"No impediments remain to full communion," Pope Francis tells Orthodox Patriarch

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Pope Francis meets with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I during his visit to Turkey on November 29, 2014 (file photo)

"No impediments remain to full communion," Pope Francis tells Orthodox Patriarch

catholicculture.org

In a message to the Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople, Pope Francis has written that “there is no longer any impediment to Eucharistic communion which cannot be overcome through prayer, the purification of hearts, dialogue and the affirmation of truth.”

The Pope’s message to the Ecumenical Patriarch was timed for November 30, the feast of St. Andrew, patron of the Constantinople See. Each year the Holy See sends a delegation to celebrate that feast with the Ecumenical Patriarch, just as the Orthodox leader sends representatives to Rome for the patronal feast of Sts. Peter and Paul on June 29. This year Cardinal Kurt Koch, the president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, led the Vatican delegation.

In his message Pope Francis took note of the 50th anniversary of a joint declaration signed by Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras I, which lifted the mutual excommunications that had been pronounced in 1054 and “consigned those painful memories to oblivion.” Church leaders today should draw inspiration from that anniversary, the Pope said.

Having restored fraternal ties, the Pope wrote, the Catholic and Orthodox churches should complete the restoration of full communion. He observed that “the symbol of the fraternal embrace finds its most profound truth in the embrace of peace exchanged in the Eucharistic celebration.”

Tue, 12/01/2015 - 12:31
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