Pope Sends Greetings to Ecumenical Patriarch on Feast of Saint Andrew the First Called

His All Holiness, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew received warm, fraternal greetings from Pope Benedict XVI on November 30th, the Feastday of the Ecumenical Throne, of St. Andrew the First-Called Disciple.

In his message, the Pope observed that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has visited the Vatican three times during this calendar year, most recently to deliver his “most thoughtful address” to the XIIth Ordinary General Assembly of Bishops of the Roman Catholic Church this October, held in the Sistine Chapel. This historic occasion was the first time ever that an Ecumenical Patriarch has addressed this

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew welcomes Cardinal
Walter Kasper, who represented Pope Benedict VXI, in
the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George for the feast of
St. Andrew the Apostle.

Synod of over 400 Cardinals, Archbishops and Bishops. The Pope also expressed his trust that the relationship between Catholics and Orthodox is becoming more substantive and that the day will come when both Churches will share the celebration of the Eucharist.

The Pope’s message was delivered to the Ecumenical Patriarch by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, during the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George. The Vatican delegation also included Bishop Brian Farrell, secretary of the Council, and Father Vladimiro Caroli, a member of the Council, and Archbishop Antonio Lucibello, the apostolic nuncio in Ankara.

After the midday Angelus with crowds in St. Peter's Square, Pope Benedict spoke of the bonds of friendship with the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Speaking of the relationship of Sts. Peter and Andrew the Pope said:

“St. Andrew is the patron of the Patriarchate of Constantinople and so the Church of Rome feels linked to the Church of Constantinople by a special fraternal bond.... With all my heart, I offer my greeting and my best wishes to him [His All Holiness] and to the faithful of the Patriarchate, invoking the abundance of heavenly blessings upon all.”

[The Pope’s message to His All Holiness can be read on www.archons.org]

(Posted on 30 March 2009)

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