Within the framework of the traditional exchange of delegations for the respective feasts of their patron Saints, on 29 June in Rome for Saints Peter and Paul and on 30 November in Istanbul for Saint Andrew, Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, led a delegation of Holy See to Istanbul for the feast of the Ecumenical Patriarchate. Cardinal Koch was accompanied by Bishop Brian Farrell, Secretary of the Dicastery, and Msgr Andrea Palmieri, Under-Secretary. The Apostolic Nuncio to Turkey, Archbishop Paul F. Russell, joined the delegation in Istanbul.
The Holy See's delegation took part in the solemn Divine Liturgy presided over by the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I in the Patriarchal Church of St George at Phanar. At the end of the Divine Liturgy the Ecumenical Patriarch addressed the delegation with a greeting and Cardinal Koch delivered to the Patriarch a hand-signed message of the Holy Father, which he read publicly after a brief introduction.
The delegation met with the Ecumenical Patriarch and had conversations with the Synodal Commission responsible for relations with the Catholic Church.
On 1 December the Cardinal made a presentation at the meeting of the pastoral workers of the Catholic Church in Istanbul.
© fotos di Nikos Manginas