Rome, October 21, 2020
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 on Monday, and yesterday another ecumenical service was held.
This time, Bishop Ambrose of Bogorodsk, vicar of the Patriarchal Exarch of Western Europe of the Russian Orthodox Church, and Metropolitan Joseph of Western and Southern Europe of the Romanian Orthodox Church participated in the service in addition to Pat. Bartholomew and clergy from a variety of Protestant traditions and the Catholic church.
The service was held at the Basilica of Santa Maria in Aracoeli as part of 2020’s “An Encounter of Prayer for Peace in the Spirit of Assisi,” an annual event organized by the lay Catholic community Sant’Egidio.
Regarding his participation in the ecumenical service, Bp. Ambrose wrote on Facebook: “We all need to forgive and be forgiven. The injustices of the world and history are not healed by hatred and revenge, but by dialogue and forgiveness. May God inspire in us a commitment to these ideals and to the journey we are making together. May it touch every heart and make us heralds of peace.”
In a comment on the post, he writes: “Whatever the fundamentalists say, the call of our Lord to pray and do everything possible to help the suffering remains a fundamental priority.”
A video of the service was published by Sant’Egidio, including the “peace event” that followed, which featured talks not only by Christian, but also Muslim, Jewish, and Buddhist representatives:
The service begins at the 10:05 mark in the video with the entrance of the participating clergy, led by Pope Francis and Pat. Bartholomew. At 13:00, Pat. Bartholomew reads a prayer after the Pope, and another at 47:45.
At 59:10, the Romanian Met. Joseph reads a short prayer.
At 1:01:20 all the participants read the Lord’s Prayer together.
Pat. Bartholomew reads another prayer at 1:01:55.
The video then switches to the interreligious peace event at Piazza del Campidoglio on Rome’s Capitoline Hill, that included various Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Buddhist, Sikh, and Hindu representatives, including the Orthodox bishops.
Pat. Bartholomew addresses the crowd at 1:41:45.
At 2:46:15, the participants begin the ceremonial lighting of candles on a single candlestand.
This morning, the Pontifical Antonianum University of Rome awarded Pat. Bartholomew an honorary doctorate of philosophy.