Speech of the Holy Father to the General Chapter of the Order of St Basil the Great

Speech to the General Chapter of the Order of St Basil the Great of the Holy Father Pope John Paul II Saturday, 8 July 2000 Dear Fathers of the Basilian Order! 1. You have gathered in the Eternal City for the work of your General Chapter. I joyfully welcome you to this special meeting which you requested to confirm, in this way as well, your communion with the See of Peter. In expressing my gratitude to you for this sign of ecclesial charity, I extend a cordial greeting to your Protoarchimandrite Dionysius Lachovicz. The purpose of your Chapter is to renew the order's statutes, to elect the new General Curia and to prepare sound guidelines for solving the order's current problems. For many of your communities' members, it has only been 10 years since their liberation from the oppressive regimes which severely impeded the life of the Church. This event also coincides with the Great Jubilee year, that is, with a time when we are called in a very particular way to a purification of memory, to forgiveness, in a word, to reconciliation. Those who have suffered so deeply are especially called to a love that bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things (1 Cor 13: 7). Such love leads to reconciliation with our brethren, especially those who have been responsible for unspeakable sufferings. May the Holy Year 2000 be a powerful call for you all to holiness in personal and community life, so that its beneficial effects may spread to the entire Christian community. 2. May the unity of the Church, for which Christ prayed at the Last Supper (cf. Jn 17: 20, 21), be a constant commitment for each of you. Your example in this task is St Basil the Great, of whom I wrote: It was the same love for Christ and his Gospel that made him suffer so much because of the divisions in the Church and made him seek, so perseveringly, hoping against hope for a more effective and manifest communion with all the Churches (Apostolic Letter Patres Ecclesiae, II, 2 January 1980; Insegnamenti, III/1, 1980, p. 58). Another primary purpose of your consecration to God in the Basilian Order is the Christian renewal of your people, a goal for which St Josaphat, whose mortal remains now rest here in St Peter's Basilica, laboured so much. We are approaching the 400th anniversary of his entry into the monastery of the Most Holy Trinity in Vilnius. The dawn of a new springtime of monastic life in the Greek Catholic Church dates back to that time. With his spiritual asceticism, his life of penance, his tireless service to the Church, he made an effective contribution to the rebirth not only of monasticism but also of the Christian life in those lands. An analogous situation is recurring today wherever the Church was suppressed for many decades. Today too, those peoples are waiting to see the light of God

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