theologian exclaims: “Beloved! We are already now children of God, but what we shall later be has not yet been revealed. We know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” (1 John 3:2). These words of the apostle console our hearts and strengthen our faith that in this world, which is constantly and rapidly changing, we have a haven of hope that nothing can take away from us—the love of God. We know that, as Christians, the end of our earthly life will not be a disintegration into nothingness but rather introduce us into an infinite ocean of perfect joy.

A key concept of the Bible is that of covenant, which can mean union, contract and sometimes marriage. The prophets speak tirelessly of God’s unchanging faithfulness: “The Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps his covenant and his love for those who love him.” (Deuteronomy 7-9).

In fact, the very word at the root of our “ Amen”, “truth” means, in biblical usage, the fidelity of love, justice, authenticity, the truthfulness of God, who never leaves without a response nor abandons those who are faithful to him. People are invited to respond by faith and faithfulness to the faithfulness of God, which is why in the Bible these notions are identical! Faith plays a key role in spiritual life; without it religion would turn into a sad moralism, a sterile ritualism or a social phenomenon.

As we read in the book of Hosea, God draws us with chains of love and keeps us with bonds of love (Hosea 11:4). The Gospel sheds even more light on the mystery of the spiritual life, speaking of it with words of friendship: “I no longer call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing. I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything I heard from my Father” (John 15:15). In its largest sense, being a Christian means being a friend of Christ, building and shaping one’s life with him. From a faithful friendship with Christ arises the possibility of friendship and mutual trust between people. It is not surprising that the early Christians often called each other “friends” (3 John 1-15). We cannot build or achieve the unity of all Christians only by our human efforts. But, with the help of God, it is given to us to draw into a circle of friendship a multitude of people from different Churches and communities. Thus, today we can truly call each other friends. May the bonds of Christ’s love widen and unite us more and more.

May your participation in the yearly European meeting root you more deeply in Christ and strengthen your faith (Colossians 2:7). May God grant that there be more Christian faith and trust between people, and in our lives, in the coming year. May the love and joy of the newborn Christ, who came into the world, fill your hearts.
May God’s blessing remain with you all.
In the Lord’s love,

Hilarion
Metropolitan of Volokolamsk,
Chairman of the Department of External Church Relations
Moscow Patriarchate

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams

Dear Friends in Christ

Last month, I spent a couple of days in the city of Christchurch in New Zealand, a city devastated by two major earthquakes in a very brief period. The centre of the city was still a grim sight – wrecked and disintegrating tower blocks, roads with great cracks in them, mountains of rubble and twisted metal. But some of the most effective clearing-up and emergency care had been done by a host of young people, the “Student Volunteer Army”, who had been assembled in a miraculously short time by tweets and text messages.

The whole process was the inspiration of one student, Sam Johnson, who had realised the power of electronic media in making things happen swiftly and effectively. We’re told that some of the big recent political upheavals in the Middle East were made possible by just this kind of contact. But here was a simple act of practical service brought into effect without fuss and with the minimum of institutional structure: a lesson in what we can achieve with our technological resources when our vision is clear.

Sam acted in trust. He believed that if a call went out, people would answer it, because he was convinced that when people are asked in the simplest terms whether they do or don’t want to make the world a more humane and compassionate place, most will say that they do. In the face of a terrible disaster, with nearly two hundred people dying and many made homeless, a whole city brought to a standstill, the question was a very straightforward one.

Faced with appalling natural disaster, many will ask if God can be trusted. There may be answers in theory; but the answer in practice is that God can be trusted if we respond with courage and generosity to God’s call to us through the needy. And we build up our own trust in God by thinking about those who respond in this way, those who show that effective, prompt and generous compassion is possible.

If we can strengthen our convictions by reflecting on lives and actions like this, we’re much more likely to feel we ourselves can take risks in inviting others to join us in service – to send out a word of invitation, perhaps, on the electronic waves to say, “Come and work alongside us – the world needs us to give a sign of hope.”

At the first Christmas, God sent out an invitation in the shape of a human life, Jesus of Nazareth. God trusted his creation to respond. And even when the reaction was fearful and hateful and drove Jesus to the Cross, God went on trusting that we were capable of answering the invitation of love and never stopped calling us and prompting us by his Spirit. Our own trustful action must reflect God’s trust in the world, and it will flow from the freedom, supported by God’s Spirit, to go on inviting our fellow men and women into love.

The story of Christchurch is a reminder that small acts of trustfulness can make a great difference. I hope that your meeting, your prayers and your meditations, will deepen your reliance on God’s trust in his creation, shown in the gift of Jesus’ life and death and resurrection, and will help you take the risks of trusting others to join with you in the work of God’s Kingdom.

With my love and blessings always.

The Secretary General of the Lutheran World Federation, Pastor Martin Junge

That the pilgrimage of trust this year will take place in Rome is also a witness to something wonderful: God changes people!

