Pope’s visit to Turkey is a chance to bridge ancient divide

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Source: Al-Monitor by Susanne Güsten As Ankara prepares to receive Pope Francis on Nov. 28-30, Turkish media have noted with raised eyebrows that Turkish affairs do not appear to be uppermost on the pope’s mind. “It was conspicuous that the pope chose to speak of the ‘Ecumenical Patriarchate’ and ‘Constantinople’ rather than of Turkey,” when referring to the destination of his upcoming visit, the daily Milliyet pointed out huffily. It is a Turkish delusion of grandeur to believe that the … [Read more...]

Tamara Grdzelidze appointed Georgian ambassador to the Vatican

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Source: World Council of Churches Dr Tamara Grdzelidze, an Orthodox theologian and former staff member of the World Council of Churches (WCC), has been received as the nation of Georgia’s new ambassador to the Holy See, presenting her credentials to Pope Francis at the Vatican this September. From January 2001 through December 2013, Grdzelidze served in Geneva, Switzerland, as a programme executive for the WCC Commission on Faith and Order, which coordinates dialogue among Christian … [Read more...]

On the Recent Events in Jerusalem and their Ecclesiological Underpinnings

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Source: Orthodox Heritage By a Greek Orthodox priest "But if," they say, "we had devised some middle ground between the dogmas (of the Papists and the Orthodox), then thanks to this we would have united with them and accomplished our business superbly, without at all having been forced to say anything except what corresponds to custom and has been handed down (by the Fathers)." This is precisely the means by which many, from of old, have been deceived and persuaded to follow those who have … [Read more...]

Plotting Nicea III Could Be Pope Francis’s Masterstroke

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Source: The Daily Beast by Candida Moss Meeting the head of the Eastern Orthodox church, the pope set a date for a third historic meeting of Christian factions—a savvy move to control how his successors lead. After all the speculation surrounding Pope Francis’s ability to engineer peace on his big Middle East trip, the biggest news from the visit came from his visit with Patriarch Bartholomew I, the primary leader of the Eastern Orthodox Church. Not to gloat, but we … [Read more...]

North American Catholic and Orthodox officials urge Vatican to allow priests to marry

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Source: United Press International (UPI) Pope Francis on married priests: "The door is always open." By Matt Bradwell BETHESDA, Md., June 6 (UPI) --A group of Catholic and Orthodox theologians is calling on Pope Francis to end the Catholic church's prohibition of married men within the priesthood for members of the faith who practice in Eastern Catholic churches. Eastern Catholic and Orthodox churches recognize the divine authority of the papacy, but often have different ceremonial … [Read more...]

Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, Pope Francis conclude meetings in Jerusalem

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Source: Orthodox Church in America His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew met with Pope Francis for the final time on the Mount of Olives on Monday, May 26, 2014. At the site known as Viri Galilaei—mentioned in Acts 1.11—the Patriarch and the Pontiff met for the third and final time during their joint pilgrimage to Jerusalem and the Holy Land. With the echo of Paschal hymns in the distance, they conferred on a variety of issues, including ecumenical dialogue, environmental … [Read more...]

Common Declaration of Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I

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Source: Catholic Herald (UK) By STAFF REPORTER 1. Like our venerable predecessors Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras who met here in Jerusalem fifty years ago, we too, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, were determined to meet in the Holy Land “where our common Redeemer, Christ our Lord, lived, taught, died, rose again, and ascended into Heaven, whence he sent the Holy Spirit on the infant Church” (Common communiqué of Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras, … [Read more...]

Russian church the absent player at pope-patriarch summit

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Source: Reuters (Reuters) - When Pope Francis meets the spiritual head of the world's Orthodox Christians next week, the speeches and symbolism will focus on how these ancient western and eastern wings of Christianity want to come closer together. After almost a millennium apart, however, the key to the elusive unity they seek does not lie in Jerusalem, where the Catholic pope and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew will embrace on May 25. If anywhere, that key lies in Moscow. The Russian … [Read more...]

Historic Meeting Between Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to take place May 23-27 in Jerusalem

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Source: Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America APOSTOLIC PILGRIMAGE TO JERUSALEM The meeting of Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in the City of Jerusalem May 23-27, 2014 A Historic Meeting Learn about the purpose of the historic meeting between Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in … [Read more...]

Orthodox Patriarch Eyes Unity in Visit With Pope

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Source: ABC News ISTANBUL May 9, 2014 (AP) By DESMOND BUTLER Associated Press Bartholomew I, spiritual leader of 250 million Orthodox Christians, says a meeting with Pope Francis in Jerusalem this month will help move the two churches closer to ending their nearly 1,000-year divide. In an interview with The Associated Press in his Istanbul office, Bartholomew also praised Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan for improving rights for Christians but said pointedly, "it is not … [Read more...]