Pope Sends Birthday Greetings to Bartholomew I


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(27 Feb 10 - RV) Pope Benedict XVI has sent a telegram of best wishes to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I ahead of his 70th birthday. Below we publish the text of the papal telegram:

To His Holiness Bartholomaios I
Archbishop of Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarch

The happy occasion of your Seventieth Birthday offers me a welcome opportunity to give thanks to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ and the Giver of every good gift, for the abundant blessings which he has bestowed upon Your Holiness, and at the same time to convey my warm good wishes.

These fervent and fraternal good wishes are accompanied by my prayers that our One Lord will sustain you with his strength and grace as you carry out your high ministry of Pastor, Preacher of the Gospel and Teacher of the spiritual life.

With pleasant memories of our meetings, particularly my visit to the Phanar for the Feast of the Apostle Andrew, Peter's brother, I exchange with Your Holiness a holy embrace, while expressing my prayerful confidence that the Spirit of God will continue to enlighten and guide our path towards the full communion willed by Christ for all his disciples.