11/30/10: Patronal Feast of the Ecumenical Patriarchate

On Tuesday, November 30, 2010, His All Holiness Bartholomew presided over the Divine Liturgy at the Patriarchal Church of Saint George for the celebration of the Patronal Feast of the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the occasion of the feastday of St. Andrew, the First-Called of the Apostles. In accordance with established practice since the 1960s, an official delegation from His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI, headed by Kurt Cardinal Koch as president of the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity, was in attendance.

In his address, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew observed: "In following with increased interest the development of this theological dialogue from our Ecumenical Patriarchate, we pray for its success, especially during it present phase when controversial subjects, which in the past proved cause of acute conflict among our Churches, are being discussed. The recent plenary meeting of the dialogue Commission in Vienna, under the joint presidency of Your Eminence and our most venerable brother and coworker, His Eminence Metropolitan John of Pergamon, revealed the existing difficulties but also the disposition and decision of all members of the Commission to overcome these difficulties with love as well as with faithfulness to the doctrine and life of the Church transmitted to us from the first millennium in order to advance to their resolution."

In the Papal message delivered by Cardinal Koch, Pope Benedict stated: "In a world characterised by increasing interdependence and solidarity, we are called to proclaim the truth of the Gospel with renewed conviction, and to present the risen Lord as the response to the most profound spiritual questions and aspirations of the men and women of today. ... In order to carry out this great enterprise, we must continue along the path towards full communion, showing that we have already united our strengths for a shared witness of the Gospel before the people of our time." The Pope also praised His All Holiness for his "wise efforts for the good of Orthodoxy and for the promotion of Christian values in many international contexts."
(Photo by N. Manginas)
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