In Paris Phanariots celebrate Vespers with Catholics

A Phanariot deacon thurifying a Catholic bishop and priests. Photo: Marie-Christine Bertin / Diocèse de Paris

During Orthodox Vespers, the Catholic clergy stood in liturgical vestments.

On October 10, 2021, At the Saint-Etienne-du-Mont Cathedral on the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève in Paris, an Orthodox Vespers was officiated on Sunday by Metropolitan Dimitrios of France. The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Paris, Michel Aupetit, orthodox clergy, and many faithful attended the service, reports the Orthodox Times.

At the same time, as can be seen in the photographs, Michel Aupetit, along with several other representatives of the clergy of the RCC, stood in liturgical Catholic vestments, an analogue of the Orthodox epitrachelion.

This Vespers service is usually celebrated for the memory of Saint Dionysius the Areopagite. According to tradition, he was Bishop of Paris and was martyred there. This church, which dates from the 6th century, also contains the shrine with the relics of St. Geneviève. Saints Dionysius and Geneviève are the patron saints of Paris.

The website of the Catholic Diocese of Paris says that "the fraternal tradition of Orthodox vespers (originally at Notre-Dame de Paris) was established and followed annually by Cardinal Jean-Marie Lustiger. Attentive to ecumenical dialogue, Cardinal André Vingt-Trois, then Bishop Michel Aupetit, archbishops of Paris, continued this tradition." 

As reported, in Belgium, Patriarch Bartholomew and the Abbot of the Xenophontos Monastery prayed with Catholics.

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