Posted By: Father Anthony Welcome by the Ecumenical Patriarch - 11/29/06 06:42 PM
This was just sent out by the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America.

Father Anthony+

November 29, 2006

Rev. Dositheos Anagnostopoulos
Patriarchal Press Officer
Tel. +90 212 5210430

Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos
Press Officer
Rev. Dr. Frank Marangos, Press Officer
Tel. +90 538 2777495 (cell),

Welcome by His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI
After the Prayer Service at the Patriarchal Cathedral of St. George

Your Holiness, beloved Brother in the Lord,

It is with sentiments of sincere joy and satisfaction that we welcome you to the sacred and historical city of Istanbul.

This is a city that has known a treasured heritage for the growth of the Church through the ages. It is here that St. Andrew, the "first-called" of the Apostles founded the local Church of Byzantium and installed St. Stachys as its first bishop. It is here that the Emperor and "equal-to-the-Apostles," St. Constantine the Great, established the New Rome. It is here that the Great Councils of the early Church convened to formulate the Symbol of Faith. It is here that martyrs and saints, bishops and monks, theologians and teachers, together with a �cloud of witnesses� confessed what the prophets saw, what the apostles taught, what the church received, what the teachers formulated in doctrine, what the world understood, what grace has shone, namely�the truth that was received, the faith of the fathers. This is the faith of the Orthodox. This faith has established the universe.

So it is with open embrace that we welcome you on the blessed occasion of your first visit to the City, just as our predecessors, Ecumenical Patriarchs Athenagoras and Demetrios, had welcomed your predecessors, Popes Paul VI and John Paul II. These venerable men of the Church sensed the inestimable value and urgent need alike of such encounters in the process of reconciliation through a dialogue of love and truth.

Therefore, we are, both of us, as their successors and as successors to the Thrones of Rome and New Rome equally accountable for the steps - just, of course, as we are for any missteps - along the journey and in our struggle to obey the command of our Lord, that His disciples "may be one."

It was in this spirit that, by the grace of God, we visited repeatedly Rome and two years ago in order to accompany the relics of Saints Gregory the Theologian and John Chrysostom, formerly Archbishops of this City, whose sacred remains were generously returned to this Patriarchal Cathedral by the late Pope. It was in this spirit, too, that we traveled to Rome only months later to attend the funeral of Pope John Paul.

We are deeply grateful to God that Your Holiness has taken similar steps today in the same spirit. We offer thanks to God in doxology and express thanks also to Your Holiness in fraternal love.

Beloved Brother, welcome. "Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord."

"Blessed is the Name of the Lord now and forevermore."
Posted By: Amadeus Re: Welcome by the Ecumenical Patriarch - 11/29/06 08:27 PM
Dear Fr. Anthony:

Fervently hoping that EP Bartholomew echoed the sentiments of world Orthodoxy, may God bless him and the entire Eastern Church abundantly.
Posted By: harmon3110 Re: Welcome by the Ecumenical Patriarch - 11/29/06 09:59 PM
Hopefully, good will come from this visit.

-- John
I was struck how friendly they were all - one to another - after the Prayer Service today. The meeeting afterwards gave the appearance of really good friends greeting each other - big smiles, warm handshakes and it all looked so genuine
Posted By: rcguest Re: Welcome by the Ecumenical Patriarch - 11/29/06 10:38 PM
"Blessed is the Name of the Lord now and forevermore."

To that I humbly add, "Thy Kingdom come".

Prayers to the Holy Spirit on this momentous and historical occasion,
Posted By: Myles Re: Welcome by the Ecumenical Patriarch - 11/29/06 11:09 PM
I think they do know each other quite well. I think I heard that somewhere. I know Benedict XVI is on speaking terms with many Orthodox Bishops because of his work in Catholic-Orthodox ecumenism as Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger and I believe Patriarch Bartholomew is one of those he knows quite well. Certainly the synod of the Patriarchate and Bartholomew were very friendly towards the Pope. Like you I didn't see any politics or fakeness between Bartholomew and Benedict...
...Many Roman Catholic prelates would not greet the Pope so fraternally as Bartholomew did today. Thats for sure! wink
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