Pauline Year had major ecumenical impact, prelates report
February 17, 2011
At a press conference in Rome on February 17, Vatican prelates joined with a Catholic newspaper editor to assess the results of the Pauline Year declared by Pope Benedict XVI, which stretched from June 28, 2008, to June 29, 2009.
The special year dedicated to St. Paul was “a year of grace which went beyond all expectations,” said Cardinal Andrea Cordero Lanza di Montezemolo, the archpriest emeritus at the basilica of St. Paul-outside-the-Walls. He listed the restoration work and new initiatives that had expanded the basilica’s services during the year. His successor as archpriest of the basilica, Cardinal Francesco Monterisi, added that the spiritual fruits of the Pauline Year—especially in the field of ecumenical affairs—would continue to develop for years to come.
Gianfranco Morelli, the editor of the Italian daily Avvenire (which is owned by the Italian bishops’ conference) agreed that the Pauline Year had seen “a concentration of extraordinary ecumenical moments…especially the many experiences lived with and in the Orthodox world.” He drew special attention to the fact that the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople had visited Rome 3 times during the course of the year.