When the first Christians came to Rome about 2000 years ago, they were not exactly welcome. And what do young Christians experience today in Rome? A festival of living, praying, sharing and celebrating together. It cannot be hidden.

It is like the light of which Jesus Christ says: “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.” (Matt 5:14)

You will view Rome through its historical as well as its current eyeglasses; you will share stories and talk about the future.

There you may hear about examples of people for whom faith became a light and changed their personal history. It is incredibly impressive when someone can be diverted from their life-plan, have their projects changed, change direction in the middle of the journey, get sidetracked by a light and follow it.

“Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick, so it gives light to all who are in the house” (Matt 5:15)

And remember, this light is always there. It shows us the way to conversion.

Even in a world that causes anxiety with its rapid changes, with problems such as youth unemployment, climate change, debt crisis, abuse of power and a society that runs mainly after perfection and performance.

It is worthwhile to keep searching for this light. And when we discover it, it encourages us to pause, to turn aside and to take a new road.

It shows us alternatives to the status quo. It gives us hearts for a new solidarity. We can pursue ways to a peaceful, sustainable and equitable life together.

My wish for you and for all of us is that the light from the 35th European Meeting in Rome may shine into the question of European identity and cohesion – especially when mistrust among nations is encouraged.

For you yourselves – young and older, compassionate, caring and celebrating people – are the light.

“Let your light so shine out, that people may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” (Matt 5:16)

I wish you this for your pilgrimage of trust: let yourselves be changed through and into God’s light.

The Secretary General of the World Communion of Reformed Churches, Dr Setri Nyomi

We thank God that at the end of 2012, the Taizé Community is once again gathering young people for a special time together. In a world filled with so many challenges, this is a great opportunity to stop and give thanks to God, make new friends, and embrace a new exciting reality of a movement that can make a difference in the world.

As young people gather in Rome, we in the World Communion of Reformed Churches pray that your interactions and reflections, times of prayer and times of commitment to action will deepen your trust in God. Young people spell hope for a broken world. This hope will come out alive only as young people deepen their faith in God and within that faith build with people of different origins and experiences, so that all can be part of building a new healthy future filled with justice and peace.

May God bless all the young people who will be attending this years’ gathering. May God bless Brother Alois and the entire Taizé Community. May God bless all who are touched by the Taizé community this year and in the years to come.

Le Secrétaire général du Conseil Œcuménique des Églises, Rev. Olav Fykse-Tveit

“That they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.” John 17:21

Dear Frère Alois,

It is my honour and pleasure to offer a message on behalf of the World Council of Churches (WCC) to the thousands of young people who will gather for prayer and fellowship at the 35th European meeting to be held in Rome from December 28 to January 2.

The WCC is a fellowship of 349 Orthodox, Anglican, Protestant and United churches representing 560 million Christians in more than 100 countries. The WCC fellowship is inspired to live in communion with God through prayer and service in the promise of Jesus Christ’s prayer that we may all be one. The churches from around the world are united in the love of Christ for humanity as you are united together in Rome to reflect on deepening your trust in God.

The prayer of Jesus Christ that his disciples may be one so that the world may believe (John 17:21) provides a strong foundation for us, in view of the challenges our societies face today. It is a prayer often used in ecumenical circles, as it provides the root of any possible Christian unity and a deepening of our trust in God. We are one as Christians because we receive the same gift of God’s "being with us and for us" through Jesus Christ.

You may ask what does it mean to be one? To be one is to take counsel together, to pray and reflect together and join forces on common issues. To be one is to stand up for one another; to step out of our own interests - for the other, for a higher cause of unity; to stand together in the whole mission of God. We are so much stronger together.

The WCC fellowship will hold its 10th Assembly next year in Busan, Korea with its theme "God of life, lead us to justice and peace". It will be an opportunity for the churches and communities to do exactly that – take counsel together, stand together and join forces on common issues of justice and peace. It will also be an opportunity to seek communion with God in prayer and reflection.

In your own gathering in Rome, may Christ’s prayer be an inspiration to your “pilgrimage of trust on earth”. May your prayers and reflections bring you closer to a deeper trust in God and His love for humanity so that we may be one. May you experience unity through your communion together. And may you find hope and gratitude in all that you do as we celebrate the joyous news of the birth of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Yours in Christ,

The Churches of Geneva

Taizé: form one body by opening paths of thankfulness

To all God’s beloved who are in Rome: to the Christians gathered for this new stage in the pilgrimage of trust, the Churches of Geneva, who contributed to the 2007 meeting, greet you, sisters and brothers of all denominations together in Christ’s name, at the invitation of the Churches of Rome, with the Taizé Community.

What a wonderful adventure you are undertaking! Five years later, we are still durably marked by the spiritual and human experience we had here in 2007, which was possible because we had the ecumenical will to walk together. From believers on the grassroots level to Church leaders, from people of little faith to those who would like to move mountains (or who did so!), we all pray today that this essential momentum continues to pass through our Church and social realities, to you.

