During the Angelus of Monday 29 June, the feast of Saints Peter and Paul, Pope Francis recalled that on this occasion it had been in the past “traditional for a delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople to come to Rome”. Given the cancellation of the visit this year due to the pandemic, the Holy Father remarked: “I spiritually embrace my dear brother, the Patriarch Bartholomew, in the hope that our reciprocal visits may resume as soon as possible.
In his message to Pope Francis, Patriarch Bartholomew referred especially to the pandemic and the ensuing dramatic social and economic consequences to which “the Church is called to give its own witness in word and in deed”. The Patriarch Bartholomew also expressed his unceasing prayer for progress in the bilateral theological dialogue between the Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church and for the journey towards the unity of all Christians.
Lastly, during the Mass over which he presided on the same day in Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Holy Father centred his homily on two key words: unity and prophecy. “From prayer [we draw] strength, from prayer comes a unity more powerful than any threat. ... Unity is the fruit of prayer, for prayer allows the Holy Spirit to intervene, opening our hearts to hope, shortening distances and holding us together at times of difficulty”.
Photos © Servizio Fotografico - Vatican Media
Image: Saints Peter and Paul - Monastery of Vatopedi (Greece)