Document date: 17.04.2007
Birthday greeting to Pope Benedict XVI on his 80th birthday

13 April 2007

Your Holiness,  

Christ is Risen!  

"We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers, remembering without ceasing your work of faith, labor of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ in the sight of our God and Father." (1Thess.1:2-3)  

With these words of the apostle, we gladly join this Sunday, April 15, our Roman Catholic sisters and brothers across the world who will celebrate your 80th birthday in Eucharistic fellowship.  

Your Holiness, in your long life and ecclesial ministry you have experienced the most difficult upheavals in both society and science. You have dedicated your life to searching for responses that are grounded in our common faith in the Risen Lord.  

During your Pontificate you have been preaching and teaching about renewal and re-discovery of this very amazing faith in Christ. A message that we have embodied in the theme of the World Council of Churches 9th Assembly last year in Porto Alegre, Brazil: "God, in your grace, transform the world".  

On behalf of the fellowship of churches constituting the World Council of Churches, we pray to the Almighty that by His Grace you are blessed to continue leading the faithful of the Roman Catholic Church, so that as you said in your message on Easter Saturday, "through the wounds of the Risen Christ we can see the evils which afflict humanity with the eyes of hope".  

We thank you for proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ and sharing generously the assurance of the resurrection. We thank God for your life and work.  

Yours in Christ,  

Rev. Dr Samuel Kobia
General Secretary
World Council of Churches