Our time is rich and troubled. Values are diverse, often important, at times questionable, and sometimes the choices of society are annoying or difficult to understand. And all is not a subject of choice: some things that are most important are received, like hope, faith and love, while others are the result of decisions taken in a way that is not always democratic or the will of a majority or respectful of human beings. But there is one area where, as Christians, we have choices to make: how do we form one body, at the invitation of the apostle Paul, and how do we bear witness to the world to the faith which is in us.

Forming one body is the the most longed for and the most difficult thing for a Church. The most longed for, because that is what we are called to, before the one Christ; the most difficult, because opinions differ, within a Church or between Churches. And where the Word alone should unite us, beyond our traditions, our histories, our demands, our preferences, our more or less mandatory points of reference, we see that sometimes our reading of it disunites us, and this is disturbing. Faithful in prayer, we pray that God may enlighten our readings and our choices, God who welcomes us with our impulses and our contradictions and wants to help us to form one body.

Form one believing body in a Church reality which is provisional but beautiful, where we walk along paths of faith, under the joyful and watchful eyes of God.

Form one social body in a Europe in the throes of major questionings and new economic precariousness, under the worried but loving eyes of Christ.

Form one human body so that, under the impulse of the Spirit, we may go beyond easy solutions and temptations and receive ourselves in the richness of our differences and what links us together, in new solidarities.

Yes, forming one body in hope means giving form today to concrete projects, even and especially when disagreements persist. It means going forward in trust, impelled by the breath of the Spirit, even when the path is uncertain to us: we believe that God goes before us and that Christ leads us, to renew our lives, our presence, and our world.

Forming one body means finally daring in trust to take paths of thankfulness and mutual acceptance, in the dynamics of peace and sharing inspired by the ecumenical community of Taizé for over sixty years now. By the grace of Christ, we live in this active hope.

The grace of the Lord be with you all.

Ms. Christine Hauri, President of the Cantonal Synod of the Old Catholic Church
Bishop Pierre Farine, Auxiliary Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church
Ms. Charlotte Kuffer, President of the Protestant Church

The Secretary general of the United Nations, M. Ban Ki Moon

I am pleased to send greetings to the Pilgrimage of Trust on Earth.

You gather at a time of profound turmoil and transition. Insecurity, inequality and intolerance affect too many. Governments are wasting vast and precious funds on deadly weapons while reducing investments in citizens who yearn for jobs and the prospect of a decent life. Leaders seem willfully blind to the urgency of tackling climate change, reluctant to take the decisive action needed.

On the positive side, extreme poverty has been cut in half since the year 2000. Democratic transitions are under way in the Arab world, Myanmar and elsewhere. Latin America and Asia continue to make important economic and social advances. Africa’s economic growth has become the fastest in the world. Still, we must strive for more. I am focusing heightened attention on five imperatives: sustainable development; preventing conflicts, damage from disasters and human rights abuses; building a more secure world; supporting countries in transition; and empowering women and youth.

You represent the largest generation of young people our world has ever known. Yet opportunities for youth are inadequate. Youth unemployment is at record levels. Others are stuck in low-wage, dead-end work, despite good education. We must work together to realize your potential and benefit from your energy, ideas and leadership.

This is an era of great uncertainty, but also one of profound opportunity. No single leader, country or institution can do everything. But each of us, in our own way, can do something. Together, as partners, we can rise to the challenges of our changing world.

Please accept my best wishes for a rewarding gathering.

The President of the European Council, Mr Herman van Rompuy

The central theme of your meeting this year is faith and trust.

Faith is for me adherence to a mystery.

Adherence, and not necessarily belief, which implies a “rationalization,” an approach which is more intellectual than spiritual: something that involves believing “in”.
Belief thus involves words, concepts, representations.
Whereas, as St. Paul says (Letter to the Hebrews): “Faith is the substance of what one hopes for and the assurance of things not seen.”
In fact, it is when we lose our beliefs that our faith begins.

A faith that binds us, which links us to the Other and to others, to the “stranger-brother” irreducibly different from us as an “other” and irreducibly like us as a human being.

A faith which is relationship. For it is this relationship that allows us to discover the “more” that is in the other and also calls us to discover or re-discover it in ourselves.
This is why “the other and myself” cannot be reduced to a simple addition of two personalities.
This is why “the other and myself” will never be “one plus one”, but that sum will always be more than two: the “more” of the relationship established between the “other” and “me” a genuine link, a link based on “something other” that pure chemistry or materiality.

Faith and trust.

Trust that is not a word or a concept but an attitude in life and to life.
Trust, says Brother Alois, “contains a call: welcoming in all simplicity the love that God has for each of us, living this love and taking the risks that this entails.”

Trust means having faith in and with.
In Latin, the word is the same.
It means saying yes—to life, to love, to the other who comes.

Faith and trust.
To go further.
To go beyond ourselves and thus to help our humanity to go beyond itself, to approach the Mystery of life and, for Christians, to approach the Father.

I wish you fruitful encounters in that magnificent city of Rome—for reflection, meditation and contemplation.

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