June 7, 2010.
The second most important gathering of the pope's visit to Cyprus was the ecumenical celebration in an Orthodox church in Paphos next to the archaeological ruins of a Paleochristian basilica from the IV century.
Among these ruins there are, according to popular tradition, the column in which Saint Paul was whipped in the year 47, accused of causing disturbances.
After greeting the parish of Cyprus's Latin Catholic community, Benedict XVI prayed in front of the iconostasis, a wall in orthodox churches which separates the sanctuary from the central part of the temple.
The Orthodox archbishop also participated. The pope said that “the unity of Christ's disciples” is a gift that everyone should ask to God.
“Today we can be grateful to the Lord, who through his Spirit has led us, especially in these last decades, to rediscover the rich apostolic heritage shared by East and West, and in patient and sincere dialogue to find ways of drawing closer to one another, overcoming past controversies, and looking to a better future.”
The pope said that the Church in Cyprus has shown it's a bridge between the East and West and has contributed to the reconciliation process. He also said that the Catholic Church like the Church of Cyprus are willing to proceed with dialogue and in fraternal collaboration.
Benedict XVI assured that the next Synod on Christians in the Middle East would enhance dialogue between Christians in the area and it would reflect on its role in the region.
The city of Paphos, the first destination of the pope, is very significant because there Saint Paul converted to Christianity the main Roman authority, the proconsul Sergio Pablo, and he converted the island into the first place of Christianity with a Christian government.