· Pope Francis receives delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople for the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul ·
If we can learn to look at one another in God “our cooperation (will be) all the more easy in the many areas of daily life which already happily unite us” and we will be able to overcome the difficulties that still are present on our path to unity. Pope Francis said this on Saturday morning, 28 June, when he received a delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople for the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul.
The Pope first turned his thoughts to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomaios I of Constantinople. “During our common pilgrimage to the Land of Jesus,” he said, “we were able to relive the gift of that embrace between our venerable predecessors, Athenagoras I and Paul VI, which took place fifty years ago in the holy city of Jerusalem. That prophetic gesture gave decisive impulse to a journey which, thank God, has never ceased”.
The Pontiff also assured the delegation that he considers it “a special gift from the Lord that we were able to venerate the holy places together and to pray at each other’s side at the place of Christ’s burial, where we can actually touch the foundation of our hope.”
A joy, he continued, which is renewed when together “we concluded our pilgrimage here at the tomb of the Apostle Peter as we joined in fervent prayer, together with the Presidents of Israel and Palestine, for the gift of peace in the Holy Land”. It was those moments together that the Lord, he said, gave us the possibility of expressing “the love uniting us in Christ”, and of renewing “our mutual desire to walk together along the path to full unity”.
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