Pope Francis spoke of the importance of appreciating the Roma community’s culture and traditions and apologized for the church’s inability “to defend you in your uniqueness.”
“Complicated and sorrow-filled situations from the past must not be forgotten or denied,” he told the assembled during his homily, “yet neither must they be an obstacle or an excuse standing in the way of our desire to live together as brothers and sisters.”
Pope Francis, in his scripted address, reminded his Orthodox brothers that “the bonds of faith that unite us go back to the Apostles.”
The path to building an inclusive society is one where every person is seen as a brother or sister and “where the weak, the poor and the least are no longer seen as undesirables that keep the ‘machine’ from functioning,” the pope said on May 31, the first day of his visit to Romania.
“I come as a pilgrim and a brother,” Pope Francis said in a video message to the people of Romania on the eve of his visit to the largest of the Balkan states and a predominantly Orthodox country.