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Catholic Culture Liturgical Living
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Pope recalls milestones in ecumenical relations with Orthodox, encourages continued progress

July 01, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: Pope Francis received a delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople on June 28 and recalled milestones that have occurred in Catholic-Orthodox ecumenical relations, with an emphasis on events of six decades and one decade ago.

The Pontiff also chided those who resist ecumenical theological developments—“there will always and everywhere be resistance to this, but we must move forward with courage”—and expressed hope that he could visit Nicaea in 2025 for the 1700th anniversary of the first ecumenical council there.

“Dear friends, let us confidently commend our Churches to the intercession of the Holy Brothers Peter and Andrew,” the Pope said toward the conclusion of his address. “May the Lord grant that we may continue to walk on the path that he points out to us, which is always the way of love, reconciliation and mercy.”

The Ecumenical Patriarch, who holds a primacy of honor among the Orthodox churches, customarily sends a delegation to Rome for Rome’s patronal feast day (the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, June 29). The Vatican, in turn sends a delegation to the Ecumenical Patriarchate for its patronal Feast of St. Andrew (June 30). The members of the Orthodox delegation to the Vatican this year were Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon, Metropolitan Nathanael of Chicago, and Deacon Oikoumenios Amanatidis, undersecretary of the Patriarchate’s Synod.

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