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Friday, November 28, 2003


VATICAN CITY, NOV 28, 2003 (VIS) - Today John Paul II received Vladimir Voronin, president of the Republic of Moldova, in audience. In his speech, the Holy Father emphasized that it was the 'first encounter between the supreme authority of the Republic of Moldova and the successor of Peter since the country has emerged as an independent and sovereign nation on the international scene.'

'The country that you represent,' he continued, 'has recently obtained freedom and therefore seeks support ' in order to overcome the inevitable difficulties, especially at the beginning. Moldova, given its location on the border between the Latin and Slavic worlds, must use dialogue as an essential instrument of action so that concrete possibilities of peace, justice and well-being flourish.'

'The Catholic community, although small in terms of numbers, is actively involved ' in this process. I would like to emphasize that the Church in Moldova to carry out its evangelizing and charitable mission and that the State recognizes its juridical nature. It is essential that, without prejudice against anyone, dialogue between the State and the Catholic Church continue in a fruitful way for the benefit of all of Moldavian society, while respecting the norms of democracy and the equality of all religious confessions.'

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