John Paul II when receiving the president of the ex-Soviet republic on november 28th 2003, called Moldova to make dialogue a key tool of its action.
This was the "first meeting between the highest authority of the republic of Moldova and the Pope" since the country "appeared on the international scene as a sovereign and independent nation," John Paul said when greeting President Vladimir Voronin.
As the country "attained freedom a short while ago," the Pope encouraged president Voronin and his compatriots to continue to build it "with confidence," conscious of the "difficulties that are proper especially of beginnings."
"Moldova, situated as it is on the border between the Latin and Slav worlds, cannot but make dialogue an essential operative instrument of its own action, in order to have concrete possibilities arise of peace, justice and well-being," John Paul II said.
And continued: "Although small in number," the Catholic community "is actively engaged" in the process, "situating itself as a living and generous interlocutor in society".
Noting that the Church in Moldova -- it is recognized by the government -- "can freely carry out its evangelizing and charitable mission," the Pope expressed the hope that dialogue will continue "in a fruitful way, for the benefit of the whole of Moldovan society" and in respect "of democracy and the equality of all religious confessions."
Moldova lies between Ukraine and Romania and its population is mostly Orthodox. There are around 20,000 Catholics.