Within the context of the traditional exchange of delegations for their respective patronal feasts (on 29 June in Rome for the celebration of the Apostle Saints Peter and Paul, and on 30 November in Istanbul for the Apostle Saint Andrew), a delegation of the Ecumenical Patriarchate visited Rome from 27–29 June 2021.
The delegation was led by Metropolitan Emmanuel of Chalcedon (address), who was accompanied by the Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Iosif of Buenos Aires and Deacon Barnabas Grigoriadis.
On Monday 28 June, the delegation was received in audience by Pope Francis. At the conclusion of his address, the Holy Father affirmed: “The witness of growing communion between us Christians will also be a sign of hope for many men and women, who will feel encouraged to promote a more universal fraternity and a reconciliation capable of healing past wrongs. This is the only way to the dawn of a future of peace. A fine prophetic sign would be closer cooperation between Orthodox and Catholics in the dialogue with other religious traditions, an area in which I know you, dear Eminence Emmanuel, are very much involved.” The leader of the delegation conveyed to the Holy Father the letter of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.
In his address, Metropolitan Emmanuel referred to the synodal process undertaken by the Catholic Church in view of the Synod of Bishops scheduled for 2023: “The work undertaken by Your Holiness on the question of synodality in the Church has a powerful resonance in the Orthodox Church. We wait impatiently to learn of the conclusions of your reflections at the next Synod of Bishops in 2023 focusing on “For a Synodal Church: Communion, Participation and Mission”. I dare to view this as one of the fruits of our ecumenical relations”.
On the same day, the delegation met with Cardinal Kurt Koch at the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.
On Saturday 29 June, the delegation attended the solemn Eucharistic celebration presided over by the Holy Father in honour of the Apostle Saints Peter and Paul.
Photos © Servizio Fotografico - Vatican Media