Thursday, July 01, 2004

Ut Unum Sint

You can always count on Gerard Serafin to keep our eyes on the prize of communion with the Eastern Orthodox. I can't believe he's one of the few in St. Blogs to cover the participation of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew of Constantinople at the papal Mass for the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul. The Vatican will return the gesture by sending a delegation on the Feast of St. Andrew. It's the 40th anniversary of the historic meeting between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras! Check out his site and check out the sights. He juxtaposes three pictures that beautifully demonstrate the eschatalogical nature of the Kiss of Peace between Rome and Constantinople. Moving images.

VATICAN CITY, JUN 28, 2004 (VIS) - Made public today was a note on the visit of His Holiness Bartholomew, ecumenical patriarch, to John Paul II. This year the patriarch will lead the delegation from Constantinople to commemorate the meeting of Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras in Jerusalem in January of 1964.

The patriarch - who previously visited the Pope in 1995 - and his entourage arrive in Rome today and will be received by Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity and Archbishop Leonardo Sandri, substitute for General Affairs of the Secretariat of State. They will stay at the St. Martha Residence in the Vatican until their departure on July 2.

On June 29 in the morning, the patriarch will meet with the Pope in the Apostolic Palace in the Vatican. During the meeting, they will exchange speeches and gifts and sign a common declaration. Then the patriarch will see Cardinal Secretary of State, Angelo Sodano and will visit the Vatican Basilica where he will pray at the Altar of the Cathedra and at Paul VI's tomb which is in the grotto.

In the afternoon, he will participate in a Eucharistic celebration in St. Peter's Square, presided by the Holy Father on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul, Apostles.

On June 30, the traditional bilateral talks between the Holy See and Fanar will take place. These talks are scheduled on the occasion of the exchange of delegations for the patron feasts of the two sees, St. Andrew in November and Sts. Peter and Paul in June. That same afternoon, the patriarch will receive an honor from the City of Rome and later will be welcomed by the Community of Sant'Egidio in his patronal church of St. Bartholomew.

According to the note, His Excellency Gennadios, metropolitan archbishop of the Greek-Orthodox in Italy and exarch for Southern Europe of the Ecumenical Throne, asked His Holiness Bartholomew I to preside at the inauguration on July 1 of the liturgical use of the church of St. Theodore on the Palatine which Cardinal Camillo Ruini, vicar general for the diocese of Rome, has entrusted to the Greek-Orthodox community in Rome for liturgical celebrations and pastoral care upon the express wishes of the Pope.

The patriarch will meet again with John Paul II during a fraternal luncheon in the Apostolic Palace in which members of the entourage will participate as well.

On July 2 at midday, His Holiness Bartholomew I will leave Rome.