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Message for the enthronment of Patriarch Daniel of Romania

30 September 2007

Bucharest, 30 September 2007 

Your Beatitude, 

On this joyous occasion, the «fellowship of churches» constituting the World Council gladly joins the Romanian Orthodox Church in celebrating the enthronement of her Patriarch.  

The WCC member churches and the staff community are represented by His Grace Bishop Hans Gerny and Rev. Prof. Ioan Sauca in this great moment in the contemporary history of the Romanian Orthodox Church. 

With your election and enthronement, Your Beatitude, a totally new page is being inaugurated in the history of the Romanian Orthodox Church in the new century and a new millennium.  

Romania is now a full member of the European Community; Romania is on its way to recover from the consequences of the recent past; Romania is experiencing a fantastique blooming of its younger generation, full of dynamism, creativity and imagination, looking at the future with confidence and hope. 

We are deeply convinced that, at this very juncture, your spiritual leadership will guide, strengthen and inspire the Romanian people, strongly affirm the role of your people and your Church within Europe and the world at large, and open new avenues for dialogue and cooperation with other peoples and churches.  

We are confident that you will continue to share your knowledge, your wisdom, your gift of discernment and your contagious enthusiasm, particularly with the younger generation.  

We are grateful for the leadership you have already offered to hundreds of young persons from all over the world who studied at the Ecumenical Institute of Bossey. For a number of years, you were to them a professor, a tutor, a leader, a mentor, and to many a spiritual father.  

We are also grateful that, as a member of the governing bodies of the World Council of Churches, you have constantly brought the challenge and the profound input of Orthodox theology and spirituality, thus actively participating in the search for a common Christian witness, for a constructive dialogue, for a genuine cooperation beneficial to all parties involved in the ecumenical movement.  

We fervently pray that your ministry at the head of the Romanian Orthodox Church be abundantly blessed by the Almighty God, the Father of our common Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 

Your Beatitude, 

The ecumenical movement, including all its instruments and organizations, is nowadays at the crossroads of a new and quite challenging era. There is a tremendous wealth of still unexploited potential. There are also a number of deeply theological, ethical and spiritual matters still dividing churches. There are yet new challenges churches and Christians are called to face together.  

The journey ahead of the churches committed to work for their unity will certainly be arduous and demanding. However, staying together as Christian churches, praying together, working together, witnessing to the world together, and facing all challenges together seem to constitute the only possibility for churches within our tragically divided world. The World Council of Churches affirms and promotes this togetherness, mobilizes all forces and energies to make it happen, encourages churches to struggle against all tendencies that may lead them to self-isolation and self-marginalization.   

In this difficult task, the World Council of Churches counts on your support and will gratefully benefit from your attachment to the imperatives of the Gospel and to the living Tradition of the Church, from your inspired and inspiring leadership, and from your stated commitment to all efforts bringing peoples closer to one another.  

We ardently pray that the Spirit of truth that brings and ensures communion, enlightens your ministry within both the Romanian Orthodox Church and the wider Christian family of churches. 

Your Beatitude, 
We join today our Romanian Orthodox sisters and brothers and, together with them, we proclaim: 
Ad multos annos!  
La multi ani!
Yours in His Service,

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary
World Council of Churches

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