Ανακοίνωση του Οικουμενικού Πατριαρχείου Ἰούνιος 2015
Ὁ Σεβ. Μητροπολίτης Γέρων Περγάμου κ. Ἰωάννης, ἐπί κεφαλῆς ἐπισήμου Ἀντιπροσωπείας τοῦ Οἰκουμενικοῦ Πατριαρχείου εἰς ἥν συμμετέσχον ὁ Σεβ. Μητροπολίτης Σηλυβρίας κ. Μάξιμος καί ὁ Αἰδεσιμολ. Πρωτοπρεσβύτερος κ. Heikki Huttunen, ἐκ Φιλλανδίας, ἐξεπροσώπησαν τήν Μητέρα Ἐκκλησίαν κατά τήν Θρονικήν ἑορτήν τῆς Ἐκκλησίας Ρώμης, ἐπί τῇ μνήμῃ τῶν Ἁγίων ἐνδόξων Πανευφήμων καί Πρωτοκορυφαίων Ἀποστόλων Πέτρου καί Παύλου.
Pope welcomes Orthodox delegation for feast of Sts Peter and Paul
(Vatican Radio 29/06/2015) On the feast day of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope Francis urged 46 new metropolitan archbishops to hear the first apostles’ call to prayer, to faith and to witness. The Pope’s words came during his homily at Mass in St Peter’s Basilica which included several significant ecumenical initiatives, as Philippa Hitchen reports:
Every year on June 29th, solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, a high level delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate in Istanbul travels to the Vatican to celebrate this great feast of the patron saints of the Church in Rome. Just as a Vatican delegation travels to Istanbul each November 30th to celebrate the feastday of St Andrew with the Orthodox Church of the East.
Pope Francis had special greetings to the Orthodox delegation, led by Metropolitan John Zizioulas, who was also present in the Vatican just 10 days ago for the presentation of the papal encyclical on the environment, ‘Laudato Si’’.
Meanwhile, providing inspirational music for the Mass on Monday were choristers of the Anglican choir of New College, Oxford, who joined forces with the regular Sistine Chapel Choir to underline the ecumenical nature of this important feast day.
In his homily Pope Francis spoke of the courage of the Apostles and of the first Christian community, persecuted by the rulers of their day, just as believers continue to be the victims of “atrocious, inhuman and incomprehensible persecutions” in many parts of the world today.
The Pope focused his words on three ways in which the new metropolitan archbishops are called to model their lives on those first apostles. Firstly, by being men of prayer, just as the first Christian community was a Church at prayer, supported, sustained and always "moving forward". Prayer, the Pope said, is the encounter with God, who never lets us down or leaves us alone.
Secondly, Pope Francis said, the new archbishops must respond to the call to faith, believing that despite all the difficulties "the Church remains alive and fruitful". And finally he urged the archbishops to be men of witness, following the examples of so many other Christian witnesses throughout the history of the Church. “There is no witness,” he reminded them, “without a coherent lifestyle!”
Whereas in past years, the popes have placed the symbolic pallium around the neck of each new metropolitan, this year Pope Francis simply blessed the bands of white wool, embroidered with black, silk crosses. Each pallium will later be presented to the archbishops by the nuncio in their own country, in a ceremony underlining the importance of the local Churches and the synodality of all bishops, under the guidance of the successor of Saint Peter.
ΑΚΟΛΟΥΘΕΙ ΒΙΝΤΕΟ ΑΠΟ ΤΗ ΘΡΟΝΙΚΗ ΕΟΡΤΗ
The Pope to a delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarch on the eve of the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul .
June 27, 2015
Reaching full unity, “ represents one of my main concerns”: this was declared by Pope Francis in an audience granted Saturday morning, 27 June, to a delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, who are in Rome for the Solemnity of Sts Peter and Paul. Accompanied by leaders of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, they were received by the Pope in the Private Library of the Apostolic Palace. Members of the delegation are Metropolitan Ioannis of Pergamon, Metropolitan Maximos of Selyvria and Protopresbyter Heikki Huttunen, bearing a message from the Ecumenical Patriarch. In it Bartholomew recalled the Pope's “personal visit” and his “participation in the celebration of our Thronal feast last year. This communion person-to-person left behind an indelible joy in our heart”. The Pope then gave an address, the following of which is the English text.
Dear Brothers in Christ,
It is with joy and heartfelt friendship that I greet you and welcome you to Rome on the feast of the Blessed Apostles Peter and Paul, principal patrons of this Church. Your presence at the celebrations of our feast testifies once again to the deep relationship between the sister Churches of Rome and Constantinople, foreshadowed by the bond which unites the respective patron Saints of our Churches, the Apostles Peter and Andrew, brothers in blood and faith, united in apostolic service and martyrdom.
I recall with gratitude the warm welcome given to me at the Phanar of my beloved brother, Bartholomew, by the clergy and faithful of the Ecumenical Patriarchate, on the feast of Saint Andrew last November. The ecumenical prayer on the vigil of the feast, and then the Divine Liturgy in the Patriarchal Church of Saint George, offered us the possibility of together praising the Lord and asking him with one voice for that day to draw nearer when full, visible communion between Orthodox and Catholics may be reestablished. The embrace of peace exchanged with His Holiness was an eloquent sign of that fraternal charity which encourages us along the path of reconciliation, and which will enable us one day to participate together at the altar of the Eucharist.
Attaining that goal, towards which we have set out together in trust, represents one of my main concerns, for which I do not cease to pray to God. I hope, therefore, that opportunities may increase for meeting each other, for exchange and cooperation among Catholic and Orthodox faithful, in such a way that as we deepen our knowledge and esteem for one another, we may be able to overcome any prejudice and misunderstanding that may remain as a result of our long separation. It is my desire that we may be able to face, in truth but also with a fraternal spirit, the difficulties which still exist. In this way, I wish also to renew my support for the important work of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church. The problems which we may encounter in the course of our theological dialogue must not lead us to discouragement or resignation. The careful examination of how in the Church the principle of synodality and the service of the one who presides are articulated, will make a significant contribution to the progress of relations between our Churches.
Dear brothers, as preparations for the Pan-Orthodox Synod are intensifying, I assure you of my prayers and that of many Catholics, that these extensive efforts may come to fruition. I trust also in your prayers for the Ordinary Assembly of the Synod of Bishops of the Catholic Church, on the theme of the family, which will take place here in the Vatican this coming October, at which we are looking forward also to the participation of a fraternal delegate from the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
With regard to agreement and cooperation on the most urgent issues, I am pleased to recall that in the recent conference that presented my Encyclical Laudato Si’ on care for our common home, the Patriarch Bartholomew sent you, dear Metropolitan John, to address the conference on this occasion.
I renew my gratitude for your presence and for your cordial expressions of closeness. I ask you to convey my fraternal greeting to His Holiness Patriarch Bartholomew and to the Holy Synod, together with my most heartfelt appreciation for having desired to send eminent representatives to share our joy. Please pray for me and for my ministry.
“Peace to all of you that are in Christ!” (1 Pt 5:14).