Holy Father extends message of ‘deep gratitude’ to Patriarch of Constantinople
|Pope Benedict XVI chats with a member of the Orthodox delegation June 28. (CNS)|
The Vatican newspaper,
, reports on the Holy Father’s meeting
with a delegation sent by the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I. The group was received on the eve of the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.
The Pope expressed the hope that progress may be made “to arrive soon at the blessed day when we will be able to share in the Eucharistic banquet.”
He recalled the importance of the Second Vatican Council in the development of ecumenical dialogue, which inspired the Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and the Pontiffs John XXIII and Paul VI. They “made themselves champions of courageous projects that led to renewed relations between the patriarchate and the Catholic Church.”
For this very reason the Pope asked the members of the delegation to convey to the patriarch “sentiments of fraternal affection and deep gratitude.”