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Rome Reports

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General audience: Pope remembers trip to Cyprus

In my Apostolic Journey to Cyprus this past week, I walked in the footsteps of Saints Paul and Barnabas, who first brought the Gospel to that island, and visited the small but lively Catholic communities of the island. I thank the Authorities for their warm hospitality, and I particularly thank the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Cyprus and His Beatitude Archbishop Chrysostomos the Second for their fraternal welcome. In my celebrations with the Maronite and Latin Catholic communities I witnessed their strong faith and traditions, and the vitality of their educational and charitable institutions. In Cyprus and throughout the Middle East, Christians are called to overcome divisions and to persevere in their witness to the Gospel in those lands. At Sunday Mass in Nicosia I consigned the working document for the forthcoming Special Assembly for the Middle East of the Synod of Bishops. Let us pray that the Synod will strengthen those ancient Christian communities in communion and hope, and help them to build a future of peace throughout the Middle East. I offer a warm welcome to the ecumenical study group from the School of Theology at Seton Hall University, and to the members of the International Leadership Programme for LaSallian Universities. My cordial greetings also go to the scholars and experts taking part in the international conference sponsored by the International Insolvency Institute. I greet the many student groups present, and I thank the choirs for their praise of God in song. Upon all the English-speaking visitors present at today?s Audience, especially those from Ireland, the Philippines and the United States, 1 invoke Almighty God?s blessings ofjoy and peace.