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Pope hails Edict of Milan, welcomes Orthodox leader to celebration

May 16, 2013

As the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople visits Milan to celebrate the 1700th anniversary of the Edict of Milan, Pope Francis has sent a message of greeting, hailing “the historic decision that, decreeing religious freedom for Christians, opened new paths to the Gospel and decisively contributed to the birth of European civilization.”

The papal message, conveyed in a telegram to Milan’s Cardinal Angelo Scola, expressed the hope that “the common witness of Christians of the East and West, sustained by the Spirit of the Risen One, will agree to the spread of the message of salvation in Europe and the entire world and that, thanks to the foresight of civil authorities, the right to publicly express one’s faith will be respected everywhere, and that the contribution that Christianity continues to offer to culture and society in our time will be accepted without prejudice.”


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