Concelebrates Mass with Patriarch of Melkite Greek Church, many of whom are persecuted for their faith
Pope Francis concelebrated Mass on Tuesday morning with the Melkite Greek Catholic Patriarch of Antioch, Youssef Absi.
Instead of delivering a homily, Pope Francis said a few words about the meaning of the day’s celebration: “This Mass with our brother, Patriarch Youssef confirms our Apostolic Communion: He is the father of a very ancient Church, and he comes to embrace Peter and to say ‘I am in communion with Peter.’”
Francis described the Melkite Greek Church as “a rich Church with its own theology within Catholic theology and with its own marvelous liturgy.”
He added, “at this moment a large part of the [Melkite] people is crucified, like Jesus.”
He said the Mass was being celebrated for the people of the Melkite Greek Church, “for the people who suffer, and for persecuted Christians in the Middle East, who give up their lives, goods, and property because they are driven out.”
Following the Mass, Patriarch Youssef thanked the pope for “this beautiful Mass of communion.”
Patriarch Youssef promised to keep Pope Francis in his heart and prayers. “I cannot describe the beauty,” the patriarch said, of “this communion, which unites all the disciples of Christ.”