Pope to Fanar head: Walking together we’ll reach full Eucharistic communion

Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis. Photo: vaticannews.va

The Patriarchate of Constantinople and the RCC are approaching a common goal of full Eucharistic communion, Pope Francis said.

The Catholic Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate will restore full communion and joint participation in the Eucharist through theological dialogue, Pope Francis expressed confidence in his message to Patriarch Bartholomew, reports Vatican News.

On November 30, a Vatican delegation headed by Cardinal Kurt Koch, Chairman of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, visited Phanar.

The Catholic delegation took part in the Liturgy at Phanar on the occasion of the feast of the Apostle Andrew the First-Called (according to the New Julian calendar). At the end of the service, Cardinal Kurt Koch read out a message to Patriarch Bartholomew from Pope Francis.

In his message, Pope Francis "recalled with great joy" his recent meeting with the head of the Phanar on October 20, when Patriarch Bartholomew took part in an ecumenical prayer service in Rome. The head of the Vatican noted that he experienced “this fraternity at first hand” on the part of the Patriarch of Constantinople during various religious meetings with him.

“We can thank God that relations between the Catholic Church and the Ecumenical Patriarchate have grown much over the past century, even as we continue to yearn for the goal of the restoration of full communion expressed through participation at the same Eucharistic altar,” says Pope Francis.

Acknowledging that obstacles still remain on the road to unity, the Pope also says he is confident that by “walking together in mutual love and pursuing theological dialogue, we will reach that goal”.

As reported, earlier the Phanar head called on Catholics to “share the taste of friendship” of Christ.

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