2011-11-30 13:01:15

Pope Benedict to Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew

Catholics and Orthodox face exactly the same challenges in the cultural, social, economic, political and ecological spheres. Faced with the urgency of these tasks, we have the duty to show the world that we are people of a mature faith, people who – despite our tensions – are capable of working together in the common search for truth and unity.

That’s the message at the heart of a letter sent by Pope Benedict XVI to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew 1st of Constantinoplel to mark Wednesday’s feast of St Andrew, patron saint of the Orthodox world. The letter, written in French, was presented to the Patriarch in the Turkish capital by a delegation from the Pontifical council for Christian Unity, headed by Cardinal Kurt Koch.
After greeting all the Orthodox clergy and faithful, the Pope recalles his recent meeting with Patriarch Bartholomew in Assisi during the day of reflection for peace and justice in the world.

Noting that the Patriarch is celebrating the 20th anniversary of his ministry as spiritual leader of the Orthodox world, Pope Benedict stresses that the future of evangelisation depends on the united witness and the quality of love shown by the one Church which Christ himself willed for all his followers. He says it is a great source of comfort to see that the Patriarch also has at the heart of his ministry that same search for holiness and united witness which today’s secular societies so urgently need.

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