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A time of rapprochement

· The Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomaios on the Feast of Sts Peter and Paul ·

“We retain in our heart, like a precious treasure, the recollection of our recent personal encounters with Your Holiness both in Jerusalem and Rome, which further renewed and sealed our fraternal bonds, while also affirming our desire to continue on the path toward our full union and communion desired by the Lord”. The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople wrote this in a message he sent to Pope Francis on the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul.

In the message the Patriarch touched on the events in which he participated with the Bishop of Rome. “In the Holy City,” he explained, “during this past May we were deemed worthy together to venerate the sacred place where the leader of our faith, our Lord Jesus Christ, taught, suffered, was buried and arose from the dead, even as we honored the 50th anniversary of the historical meeting there of our late predecessors Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras, whose bold initiatives opened up the period of rapprochement and reconciliation for our Churches”.

Furthermore, referring to the peace meeting in the Vatican Gardens at the beginning of the month, he praised their common goal, along with the Presidents of Israel and Palestine, of allowing peace to prevail “in a region of the Middle East torn apart by conflict”.

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He expressed his “sincere gratitude” to the Pontiff, together with his “wholehearted prayer” so that Pope Francis' mission may be strengthened for many years and that he may continue his “invaluable leadership and service in our modern world, inspiring everyone with the virtues” his personality and love toward God and humanity.

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St. Peter’s Square

Nov. 19, 2018

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