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EP to attend inaugural Papal Mass

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  • Nina Tkachuk Dimas
      http://www.asianews.it/news-en/For-the-first-time-since-the-Great-Schism,-ecumenical-patriarch-to-attend-pope s-inaugural-Mass-27408.html   03/15/2013
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 15, 2013

      03/15/2013 15:51

      For the
      first time since the Great Schism, ecumenical patriarch to attend pope's
      inaugural Mass
      The metropolitans of Argentina
      and Italy will accompany Bartholomew. Moscow Patriarchate hopes in closer
      cooperation with Rome but excludes for now a meeting between Pope Francis and
      Patriarch Kirill.

      Istanbul (AsiaNews) - The Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople Bartholomew
      I will attend Pope Francis's inaugural Mass. The Ecumenical Patriarchate Press
      Office informed AsiaNews about the decision, noting that this is the
      first time such an event occurs since the Catholic-Orthodox split in 1054, an
      important sign for Christian unity.
      The ecumenical patriarch will be accompanied by Ioannis Zizioulas,
      metropolitan of Pergamon and co-president of the Joint International Commission
      for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic and the Orthodox Church, as
      well as Tarassios, Orthodox Metropolitan of Argentina, and Gennadios, Orthodox
      Metropolitan of Italy.
      Relations between Catholics and Orthodox have been improving since the Second
      Vatican Council through mutual visits, acts of friendship and theological
      Under Benedict XVI, the dialogue picked up in earnest after a lull. In trying
      to promote it, the pope suggested ways to express the primacy of Peter's
      successor that could be acceptable to the Orthodox, finding his inspiration from
      the undivided Church of the first millennium.
      Catholic ecumenism has met however with great resistance from the Russian
      Orthodox Church and the Moscow Patriarchate, seat of the 'Third Rome'.
      The head of the Russian Orthodox Church's Department for External Relations,
      Metropolitan Hilarion of Volokolamsk, said on Thursday that a meeting between
      the pope and Patriarch Kirill of Moscow was "possible but the place and timing
      will depend on how quickly we will overcome the consequences of the conflicts
      from the turn of 1980s and 1990s".
      The issue of the Ukrainian Catholic Church is at the core of the "conflicts"
      to which Hilarion was referring. Although it was unbanned following the collapse
      of the Soviet Union, it was left without its original churches, which had been
      seized by the Communists under Soviet rule and later transferred to the Orthodox
      Still, "on several occasions, Pope Francis has shown spiritual sympathy
      towards the Orthodox Church and a desire for closer contacts," Hilarion
      It is his hope that under the new pontificate "relations of alliance will
      develop and that our ties will be strengthened."

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