Patriarch Bartholomew participates in ecumenical service with Catholics on eve of interreligious peace event

Rome, October 20, 2020

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Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople participated in an ecumenical service with representatives of the Roman Catholic church at the Catholic Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere yesterday, reports the Light of the Phanar blog.

He is currently in Rome to participate in this year’s interreligious “An Encounter of Prayer for Peace in the Spirit of Assisi” event today and to meet with Pope Francis.

The blog posted a video from the event:

Pat. Bartholomew was in the altar throughout the service, sitting on an elevated throne. Though he was not vested, he began the service, proclaiming, “In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.”

At the end of the service, he read the Lord’s Prayer together with the Catholic clergy, and ended the service with a prayer in Greek: “The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God the Father, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”

The Patriarch also offered a speech, the text of which is published on the Light of the Phanar blog.

“By the grace of God, once again we have directed our steps from the New to the Old Rome, to participate in an international meeting, organized by your beloved Community of Sant'Egidio, to be able to meditate on fraternity and peace,” Pat. Bartholomew began.

“And how better to begin our visit to Rome, if not by gathering together in prayer and giving praise and glory to our common Father Who is in Heaven, together with brothers whom we consider ‘friends,’ in the deepest and most evangelical sense of the term,” he continued, referring to the Catholic clergy present.

“The criterion for understanding our love for one another is not ourselves, it is not our good disposition, not even our works, but only Christ, in Whom all our existence finds fulfillment. And to understand His love, we must also first be His disciples, let ourselves be loved by Him and only then can we love the other, even our enemy,” the Patriarch exhorted.

“Looking into your eyes, looking into the eyes that shine in this community, we can see the abundant fruit awaited by God and we rejoice in it, because we perceive the love of Christ, because we live the friendship of being all His disciples, because we all walk towards our transfiguration in Him,” he continued.

The ecumenical events being held in Rome “testify before the world that we can, indeed we must obey the Lord’s commandment, in order to radiate to the world a feeling of fraternity,” he said.

“Our profound communion, the communion of the disciples with the Son, has as a direct consequence communion with the Father and the possibility of obtaining from the Father everything we need,” he further reflected.

The Patriarch traveled to Rome from Istanbul to bring a message of love, he said. While there are so many peoples, faiths, and cultures, “they are the wealth of the Sons of God,” and all make up one people, created in the image of God, he concluded.

On November 12, the Patriarch, together with Abbot Alexios of Xenophontos Monastery and Hieromonk Theophilos of Pantocrator Monastery on Mt. Athos, prayed in the altar during a Catholic Vespers service in Belgium.

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John10/21/2020 4:08 am
Funny, both Orthodox Christians and traditionalist Catholics view the "spirit of Assisi" to be a spirit of heresy. So who are these people trying to appeal to?
Mikhail10/20/2020 10:49 pm
I did not think that someone could have done more damage to the Church than Patriarch Metaxakis (of thrice wretched memory). But this man has surpassed him.
Alex10/20/2020 4:55 pm
The Orthodox world is divided right now, mainly because of him, and he has time to dilly dally with non-Orthodox?! What a messed up patriarch this guy is!
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