VATICAN CITY, 4 SEP 2009 (VIS) - Made public yesterday afternoon was a Message from Benedict XVI to Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, and participants in an inter-Christian symposium on St. Augustine being held in Rome from 3 to 5 September.
The symposium has been promoted by the Franciscan Institute of Spirituality at Rome's Antonianum Pontifical Athenaeum, and by the Orthodox Theological Faculty of the University of Aristotle in Salonika, Greece.
In his Message the Pope notes how the theme chosen for the meeting - "St. Augustine in Western and Eastern Tradition" which is being examined in co-operation with the Augustinianum Patristic Institute in Rome - is of "great interest" and may "promote more profound study of Christian theology and spirituality in East and West".
"The saint of Hippo, a great Father of the Latin Church, is of fundamental importance for the theology and for the very culture of the West", writes the Holy Father, noting how "the reception of his ideas in Orthodox theology has proved to be somewhat problematic. Hence, it is indispensable to understand - with historical objectivity and fraternal cordiality - the doctrinal and spiritual wealth that form the heritage of the Christian East and West, not only to evaluate them better, but also to promote greater mutual appreciation among all Christians".
Benedict XVI concludes his Message by expressing the hope that the symposium may prove fruitful in "discovering common doctrinal and spiritual ground which may help to build the City of God where His children can live in peace and fraternal charity".
MESS/INTER-CHRISTIAN SYMPOSIUM/KASPER VIS 20090904 (280)