Saturday, October 25, 2008

Ecumenical Patriarch addresses Roman Synod

Thanks to Sandro Magister for the text of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomeos I of Constantinople to the Roman Synod on the Holy Scriptures. His All Holiness' intervention came on Saturday, 18 October 2008 in the context of a Vespers Service. The main celebrant was His Holiness Benedict XVI, Pope of Rome.

Josephus Flavius over at Byzantine, Texas in an article recounting an interview with Archimandrite Ignatios Sotiriadis, includes the quote:

"It was a historical event, in which a Pope celebrates vespers before the representatives of the entire Catholic episcopate and on this occasion, doesn't exercise his ministry as teacher, but concedes it to the second bishop of the Church when it was not yet divided."
Sandro provides the whole address. Read it all.

To whet your whistle, herein are a few snippets...

[I]n having today the privilege to address Your Synod our hopes are raised that the day will come when our two Churches will fully converge on the role of primacy and synodality in the Church’s life, to which our common Theological Commission is devoting its study at the present time.
At each celebration of the Divine Liturgy of St. John Chrysostom, the presiding celebrant at the Eucharist entreats “that we may be made worthy to hear the Holy Gospel.” For “hearing, beholding and handling the Word of life” (1 Jn 1.1) are not first and foremost our entitlement or birthright as human beings; they are our privilege and gift as children of the living God.
The challenge before us is the discernment of God’s Word in the face of evil, the transfiguration of every last detail and speck of this world in the light of Resurrection. The victory is already present in the depths of the Church, whenever we experience the grace of reconciliation and communion.
As part of Pope Benedict's response to the Ecumenical Patriarch's intervention, he is quoted as saying:

Your Fathers, that you have quoted so many times, are also our Fathers, and ours are also yours: if we have common Fathers, how could we not be brothers?

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