Sunday, June 30, 2013

Pope Hails Greek Orthodox Patriarch's Delegation; Asserts Search for Christian Unity Is Urgent Task

"Your presence is the sign of the profound bond that unites the Church of Constantinople with the Church of Rome in faith, in hope, and in charity," Pope Francis said yesterday, when he received the delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarch, which arrived in Rome to celebrate the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, the Independent Catholic News website reports today (June 30, 2013).

The pope added, "The search for unity among Christians is an urgent task -- you have said that 'it is not a luxury, but an imperative' -- from which, today more than ever, we cannot prescind."

Francis praised the Mixed International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches' fundamental contribution to the search for full communion.

The Holy Father concluded his address to the ecumenical delegation by calling on Saints Peter and Paul (patrons of the Church of Rome) and the Apostle Andrew (patron of the Church of Constantinople) to intercede "for our faithful and for the needs of the whole world, especially the poor, the suffering, and those who are unjustly persecuted for their faith."

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