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.


Hoy Fathers

Great are the accomplishmets of faith: * three holy youths rejoiced in the source of the flame * as though on the waters of refreshment; * and the Prophet Daniel appeared to be a shepherd of the lions, as of sheep. * Through their prayers, O Christ God, save our souls. (Troparion, Tone 2)

Glory to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit.

You did not honor a hand-depicted image, O thrice-blessed ones, * but, defended by the undepicted Being, you were glorified in a trial by fire. * And, standing in the midst of unbearable flame, you called upon God: * “Hasten, O Compassionate One, and speed to our help, * for You are merciful and You can do whatever you will.” (Kontakion, Tone 6, December18-19)

Now and ever and to the ages of ages. Amen.

Rejoice, O Bethlehem! * Prepare yourself, O Ephratha! * The Lamb is on her way to give birth to the Chief Shepherd she carries in her womb. * Beholding Him, the God-bearing forefathers will rejoice, * and, with the shepherds, they will glorify the Virgin nursing Him. (Kontakion, Tone 4, December 20-24)

Wisdom from the Church Fathers

For Christians above all men are forbidden to correct the stumblings of sinners by force...it is necessary to make a man better not by force but by persuasion. We neither have autority granted us by law to restrain sinners, nor, if it were, should we know how to use it, since God gives the crown to those who are kept from evil, not by force, but by choice.

St. John Chrysostom