International Paphos Airport
Friday, 4 June 2010
Your Beatitude Chrysostomos,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Χαίρετε! Ειρήνη μαζί σας! Είναι μεγάλη η χαρά
μου που είμαι σήμερα μαζί σας.
Mr President, I am grateful for the kind
invitation to visit the Republic of Cyprus. I express my cordial
greetings to you and to the Government and people of this
nation, and thank you for your gracious words of welcome. I also
recall with gratitude your recent visit to the Vatican and look
forward to our meeting tomorrow in Nicosia.
Cyprus stands at the crossroads of cultures and
religions, of histories both proud and ancient but which still
retain a strong and visible impact upon the life of your
country. Having recently acceded to the European Union, the
Republic of Cyprus is beginning to witness the benefit of closer
economic and political ties with other European states.
Membership has already given your country access to markets,
technology and know-how. It is greatly to be hoped that
membership will lead to prosperity at home and that other
Europeans in their turn will be enriched by your spiritual and
cultural heritage which reflects your historical role, standing
between Europe, Asia and Africa. May the love of your homeland
and of your families and the desire to live in harmony with your
neighbours under the compassionate protection of almighty God,
inspire you patiently to resolve the remaining concerns that you
share with the international community for the future of your
Following in the footsteps of our common fathers
in the faith, Saints Paul and Barnabas, I have come among you as
a pilgrim and the servant of the servants of God. Since the
Apostles brought the Christian message to these shores, Cyprus
has been blessed by a resilient Christian heritage. I greet as a
brother in that faith His Beatitude Chrysostomos the Second,
Archbishop of Nea Justiniana and All Cyprus, and I look forward
shortly to meeting many more members of the Orthodox Church of
I also look forward to greeting other Cypriot
religious leaders. I hope to strengthen our common bonds and to
reiterate the need to build up mutual trust and lasting
friendship between all those who worship the one God.
As the Successor of Peter, I come in a special
way to greet the Catholics of Cyprus, to confirm them in the
faith (cf. Lk 22:32) and to encourage them to be both exemplary
Christians and exemplary citizens, and to play a full role in
society, to the benefit of both Church and state.
During my stay with you, I will also consign the
Instrumentum Laboris, a working document in view of the
Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops to
be held later this year in Rome. That Assembly will examine many
aspects of the Church’s presence in the region and the
challenges that Catholics face, sometimes in trying
circumstances, in living out their communion within the Catholic
Church and offering their witness in the service of society and
the world. Cyprus is thus an appropriate place in which to
launch our Church’s reflection on the place of the centuries-old
Catholic community in the Middle East, our solidarity with all
the Christians of the region and our conviction that they have
an irreplaceable role to play in peace and reconciliation among
Mr President, dear friends, with these thoughts,
I entrust my pilgrimage to Mary, the Mother of God, and to the
intercession of Saints Paul and Barnabas.
Ο Θεός ας ευλογήση τον Κυπριακό Λαό. Η Παναγία
ας σας προστατεύει πάντα!
 Greetings! Peace be with you! It is a great
pleasure to be with you today.
 May God bless the people of Cyprus. May the
All-Holy [Virgin] protect you always!
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