Source: The National Herald
BOSTON – The Ecumenical Patriarchate sent an official delegation to the Vatican for the celebration of the Feast of the Holy Protomartyrs Peter and Paul, which is also the Throne Feast of Rome. The official delegation consisted of His Eminence Metropolitan Job of Pisidia, Co-Chairman of the Committee for Dialogue between Orthodox and Roman Catholics, His Grace Bishop of Nazianzus Athenagoras, Chief Secretary of the Holy Eparchial Synod of the Archdiocese of America, and the Patriarchal Deacon Kallinikos.
The delegation was received at the Vatican with great honors. They participated in the Divine Liturgy at the Basilica of St. Peter on the solemn day, where Pope Francis and the head of the Patriarchal Delegation, Metropolitan Job, prayed together.
At the beginning of his speech, Pope Francis welcomed the members of the Patriarchal Delegation and thanked His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for sending the delegation and for his brotherly love towards the Roman Catholic Church. On the same day, the Patriarchal Delegation met with the Roman Catholic Commission for the Dialogue, whose president is Cardinal Kurt Koch, and discussed the decisions of the recent meeting of the Joint Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Orthodox and Roman Catholic Churches in Alexandria, Egypt, as well as current issues.
In the evening, the Ambassador of Greece to the Holy See, Her Excellency Catherine Georgiou, hosted a dinner for the Patriarchal Delegation and members of the Roman Catholic Commission for the Dialogue at a restaurant in Rome.
On Friday, June 30, Pope Francis received the Patriarchal Delegation in an official audience, where the congratulatory letter of the Ecumenical Patriarch, read by His Eminence Metropolitan of Pisidia, was presented. Pope Francis responded appropriately, and the customary exchange of gifts took place. It should be noted that a few years ago, Pope Francis, of his own initiative and despite the reactions of many Catholics, donated a portion of the sacred relic of the Apostle Peter to the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
Finally, the Patriarchal Delegation was guided to the Basilica of St. Peter in the Vatican and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls of ancient Rome.