During his visit to Hungary Pope Francis met with representatives of the Ecumenical Council of Churches and of Jewish communities gathered together in Budapest on 12 September. The Holy Father commenced his address by saying that their presence was a sign of a great desire for unity. He continued, “As I look out at you, my brothers and fellow Christians, I bless your continuing journey towards full communion”. Pope Francis then addressed the Jewish representatives, “In greeting you, my dear brothers in the faith of our father Abraham … I express my appreciation for your efforts to break down the walls that separated us in the past. Jews and Christians alike, you strive to view one another no longer as strangers but as friends, no longer as foes but as brothers and sisters”.
Pope Francis called on all present to reflect on “the evocative image of the Chain Bridge connecting the two halves of this city”, an image that reminds us that a bridge unites. The Holy Father concluded by affirming, “Only if we become roots of peace and shoots of unity, will we prove credible in the eyes of the world, which look to us with a yearning that can bring hope to blossom”.
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