Patriarch Bartholomew and Russian and Romanian bishops pray in ecumenical service in Rome

Rome, October 21, 2020

Pope Francis (right), Pat. Bartholomew (center), and Bp. Ambrose of Bogorodsk (left) were among the participants in an ecumenical prayer service yesterday. Photo: Facebook Pope Francis (right), Pat. Bartholomew (center), and Bp. Ambrose of Bogorodsk (left) were among the participants in an ecumenical prayer service yesterday. Photo: Facebook     

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.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Vkontakte, and Telegram!


Nike11/10/2020 6:46 pm
This not only goes against the Canons, it's Blasphemous. He needs to be ex communicated, disciplined or thrown out of the GOC Orthodox Church.
Herman10/25/2020 6:02 pm
This is confusing for people. It seems to me that there is no way that this Russian bishop didn't tell anyone he was going, and just decided one day to go. Am I wrong, that he was clearly sent there by Moscow? Perhaps it would look bad to have Met. Hilarion sitting there with Pat. Bartholomew and the pope, when they are supposed to not be in communion. This is confusing and difficult, because on one hand we see Schemamonk Sergei Romanov defrocked and excommunicated for disobedience. One of the things that Fr. Sergei was speaking out against was the ecumenism in Moscow. On the other hand, we see a Russian bishop engaged in a heretical act of ecumenism, and there are no statements made, he will not be defrocked or excommunicated for this. How are the faithful supposed to feel about things such as this? Two main questions - (1) who is a greater threat to our Church - Fr. Sergei, who encouraged people to ignore coronavirus church closures, thereby possibly risking some physical illness - or Bp. Ambrose, praying with a pro-LGBT pope, a Patriarch who has purposefully caused a second great schism in our Church, and even Jews and Muslims, and accuses the faithful of his own Church of harboring "hatred and division" and calls us "fundamentalists", thereby risking almost certain spiritual illness? and, (2) who has the support of the Church hierarchy in Moscow? Why would Moscow publicly condemn ecumenism, and currently the Abp. of Cyprus, but then simultaneously send a bishop to this ridiculous and embarrassing event?
Curtis Campbell10/24/2020 5:19 am
If this Russian Bishop attended this on his own accord, he needs to be disciplined. This is a clear violation of Church canons, and should not be tacitly endorsed by a show of ignorance from the heirarchy of the MP!
Jesse M Dominick10/22/2020 11:42 pm
Dima, Bp. Ambrose is not from the group that came over from Constantinople, but from the Patriarchal Exarchate of Western Europe that already existed in the Russian Church.
John10/22/2020 1:11 pm
Now that Francis has come out in favor of sodomite civil unions, all Orthodox dialogue must be cut off. We have nothing in common with him.
Dima10/22/2020 1:06 pm
John10/21/2020 4:55 pm "Was Bishop Ambrose sent there by Moscow? Or did he go on his own accord?" Good question, John. But at any rate, he's vicar bishop of the Western Europe Eparchy, which just came over from Constantinople, if I am not mistaken. So you can see where literally and figuratively where he's coming from. Do they have autonomy with us ("us" = Russian Orthodox Church)? I, too, would like to know if he had the autonomy/authority to do this on his own, and if he did do it on his own. And you don't "forgive" heresy as if it were a personal offense. The party that has subscribed to heresy must repent of it. Ugh! And how come suddenly it's OK to get together in person if this Covid thing is such a threat? The Covid arrangers successfully arrested efforts of the Patriarch of Jerusalem to call a council to deliberate on Bartholomew's canonical violations - how convenient. But suddenly Covid is no threat to prayer services with non- Orthodox and even non-Christians!
Gary10/22/2020 11:04 am
2 Thessalonians chapter 2 verses 1- 3 comes to mind. Pray for our Patriarchs and Bishops. They are under a lot of pressure and influence.
Deacon Mihail10/22/2020 8:22 am
Being merciful and forgiving is the characteristic of a normal human, but being "good" and "moral" doesn't make you orthodox. The fundamental problem is not that the Church "hates" catholics, but that the roman catholics fell into heresy. They may be good and moral and ethical people, but that doesn't make them Christians or right believers. The holy Fathers made a canon in the ecumenical councils stating, that if one prays with heretics, it reaults in anathema. Not because the holy Fathers hated the people who fell into heresy, but for the protection of the true Church and the Truth of Christ.
Basil Hill-Zeck10/22/2020 3:28 am
"Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness?" (2 Cor. 6:14)
Sorin10/21/2020 10:25 pm
Disappointing... The fact that Covid is doing so much damage to our Church life through our own authorities isn't enough? They continue with this apostasy? Really? Then I hope all Churches will be shut down. That is what these heretics deserve.
Concetta Grener10/21/2020 7:00 pm
This is disgraceful!!! The saints tell us that in the last days there will be the great apostacy. It's happening more and more. Lord have mercy on His Church, the Orthodox Church!
James10/21/2020 5:30 pm
Right, and the people not in communion with this nonsense are the schismatics. Sure.
John10/21/2020 5:12 pm
What good has ever come of these events, compared to the great harm they cause the faithful?
John10/21/2020 4:55 pm
Was Bishop Ambrose sent there by Moscow? Or did he go on his own accord?
Mikhail10/21/2020 4:41 pm
Wow! This Russian bishop refers to those who oppose this grotesque ecumenism as "fundamentalists." This means that he is also accusing countless Orthodox Church fathers and saints as being "fundamentalists." Anaxios!!!
Alexander Leitner10/21/2020 3:33 pm
Depose ALL of them!
Here you can leave your comment on the present article, not exceeding 4000 characters. All comments will be read by the editors of OrthoChristian.Com.
Enter through FaceBook
Your name:
Your e-mail:
Enter the digits, seen on picture:

Characters remaining: 4000

to our mailing list

* indicates required