The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity is united in prayer with the Ecumenical Patriarchate on the death on 16 October of His Eminence Metropolitan Gennadios, Orthodox Archbishop of Italy and Malta and Exarch of Southern Europe.
A longstanding friend of the Pontifical Council, Metropolitan Gennadios was a welcome presence as the representative of the Ecumenical Patriarchate at the Vespers for the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity held annually at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls.
Metropolitan Gennadios had completed his doctoral studies in Naples and remained a committed supporter of the ecumenical movement in Italy throughout his residence in the country. His thesis on “The Contribution of the Ecumenical Patriarchate for Christian Unity” was the first text written in a Catholic institute by a Greek Orthodox cleric.
Cardinal Kurt Koch, President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, sent a letter of condolence to His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
The funeral service for Metropolitan Gennadios took place at the Cathedral of San Giorgio dei Greci in Venice on 21 October, presided over by Metropolitan Polycarp of Spain and Portugal, Patriarchal Vicar of the Archdiocese of Italy and Malta. The Ecumenical Patriarch was represented by Metropolitan Arsenios of Austria. The Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity was represented by Monsignor Andrea Palmieri, Under–Secretary.
(Photos: Pope Francis with Metropolitan Gennadios at the celebration of Vespers held at St Paul Outside the Walls to mark the conclusion of the 2020 Week of Prayer for Christian Unity | Funeral service at San Giorgio dei Greci, Venice).