Dialogue in Charity and Truth

“His Holiness Bartholomew never ceased to point out dialogue, in charity and in truth, as the only possible way for reconciliation among all believers in Christ and for the re-establishment of their full communion. We certainly wish to continue to walk this path together,” Pope Francis said in a video message on the occasion of the 30th anniversary of the election of the Ecumenical Patriarch on October 22, 2021. The following is a translation of the words of the Holy -Dad.

I am particularly happy that the 30th anniversary of the election of my friend and brother Bartholomew as Patriarch of the ancient and glorious See of Constantinople is celebrated by so many people who will want to give thanks to the Lord for his life and his ministry.

The good personal relationship between us was born on the very day of the inauguration of my ministry, when he honored me with his presence in Rome, and it matured into a fraternal friendship during the many meetings we had throughout over the years, not only in Rome but also in Constantinople, Jerusalem, Assisi, Cairo, Lesbos and Bari.

Patriarch Bartholomew and I are united by a common awareness of our common pastoral responsibility in the face of the urgent challenges facing the whole human family today. I am deeply grateful for the Ecumenical Patriarch’s commitment to the protection of creation and for his reflections on the subject, from which I learned a lot and continue to learn a lot. With the outbreak of the pandemic and the spread of its dramatic health, social and economic consequences, his witness and his teaching on the necessary spiritual conversion of humanity have gained in relevance.

Moreover, His Holiness Bartholomew never ceased to point out dialogue, in charity and in truth, as the only possible way for reconciliation among all believers in Christ and for the re-establishment of their full communion. We certainly wish to continue walking together on this path. It is our common conviction that the closeness and solidarity between us Christians and between our Churches is a responsible contribution to universal brotherhood and social friendship, which humanity needs so much.

With these feelings, I wish to express to Patriarch Bartholomew my warmest wishes on his birthday, asking God to grant him health, serenity, spiritual joy and – may I say – a sense of humor: again more !

Holiness, beloved brother in Christ, χρόνια πολλά! [Chrònia pollà!] Ad multos annos!

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