From 31 May to 6 June a delegation of young priests and monks from all the different Oriental Orthodox Churches took part in a study visit aimed at deepening their understanding of the Catholic Church.
Upon the invitation of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, eighteen young monks and priests nominated by the heads of their respective Churches (Coptic Orthodox Church, Armenian Apostolic Church [See of Etchmiadzin and See of Cilicia], Syrian Orthodox Church of Antioch, Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Eritrean Orthodox Church, and Malankara Orthodox Syrian Church) participated in the initiative, coming from Egypt, Armenia, Lebanon, Syria, India, Ethiopia and Eritrea.
During their stay in Rome, the group had the opportunity to visit the holy sites of Rome, Dicasteries, Universities and Colleges, communities and monasteries, and above all to meet with the Christians living in the city, students, seminarians, priests and monks.
The Oriental Orthodox priests and monks visited various Dicasteries of the Roman Curia, in particular the Secretariat of State, the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, the Dicastery for Interreligious Dialogue, the Dicastery for Eastern Churches, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, and the Dicastery for Catholic Education.
The delegation also visited various educational institutions, in particular the Pontifical Lateran University, the Pontifical Gregorian University, the Pontifical University of Saint Thomas Aquinas, the Pontifical Oriental Institute, the Pontifical Ethiopian College, the Pontifical Armenian College and the Pontifical Maronite College.
On Friday 3 June the group was received in a private audience with the Holy Father.
The first study visit of young priests and monks of the Oriental Orthodox Churches took place from 15‒22 February 2020.
Photos © Viken Abassian and PCPCU