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An opportunity to relaunch commitment to ecumenism

· Pope receives Apostolikí diakonía ·

An opportunity to relaunch commitment to ecumenism and collaboration with the Holy See. It was in this spirit that a meeting between Pope Francis and the delegation of Apostolikí took place on Monday, 24 March. The delegation, led by the director general Bishop Agathanghelos, is an ecumenical organization which promotes pastoral work, cultural and editorial activities for the Holy Synod of the Orthodox Church of Greece.

Cultural collaboration between the Holy See and Apostolikí diakonía were discussed, beginning with the improvement of relations which came as a result of John Paul II’s visit to Athens in 2001. And among the most important ecumenical initiatives is the summer programme of the neo-Greek language and Orthodox culture which takes place in capital where every year the studies of various Catholic students from the Pontifical universities are sponsored. Next summer the programme is celebrating its 10th anniversary which means that hundreds of students have thus been able take advantage of such scholarships offered by Apostolikí diakonía. Furthermore for two years the Pontifical Oriental Institute holds a professorship for modern Greek language, held by a mother-tongue who hold lessons open to all students who desire to learn the language, better understand the Greek Orthodox Church and her rich theological heritage. The organization is also publishing with the Vatican Apostolic Library a book on ancient Greek manuscripts.

During their stay in Rome from 21-26 March, the group is scheduled to visit the papal Basilicas of St Peter and St Paul Outside-the-Walls — to venerate the tombs of both apostles — and to meet the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, the Archivist and Librarian of Holy Roman Church, as well as those in charge of the Vatican Publish House (LEV).

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