Pope: Orthodox and Catholics joining forces to meet present challenges

Original article written by Devin Watkins and posted on Vatican News

Ahead of the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, Pope Francis greets a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, urging Orthodox and Catholic faithful to work together on issues such as welcoming migrants, combating modern slavery, and protecting creation.

As per tradition, an ecumenical delegation sent by the Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, is in Rome to celebrate the feast of the patrons of the Eternal City, Sts. Peter and Paul.

On the eve of the June 29th holiday, Pope Francis held an audience with the delegation to exchange a word of greeting.

The Holy Father reciprocates annually by sending a delegation to Istanbul for the feast of St. Andrew, the patron of the Ecumenical Patriarchate.

In his remarks, the Pope praised the delegation’s presence as a sign of the “solid bonds” linking the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, as well as of efforts “to journey towards the fullness of communion”.

“The feast of Saints Peter and Paul,” he said, “invites us to renew the charity that generates unity.”

Facing challenges together

Pope Francis said the feast reminds both Churches of the apostolic courage needed to proclaim the Gospel, which, he noted, “entails a commitment to respond to the new challenges of the present time.”

Catholic and Orthodox faithful, he said, are working together to combat modern forms of slavery, to welcome and integrate migrants, and to promote peace throughout the world.


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