Deisis (Novogorod)

Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople foresees reunion of Christian East and West

CWN - Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I of Constantinople has told reporters that he sees a possibility for reunion between the Orthodox and Roman churches, even if it “will probably not happen during my life.”

The Ecumenical Patriarch, who made history by traveling to Rome for the inaugural Mass of Pope Francis, said that he was surprised to receive an invitation from the new Pontiff to join in a dinner with cardinals.

Speaking in Turkey after his return, the Orthodox leader said that he saw a new attitude at the Vatican, which heightened his optimism about the prospects for restoring Christian unity. He said that “there is a possibility for the next generations to see the churches of the East and West.”

While he was at the Vatican, Patriarch Bartholomew invited Pope Francis to join him in a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, to commemorate the historic meeting there 50 years ago between Pope Paul VI and Patriarch Athenagoras.


Exaltaton of the Cross

Save Your people, O Lord, and bless Your inheritance. * Grant victory to Your Church over her enemies * and protect your people by Your Cross. (Troparion)

Willing raised upon the Cross, O Christ God, * You bestow Your mercies upon a new people who are called by Your Name. *  May Your Church rejoice in Your strength. * Give her victory over every enemy. * May she have Your help as the weapon of peace, * the invincible ensign of victory. (Kontakion)

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

Adam, God's first-formed man, transgressed: could He [God] not at once have brought death upon him? But see what the Lord does, in His great love towards man. He casts him out from Paradise, for because of sin he was unworthy to live there; but He puts him to dwell over against Paradise: that seeing whence he had fallen, and from what and into what a state he was brought down, he might afterwards be saved by repentance.

St. Cyril of Jerusalem (Catechetical Lectures: Lecture 2 no. 7)