Dear Brothers and Sisters: My recent Apostolic Journey to Romania took as its theme “walking together”. I renew my gratitude to the President and Prime Minister, to the civil and ecclesiastical authorities, and to all who cooperated in making this visit possible. Above all I thank Almighty God for enabling the Successor of Peter to return to the country, twenty years after Saint John Paul II. The motto of the visit was especially evident in the variety of meetings, which showed the importance for Christians and for all citizens of “walking together” in fraternity and harmony. With deep gratitude I recall my warm meeting with Patriarch Daniel and the Holy Synod of the Romanian Orthodox Church, in which I renewed the Catholic Church’s commitment to walking together towards full unity. The three celebrations of Holy Mass brought together the diverse Catholic community, and concluded with the Beatification of seven Greek-Catholic bishops. Each of these martyrs bore witness to the freedom and mercy brought by the Gospel. Particularly joyful was my meeting with families and young people. Finally, during my visit to the Romani community I reiterated an appeal against every form of discrimination and for respect for all people. Let us pray that God will abundantly bless Romania and the Church in that land.
I greet the English-speaking pilgrims and visitors taking part in today’s Audience, especially those from England, Scotland, Malta, China, Japan, Malaysia, Korea, Canada and the United States of America. I offer a special greeting to the members of the United Nations Women’s Guild of Rome together with my prayerful good