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Pope Francis calls on Catholics, Orthodox to abandon ‘rivalry, mistrust, and rancor’

June 28, 2016

Pope Francis received a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople on June 28, the day before the Solemnity of Saints Peter and Paul, and called upon Catholics and Orthodox to abandon “sentiments and attitudes of rivalry, mistrust, and rancor” and to undertake “every form of cooperation” in “concrete undertakings in service to suffering humanity.”

“In celebrating the Solemnity of the Apostles, we recall to mind the experience of forgiveness and grace uniting all those who believe in Christ,” Pope Francis said. “From the earliest centuries, there have been many differences between the Church of Rome and the Church of Constantinople, in the liturgical sphere, in ecclesiastical discipline and also in the manner of formulating the one revealed truth.”

“However, beyond the concrete shapes that our Churches have taken on over time, there has always been the same experience of God’s infinite love for our smallness and frailty, and the same calling to bear witness to this love before the world,” he added. “Acknowledging that the experience of God’s mercy is the bond uniting us means that we must increasingly make mercy the criterion and measure of our relationship.”

 
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  • Posted by: bernie4871 - Jun. 29, 2016 10:53 AM ET USA

    I've been a Catholic for 87 years and have never had nor heard of any “sentiments and attitudes of rivalry, mistrust, and rancor” with regard to Orthodox. For me, to even use those words as if they come from any living Christian is strange and even proposes an element of confrontation. Even at the time of the great Schism 1000 years ago, did the Patriarch of the West (the Pope) exhibit such sentiments by recognizing a de facto situatiion?

  • Posted by: Minnesota Mary - Jun. 28, 2016 8:40 PM ET USA

    In other words, Francis wants us to abandon the spiritual work of mercy, "to admonish the sinner" and change it to "validate the sinner in sinfulness." We don't want to hurt anyone's feelings or make them feel guilty. So we must water down the timeless teachings of Holy Mother the Church and let them receive Holy Communion.