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» 03/20/2013
VATICAN - ORTHODOX
United against economic crisis and "worldly trends", Bartholomew and Francis to be in Jerusalem next year
by NAT da Polis
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.

Vatican City (AsiaNews) - The ecumenical patriarch of Constantinople has invited Pope Francis to travel with him to the Holy Land next year to mark the fiftieth anniversary of the embrace between Patriarch Athenagoras and Paul VI, the pioneers of Catholic-Orthodox dialogue. During their private meeting, Bartholomew and Francis explored possible paths towards unity, including theological dialogue, environmental defence, and a visit to the Fanar, after going through proper diplomatic channels.

Earlier, when the pontiff met Christian and other religious leaders, Bartholomew I was the only one who addressed Pope Francis. For the patriarch, Christians must bear witness in a credible way through "Church unity" in order to cope with the world's economic crisis and to counter "worldly trends" that limit life to its earthly horizons. Bartholomew's words reflect the pontiff's notion of stewardship, which he presented yesterday during his inaugural mass.

All this is evidence of the great unity between the two leaders. When Pope Francis introduced the patriarch, he called him, off the cuffs, "my brother Andrew" underscoring the blood ties between the two apostles patrons of the two Churches, Andrew of Constantinople and Peter of Rome, the "first one to be called" and the "first one among the apostles".

Like Francis, Bartholomew referred to Benedict XVI "as a mild man who distinguished himself by his theological knowledge and charity."

When he spoke about the "task and huge responsibilities" that await the pope, he said that "the unity of Christian Churches" was "the first and most important of our concerns" in order to ensure that "our Christian witness is seen to be credible near and far." Hence, it is necessary to continue "the theological dialogue" between Catholics and Orthodox, based on the experience and tradition of the first undivided thousand years.

The world's economic crisis is another "imperative," requiring that "those who have more give more" so that "justice can ensure peace".

The pope, Bartholomew said, has a "long and valued ministry as a Good Samaritan in Latin America. [. . .] Like few others, he has known the bitterness and suffering of human misery."

Echoing what Pope Francis said yesterday in his homily, Bartholomew also noted that "We have a duty to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, cure the sick".

The patriarch went on to praise the pope for "his choice of simplicity," a necessity if we want to correct the "worldly notions" that have emerged among Christians and others that weaken the notions of justice, mercy and cooperation among men by encouraging them to remain too attached to the earthly things.

"The Church," said Bartholomew, "blesses earthly life but does not limit its mission to it." We must correct "worldly notions" so that man can return to the "original beauty, that of charity."


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See also
03/14/2013 TURKEY - VATICAN
Bartholomew I: Francis is a new impetus on two Churches path towards unity
by NAT da Polis
12/01/2006 VATICAN – TURKEY
Pope: Church asks only to live in freedom
by Franco Pisano
07/07/2009 TURKEY
Kyrill in Constantinople, a turning point important also for the dialogue with Rome
by NAT da Polis
05/25/2014 VATICAN - HOLY LAND
Common Declaration of Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I
06/28/2013 VATICAN
Pope: Christian unity, an "urgency" in a world "hungry for truth and love"

Editor's choices
IRAQ-ITALY
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul," the thanks of the Patriarch Louis Sako; the concerns of the Bishop of Kurdistan
by Bernardo CervelleraThe head of the Chaldean Church is grateful for the AsiaNews campaign and hopes that "this chain of solidarity will reach far and wide”. Helping refugees to remain in Iraq. But many want to flee abroad. The bishop of Amadiyah where thousands of displaced people have found haven in churches and homes: We also help the Arabs (Muslims), and Yazidis, for free and without looking at our confessional differences.
ITALY - IRAQ
"Adopt a Christian from Mosul" to respond directly to Iraq's emergencyAsiaNews is launching a fundraiser to support Christians targeted by the Islamic State, thus responding to a request by the Patriarch of Baghdad and Pope Francis's urgent appeal "to guarantee all necessary assistance - especially the most urgently needed aid - to the great multitude of people who have been driven from their homes, whose fate depends entirely on the solidarity of others." More than 100,000 people have been forced to flee their homes leaving everything behind and now have nothing to live on. To help them, five euros a day are enough. The funds raised will be sent to the Patriarchate of Baghdad, which will distribute them according to the needs of each family.
CHINA - VATICAN
Wenzhou bishop and priests slam government's campaign against crosses and churches in Zhejiang
by Eugenia ZhangFor Mgr Vincent Zhu Weifang, from the official Church, the campaign of destruction is increasing social instability. It is real persecution against the Christian faith. The bishop apologises for failing to intervene sooner. He was hoping that the campaign would end quickly. Catholics and Protestants suffer injuries as they attempt to defend their sacred buildings. For priests in Wenzhou, the campaign is unfair and touches buildings that have all the right papers. Such "stupid acts" by the government are undermining social harmony.

Dossier
by Giulio Aleni / (a cura di) Gianni Criveller
pp. 176
by Lazzarotto Angelo S.
pp. 528
by Bernardo Cervellera
pp. 240
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