Friday, March 15, 2013

Epoch Making: Patriarch of Constantinople WIll Come to Popes Inaugural Mass

For the first time since the Great Schism, ecumenical patriarch to attend pope's inaugural Mass

The metropolitans of Argentina and Italy will accompany Bartholomew. Moscow Patriarchate hopes in closer cooperation with Rome but excludes for now a meeting between Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill.

Istanbul (AsiaNews) - The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew I will attend Pope Francis's inaugural Mass. The Ecumenical Patriarchate Press Office informed AsiaNews about the decision, noting that this is the first time such an event occurs since the Catholic-Orthodox split in 1054, an important sign for Christian unity.

The ecumenical patriarch will be accompanied by Ioannis Zizioulas, metropolitan of Pergamon and co-president of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Church, as well as Tarassios, Orthodox Metropolitan of Argentina, and Gennadios, Orthodox Metropolitan of Italy.

Relations between Catholics and Orthodox have been improving since the Second Vatican Council through mutual visits, acts of friendship and theological dialogue.

Under Benedict XVI, the dialogue picked up in earnest after a lull. In trying to promote it, the pope suggested ways to express the primacy of Peter's successor that could be acceptable to the Orthodox, finding his inspiration from the undivided Church of the first millennium.

Catholic ecumenism has met however with great resistance from the Russian Orthodox Church and the Moscow Patriarchate, seat of the 'Third Rome'.

The head of the Russian Orthodox Church's Department for External Relations, Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, said on Thursday that a meeting between the pope and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow was "possible but the place and timing will depend on how quickly we will overcome the consequences of the conflicts from the turn of 1980s and 1990s".

The issue of the Ukrainian Catholic Church is at the core of the "conflicts" to which Hilarion was referring. Although it was unbanned following the collapse of the Soviet Union, it was left without its original churches, which had been seized by the Communists under Soviet rule and later transferred to the Orthodox Church.

Still, "on several occasions, Pope Francis has shown spiritual sympathy towards the Orthodox Church and a desire for closer contacts," Hilarion said.

It is his hope that under the new pontificate "relations of alliance will develop and that our ties will be strengthened."

H/t: Badger Catholic


Dane said...

Unless it to convert, it means nothing. And he isn't coming to convert because there will be no good fruit from Vaticon II.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad. It certainly is very difficult to have hope and faith in human institutions. We need to not give up hope and faith in Christ.

Corey F. said...

Oh, good. The ecumenical circus begins.

Tancred said...

Orthodox clergy have been participating in these things for centuries, nothing novel about that, but I think this is encouraging all the same.

P.J.David said...

The question is whether Our Beloved Pope is for continuing V II and Novus ordo mass or Restoration prior to V II status and Traditional Holy Sacrifice of Mass which is the only way his Papacy is going to be fruiteful.Will he consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary that her Immacualte Heart Triumphs.
We wish and pray that he will do; we need to pray much for him.Let us remain patient that the Holy Ghost directs him.

Elizabeth said...

And for those so incline, in protest of Biden and Pelosi being sent to represent the United States at the Holy Father's Mass, there's a White House Petition:

Tancred said...

I'm optimistic about this move. There is a lot of good happening in Russia right now and Russia might be the strong hand to support the Church in its struggle against the consensus.