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    » 11/30/2015, 00.00


    Pope tells Bartholomew I that the necessary conditions for the restoration of unity between Catholics and Orthodox exist

    Francis issues a message for the feast day of Saint Andrew, patron of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Although not all the differences have been overcome, "there is no longer any impediment to Eucharistic communion" between Catholics and Orthodox, “which cannot be overcome through prayer, the purification of hearts, dialogue and the affirmation of truth."

    Vatican City (AsiaNews) – Pope Francis sent Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I a message as part of the traditional meeting of delegations for the feast day of their respective patron saints, Saints Peter and Paul on 29 June in Rome and Saint Andrew on 30 November in Istanbul.

    For the pontiff, “there is no longer any impediment to Eucharistic communion,” and progress “towards the full communion” can “draw inspiration from the gesture of reconciliation and peace by our venerable predecessors Paul VI and Athenagoras I,” who lifted the mutual excommunications of 1054.

    Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, delivered Francis’ message as the head of the Holy See delegation. The pope also sent the patriarch his greetings from Bangui, Central African Republic.

    “While not all differences between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches were brought to an end, there now existed the conditions necessary to journey towards re-establishing the ‘full communion of faith, fraternal accord and sacramental life which existed among them during the first thousand years of the life of the Church’ (Joint Catholic-Orthodox Declaration, 7 December 1965). Having restored a relationship of love and fraternity, in a spirit of mutual trust, respect and charity, there is no longer any impediment to Eucharistic communion, which cannot be overcome through prayer, the purification of hearts, dialogue and the affirmation of truth. Indeed, where there is love in the life of the Church, its source and fulfilment is always to be found in Eucharistic love.  So too the symbol of the fraternal embrace finds its most profound truth in the embrace of peace exchanged in the Eucharistic celebration.

    “In order to progress on our journey towards the full communion for which we long, we need continually to draw inspiration from the gesture of reconciliation and peace by our venerable predecessors Paul VI and Athenagoras I. At all levels and in every context of Church life, relations between Catholics and Orthodox must increasingly reflect the logic of love that leaves no room for the spirit of rivalry. Theological dialogue itself, sustained by mutual charity, must continue to examine carefully the questions which divide us, aiming always at deepening our shared understanding of revealed truth. Motivated by God’s love, we must together offer the world a credible and effective witness to Christ’s message of reconciliation and salvation.

    “The world today has great need of reconciliation, particularly in light of so much blood which has been shed in recent terrorist attacks. May we accompany the victims with our prayers, and renew our commitment to lasting peace by promoting dialogue between religious traditions, for ‘indifference and mutual ignorance can only lead to mistrust and unfortunately even conflict’ (Common Declaration, Jerusalem 2014).

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    See also

    30/11/2008 VATICAN
    May God touch the hearts of those who believe that violence can solve problems, says Pope
    In today’s Angelus Benedict XVI talks about violence in India and Nigeria. Today also marks the start of Advent, which celebrates the coming of Christ “in his two moments.” Pope mentions Pius XII during his visit to the Basilica of San Lorenzo.

    25/05/2014 VATICAN - HOLY LAND
    Common Declaration of Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
    After the meeting between Pope Paul VI and Athenagoras 50 years ago, a clear path has been laid to be pursued on the ecumenical journey of truth and charity. Both sides face the same challenges in defence of life, family, creation and peace. Both leaders turn their thoughts to the Christians of the Middle East.

    30/11/2012 VATICAN - TURKEY
    Pope: Catholics and Orthodox, witnesses of the Gospel to the world that has lost faith in God
    In the message for the feast of St. Andrew sent to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I, Benedict XVI emphasizes the common task to which the two Churches are called. Communion, though imperfect and the victim of divisions, is the fruit of a common faith. Continue on the path of unity, comforted by the prayer of our Lord Jesus Christ to the Father, 'that they may be one in us: that the world may believe'".

    30/11/2012 TURKEY
    For Bartholomew, the ecumenical journey is "irreversible"
    During the celebrations for the feast of Saint Andrew, patron saint of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, Bartholomew said we must work for and practice dialogue, trying to focus more on what unites us than on what divides us. The preparatory work for the upcoming pan-Orthodox synod has ended.

    28/06/2016 16:57:00 VATICAN
    Pope: mercy is the “criterion” for Catholic-Orthodox relations

    Francis welcomes a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, presently in Rome for the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul. “For divine mercy frees us of the burden of past conflicts and lets us be open to the future to which the Spirit is guiding us.” Bartholomew mentions the visit to Lesvos Island.

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