Pope Writes to Russian Catholics of Latin Rite

Message for the 30th Anniversary of the Creation of Apostolic Administrations for Russian Catholics of the Latin Rite

Pope Writes to Russian Catholics of Latin Rite
© Vatican Media
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Pope Francis wrote a message to the Apostolic Administrations for Russian Catholics of the Latin Rite, on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of their creation. The Holy Father explains to Eastern Christians the importance of “continuing to walk together with our Christian brothers, without tiring of praying for the Lord’s help to deepen our mutual knowledge and to advance, step by step, on the path of unity.”

At the beginning of the message, the Pontiff recalls that the anniversary is an occasion “to propose to ourselves, with the help of grace, to grow according to the Gospel, aspiring to be every more docile communities to the Word of God, animated by hope and supported by the consoling strength of the Spirit, open, in obedience to the supreme commandment of love, to encounter and to solidary participation with all, especially with brothers and sisters of the Orthodox Church.”

“The Church’s self-awareness constantly needs strong moments, as the one you are living, to be renewed and purified and, in particular, to eliminate with God’s help all temptations to self-reference and self-celebration, to adhere better to the same sentiments that were in Christ Jesus,” he says.


The Pope also expresses his hope that the Russian Catholic community will be “an evangelical seed that, with joy and humility, offers a clear transparency of the Kingdom of God,” and he calls them to the search of vocation, which makes an effort for communion with all, to witness, with simplicity and generosity, the gift of the grace received in family life and in all realms of daily life.

Christian witness, he adds, ”stands out for taking care of others, especially the neediest and the neglected.” And he ends by inviting us to pray “for all and to serve those with whom we share the same humanity, which Jesus united inseparably to Himself, and by so doing we discover ourselves brothers and sisters in a common pilgrimage towards  the goal of communion, which God points out to us in every Eucharistic Celebration.”

Here is the full text of His Holiness’ message, offered by the Holy See Press Office.

* * *

Pope Francis’ Message

 Dear Brothers and Sisters,

On the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the establishment of the Apostolic Administrations for Catholics of the Latin Rite in this dear land, I find myself with joy among you through my Representative, H.E. Monsignor Giovanni d’Aniello, with the desire to reinforce the ecclesial communion that unites us in Christ. I express my closeness to you all in prayer, grateful for your witness of faith and charity.

What is celebrated is not so much a memory of legal acts and formal realities. It is, rather, a moment to recall with humility and gratitude the good received from the Lord and of so many brothers and sisters that, as true “next door saints,” have supported you on your path. It is also a propitious occasion to propose to ourselves, with the help of grace, to grow according to the Gospel, aspiring to be ever more docile communities to the Word of God, animated by hope and supported by the consoling strength of the Spirit; in obedience to the supreme commandment of love, to encounter and to solidary participation with all, especially with brothers and sisters of the Orthodox Church.

The Church’s self-awareness constantly needs strong moments, like the one you are living, to be renewed and purified and, in particular, to eliminate with God’s help the temptation to self-reference and self-celebration, to adhere better to the same sentiments that Christ Jesus had (cf. Philippians 2:5). Regenerated in Him, who made Himself servant for us and loved us to the end (cf. John 13;1), is our personal communal behavior; with Him we can, as the Apostle Paul hoped, ”rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints, practice hospitality” (Romans 12:12-13).

My hope is that this commemoration will stimulate the whole Catholic community of the Russian Federation to be an evangelical seed that, with joy and humility, offers a clear transparency of the Kingdom of God. I desire that you be a community of men and women, of children and adults, of young people and the elderly, of priests and laymen, of consecrated persons in search of vocation, who make an effort for communion with all, to witness with simplicity and generosity, in family life and in all realms of daily life, the gift of the grace received. This is very pleasing to God and contributes to the common good of the whole society. In particular, Christian witness stands out for taking care of others, especially the neediest and neglected.

Dear brothers, “for by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body” (1 Corinthians 12:13): it is important, in the Eastern Christian tradition in which you live, to continue walking together with all our Christian brothers, without tiring of asking the Lord’s help to deepen our mutual knowledge and to advance, step by step, in the path of unity. Praying for all and serving those with whom we share the same humanity, which Jesus united inseparably to Himself, we discover ourselves brothers and sisters in a common pilgrimage towards the goal of communion, which God points out to us in every Eucharistic Celebration.

Let us remain united in Christ: may the Holy Spirit, poured into our hearts, make us feel ourselves children of the Father, brothers among ourselves and with all. May the Most Holy Trinity, incessant source of love, increase our cohesion and desire to promote Him in all realms. Through the intercession of the Holy Mother of God and of Saint Joseph, I send my Blessing to each one, with a special thought for the sick, asking that you pray for me.

Rome, Saint John Lateran, September 16, 2021, Memorial of Saints Cornelius and Cyprian.

© Libreria Editrice Vatican

Translation by Virginia M. Forrester




Marido. Padre de tres hijas. Grado de Periodismo y Máster de Comunicación y Branding Digital por la Universidad CEU Cardenal Herrera. Decidido por servir a la Iglesia, Gabriel hizo el Máster de Matrimonio y Familia en la Universidad Católica de Valencia. Ha trabajado en todo tipo de empresas y entidades públicas gestionando sus departamentos de comunicación, así como en proyectos freelance. Apasionado de la gran pantalla y las series de televisión, es crítico de cine. Actualmente ejerce como periodista de Exaudi.
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