On Saturday 19 November, the Holy Father received His Holiness Mar Awa III, Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East.
The meeting took place during the first official visit to the Vatican of His Holiness Mar Awa III, elected and enthroned Catholicos Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East in September 2021.
In his address, the Catholicos Patriarch, reflecting that “the unity of the Churches of Christ is an imperative for all of us, in order that we might bring about concrete change in the world for the betterment of all of humanity", affirmed that “the Assyrian Church of the East is in agreement with the recommendation to establish a common date for the Feast of the Resurrection, the heart of our Christian faith and witness”.
In his response, the Holy Father thanked the Catholicos Patriarch “for having voiced the desire to find a common date for Christians to join in celebrating Easter” and expressed the hope “that the separation with the beloved Assyrian Church of the East, the longest in the history of the Church, can also be, please God, the first to be resolved.”
Referring to the presentation on synodality in the Syriac tradition that the Catholicos Patriarch will make as part of the symposium “Listening to the East” organized at the Angelicum, Pope Francis affirmed that “[t]he journey of synodality undertaken by the Catholic Church is and must be ecumenical, just as the ecumenical journey is synodal”.
During his visit to Rome, the Catholicos Patriarch was received by His Eminence Cardinal Kurt Koch, Prefect of the Dicastery for Promoting Christian Unity, together with whom he met the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Assyrian Church of the East during its working session at the Domus Sanctae Marthae.
Photos © Vatican Media