Aleteia logoAleteia logoAleteia
Wednesday 29 November |
Saint of the Day: Our Lady of Beauraing
Aleteia logo
separateurCreated with Sketch.

Pope says there’s urgency in finding communion with Orthodox

Pope Francis and Patriarch Bartholomew embrace


Kathleen N. Hattrup - published on 11/30/17

In note to Bartholomew for today's feast of St. Andrew, he notes three issues where more collaboration is needed

On this feast of St. Andrew, Pope Francis today sent a message to Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, telling him that now 50 years after the historic 1967 meeting of their predecessors, Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, “we recognize how urgent it is to grow towards full and visible communion.”

Andrew, the brother of St. Peter, is honored as the patron saint of Byzantium — and the patriarch of Constantinople is his successor.

St. Peter, of course, was the first pope, but Andrew was the first apostle that was called by Jesus, as Scripture recounts.

Thus the brotherhood of these two apostles is an image for the union that should be achieved between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, and today’s feast is an annual moment to express both the unity that already exists and the hopes for full communion.

Pope Francis noted: “Catholics and Orthodox, by professing together the dogmas of the first seven Ecumenical Councils, by believing in the efficacy of the Eucharist and the other sacraments, and by preserving the apostolic succession of the ministry of bishops, experience already a profound closeness with one another.”

He also noted some issues that both he and Patriarch Bartholomew have taken to heart: “[I]n recent months I have followed with great interest your participation in significant international events held throughout the world regarding the

care of creation, peaceful coexistence among peoples of different cultures and religious traditions, and the presence of Christians in the Middle East.

“Your Holiness’s commitment is a source of inspiration, support and encouragement for me personally for, as you well know, we share these same concerns.”

He also made a specific request for prayer, as he’s away from Rome on his trip to Myanmar and Bangladesh, having begun today the second leg of that journey. Addressing the patriarch, he referenced the Orthodox divine liturgy, saying, “When the deacon invites those gathered during the Divine Liturgy to pray ‘for those who travel by land, sea, and air,’ I ask you, please, to pray also for me.”


What you need to know about the Orthodox-Catholic split and hopes for reunification

Catholic and Orthodox find common ground in early Church understanding

The Holy Apostle Brothers

Pope Francis
Support Aleteia!

Enjoying your time on Aleteia?

Articles like these are sponsored free for every Catholic through the support of generous readers just like you.

Thanks to their partnership in our mission, we reach more than 20 million unique users per month!

Help us continue to bring the Gospel to people everywhere through uplifting and transformative Catholic news, stories, spirituality, and more.

Support Aleteia with a gift today!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Entrust your prayer intentions to our network of monasteries

Top 10
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.