2014-05-21 17:41:07

Catholic, Greek Orthodox leaders in U.S. welcome pope-patriarch meeting

May 21,2014:The president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), and the primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America, have welcomed the May 25 meeting between Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Jerusalem. Pope Francis' May 24-26 trip to Jordan, Israel and the Palestinian territories will commemorate the January 1964 visit of Pope Paul VI to the Holy Land, and his visit with Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras of Constantinople. The 1964 meeting was a joyful occasion "that swept aside centuries of hostility and division and has borne good fruit," said Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Kentucky, who is USCCB president, and Greek Orthodox Archbishop Demetrios, chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States. In a joint statement released May 15 in Washington, the two archbishops pointed to a growing closeness between Catholic and Orthodox Christians over the last 50 years that has allowed them "to speak with one voice" on issues facing society. "We commit ourselves to increased cooperation in these areas, including social, economic and ethical dilemmas," they said. They called on the faithful of both their churches to pray for the success of the meeting for the promotion of Christianity in our wounded world. The 1964 meeting was the first to take place between Latin Catholic and Orthodox leaders in almost 1,000 years.
With their statement, Archbishop Kurtz and Archbishop Demetrious said they reaffirmed "the dialogue of love initiated" by the 1964 meeting and would "continue to strive to remove that which separates us.
Source: CNS

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