Pope expresses hope for reunion with Orthodox Patriarch

Vatican City, Nov 30, 2013 / 03:20 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Pope Francis sent special greetings to the Archbishop of Constantinople today, expressing his desire for continued dialogue between the Catholic and Orthodox Churches.

“You Holiness, beloved brother in Christ, this is the first time that I address you on the occasion of the feast of the Apostle Andrew, the first-called. I take this opportunity to assure you of my intention to pursue fraternal relations between the Church of Rome and the Ecumenical Patriarchate,” he wrote on Nov. 30 in the message delivered by Cardinal Kurt Koch, president of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity.


The influence of Christianity on the world has become increasingly weakened ever since the Great Schism. It would shake the world if these two were reunited.

Actually, it would likely result in The Catholics electing another pope or the Orthodox electing another patriarch, depending on which one went the other way.

Depends how you interpret livingwordunity’s comment. I think it’s entirely possible that, over the course of centuries, Catholics and Orthodox could grow so close that a complete reconciliation (and hence reunion) would be possible.

Would be great to see us unite once again.

That’s possible, but the Pope seems to think something is close. That would be quite a while away.

Although, we are much closer than we were even a hundred years ago. So who knows?

Well the Pope’s hope is kind of in vain then.

Hopefully there will come a day where the lambs will live among the wolves and we only live for Christ and not for our not selfish interest.

I don’t know I read EVANGELII GAUDIUM, I think the goals are clear, its a constant push forward which takes time.

"The Pope invites the reader to “recover the original freshness of the Gospel”, finding “new avenues” and “new paths of creativity”, without enclosing Jesus in our “dull categories”. There is a need for a “pastoral and missionary conversion, which cannot leave things as they presently are” and a “renewal” of ecclesiastical structures to enable them to become “more mission-oriented”. The Pontiff also considers “a conversion of the papacy”, to help make this ministry “more faithful to the meaning which Jesus Christ wished to give it and to the present needs of evangelization”. The hope that the Episcopal Conferences might contribute to “the concrete realization of the collegial spirit”, he states, “has not been fully realized”. A “sound decentralization” is necessary. In this renewal, the Church should not be afraid to re-examine “certain customs not directly connected to the heart of the Gospel, even some of which have deep historical roots”.

“Evangelization also involves the path of dialogue”, the Pope continues, which opens the Church to collaboration with all political, social, religious and cultural spheres. Ecumenism is “an indispensable path to evangelization”. Mutual enrichment is important: “we can learn so much from one another!”, for example “in the dialogue with our Orthodox brothers and sisters, we Catholics have the opportunity to learn more about the meaning of Episcopal collegiality and their experience of synodality”

Actual content and context is about half way through which can be read at the Vatican sight by downloading.

This statement implies one side does not change and therefor “wins”. I think, while we all feel both sides have much to offer, it is conceivable also that both sides have things that could change from an ecumenism standpoint. Either way, I can’t see how such a drastic approach such as electing a new pope or patriarch is the only way the HS could work in His church.



Do you mean this paragraph …

The Bishop of Rome then reflected on the current state of relationship between the churches and indicated his hope for the future. “United in Christ, therefore, we already experience the joy of authentic brothers in Christ, while yet fully aware of not having reached the goal of full communion.”

“In anticipation of the day in which we will finally take part together in the Eucharistic feast, Christians are duty-bound to prepare to receive this gift of God through prayer, inner conversion, renewal of life and fraternal dialogue.”

If so, then I would point out that the next paragraph puts it within the context of unity of Christians in general. Some are not nearly as close to unity as Catholics and Orthodox (Catholics and Baptist as an obvious example); some are closer to unity than Catholics and Orthodox (harder to come up with examples for this, but Catholics and the PNCC is a possible example, and Catholics and the TAC).

Amen! A divided Christianity is our greatest failing as Christians and the whole world observes this infighting, what a shame!

AS Lincoln once said a house divided can not stand and divided we fall and united we stand. So I hope that both Catholic and Orthodox will once again reunite and be one as Christ wants us all to be one with Him. I know that it takes time as there are issues that need to be addressed and understaood and agreed on. I think it is possible for reunion. The wrongs of the past are the past and we need to get over them and begin to move forward in peace and love.

That was Jesus who said that. :wink:

The statement implies that it won’t happen without one side giving in, thus leading to a revolt in a given church, the bishop who gives in being deposed, and a new one elected in their place.

Yes you are correct, but Lincoln did say it at one time must have read the Bible often. Thanks for the correction.

If you are referring to what prodromos wrote, I agree with your understanding. However, I just don’t think it’s the ONLY way unity between the two churches could come about. :gopray2:


Catholics would not split over this. I’m sure the Orthodox would. But I doubt another Patriarch of Constantinople would be elected. Wouldn’t the anti-union Orthodox just write off Constantinople?


Well, I don’t think it will ever happen that a Pope will convert to Orthodoxy; but if somehow it did then I would expect a split.

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