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    » 03/15/2013, 00.00

    TURKEY - VATICAN

    For the first time since the Great Schism, ecumenical patriarch to attend pope's inaugural Mass



    The metropolitans of Argentina and Italy will accompany Bartholomew. Moscow Patriarchate hopes in closer cooperation with Rome but excludes for now a meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill.

    Istanbul (AsiaNews) - The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I will attend Pope Francis's inaugural Mass. The Ecumenical Patriarchate Press Office informed AsiaNews about the decision, noting that this is the first time such an event occurs since the Catholic-Orthodox split in 1054, an important sign for Christian unity.

    The ecumenical patriarch will be accompanied by Ioannis Zizioulas, metropolitan of Pergamon and co-president of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Church, as well as Tarassios, Orthodox Metropolitan of Argentina, and Gennadios, Orthodox Metropolitan of Italy.

    Relations between Catholics and Orthodox have been improving since the Second Vatican Council through mutual visits, acts of friendship and theological dialogue.

    Under Benedict XVI, the dialogue picked up in earnest after a lull. In trying to promote it, the pope suggested ways to express the primacy of Peter's successor that could be acceptable to the Orthodox, finding his inspiration from the undivided Church of the first millennium.

    Catholic ecumenism has met however with great resistance from the Russian Orthodox Church and the Moscow Patriarchate, seat of the 'Third Rome'.

    The head of the Russian Orthodox Church's Department for External Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, said on Thursday that a meeting between the pope and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow was "possible but the place and timing will depend on how quickly we will overcome the consequences of the conflicts from the turn of 1980s and 1990s".

    The issue of the Ukrainian Catholic Church is at the core of the "conflicts" to which Hilarion was referring. Although it was unbanned following the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was left without its original churches, which had been seized by the Communists under Soviet rule and later transferred to the Orthodox Church.

    Still, "on several occasions, Pope Francis has shown spiritual sympathy towards the Orthodox Church and a desire for closer contacts," Hilarion said.

    It is his hope that under the new pontificate "relations of alliance will develop and that our ties will be strengthened."

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    See also

    15/03/2013 EGYPT - VATICAN
    Tawadros II thanks cardinals and Pope Francis for the "blessed choice"
    The patriarch of Orthodox Copts sends a telegram of best wishes to Pope Francis. Al-Azhar greets the new pontiff but continues to call on the Catholic Church to issue an apology. The spokesman for the Egyptian Catholic Church criticises the superficiality of Egyptian media.

    14/03/2013 TURKEY - VATICAN
    Bartholomew I: Francis is a new impetus on two Churches path towards unity
    The telegram of greetings and congratulations of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople to Pope Bergoglio. As with John Paul II and Benedict XVI, Bartholomew I renews his appreciation and support for the bishop of Rome.

    30/11/2006 VATICAN - TURKEY
    Benedict XVI and Bartholomew I: Our unity for the people of Europe and the world

    Commitment to ecumenism was reaffirmed in a joint declaration to strengthen Europe's Christian roots and to proclaim the Gospel in a secularized world. There was an appeal for religious freedom across the world. Protests are taking place here and there in Turkey but without much success. By our special correspondent.



    20/03/2013 VATICAN - ORTHODOX
    United against economic crisis and "worldly trends", Bartholomew and Francis to be in Jerusalem next year
    The two will travel to the Holy Land to mark the 50th anniversary of the embrace between Athenagoras and Paul VI. The pope has been invited to Constantinople for the feast day of Saint Andrew (30 November). For the ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople, the pope is the 'Good Samaritan of Latin America'; for the pope, the patriarch is "My brother Andrew'. Both are committed to the environment and to the struggle against poverty and materialism.

    29/11/2006 VATICAN – TURKEY
    Benedict XVI meets Bartholomew I, together for full unity
    The visit to the Ecumenical Patriarchate is the main reason for the Pope's trip to Turkey on the Feast Day of Saint Andrew. A joint statement is expected tomorrow. Istanbul is under tight security.



    Editor's choices

    CUBA – VATICAN – ORTHODOX
    Francis-Kirill meeting in Cuba: “Finally! We are brothers. We have everything in common”



    The first meeting in centuries between the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow took place in a relaxed and fraternal atmosphere. Two hours of private talks were followed by the signing of a Joint Declaration. As he thanked Raul Castro, the pope said, "If things continue like this, Cuba will be the capital of unity." Both leaders are committed to defending Christians around the world and support "the foundations of morality, the family and the person".


    VATICAN – CUBA – ORTHODOX
    Francis and Kirill: Orthodox and Catholics united vis-à-vis persecuted Christians and the secularised West



    In the Joint Declaration signed in Havana, the Pope and the Patriarch of Moscow emphasise the world’s evils and the need for Christians to bear witness together. Both stand for the natural marriage of a man and a woman, the right to life, and the need for inter-faith dialogue. Both are saddened by the scandal of division, and jointly appeal for an end to religious persecution, for peace in Ukraine and for unity based on "tangible gestures." The full text of the Declaration follows.


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