The Ecumenical Patriarchate commemorated its founder, Apostle Andrew the First-Called. On Saturday, November 30, the Ecumenical Patriarch presided over the Divine Liturgy which was concelebrated by Patriarch Theodore II of Alexandria.
Hierarchs Eirinaios of Crete, Makarios of Anaeon, Vasileios of Constantia and Ammochostos (representative from the Church of Cyprus), Theodoritos of Laodicea, Georgios of Guinea (from the Patriarchate of Alexandria), Athinagoras of Belgium, Damaskinos of Kydonia and Apokoronos, Nathanail of Kos and Nisyros, Dionysios of Zakynthos (from the Church of Greece), Athinagoras of Kydonia, Myron of New Zealand, and Yevstratiy of Chernihiv and Nizhyn (representative from the Church of Ukraine) also attended the Divine Liturgy. A representative from the Church of Rome, Cardinal Kurt Koch, who is the President of the Pontifical Council for Promoting Christian Unity, was also present.
Short after the dismissal, the Ecumenical Patriarch addressed the official representative from the Roman Catholic Church and stressed that his presence at the Phanar was proof of the peaceful coexistence between the two sister churches.
The Ecumenical Patriarch expressed satisfaction with the fact that the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue between the Roman Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church, which has been working on this issue for 40 years, has made progress on the discussion of a very important text entitled: “Primacy and Synodality in the Second Millennium and Today.”
He also referred to Pope Francis, who gave recently fragments of the relics of St. Peter to the Ecumenical Patriarchate; “This is extremely important. The faithful will be able to venerate the relics, and therefore they will have the opportunity to deal with several subjects through dialogue. It is really nice for us to meet the Heads of the Churches, but it is also important for the faithful as well.”
Moreover, he asked Cardinal Koch to convey his brotherly wishes to Pope Francis; “The quest for the restoration of full communion between the Orthodox and the Catholic Churches is not only a matter of theological dialogue. We could reach our targets by other means within the Church world. Mutual respect and appreciation are very important in order to establish better relations between the two Churches.”