Pope Francis, in a videotaped message, wanted to wish “health, peace and spiritual joy” to His All Holiness the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, for the thirtieth anniversary of His election.
It is an anniversary “celebrated by many people who want to thank the Lord for the life and pastoral work of the Ecumenical Patriarch,” said the Primate of the Roman Catholic Church.
In his message, the pope underlines the closeness and joint action with the Primate of Orthodoxy, in terms of the protection of Creation, “the spiritual turn of man”, but also the dialogue that serves as a path of reconciliation between the faithful.
He also referred to his fraternal friendship with the Ecumenical Patriarch, which developed as soon as he succeeded Pope Benedict “not only in Rome, but also in Constantinople, Assisi, Cairo, Jerusalem, Lesvos and Bari.”
Pope Francis also expresses “absolute gratitude” to the Ecumenical Patriarch for the protection of nature and for his reflections and thoughts on this subject, from which “he has learned and continues to teach so many things.” He emphasised the importance of the thoughts and the message of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew at the time of the coronavirus pandemic. “With the outbreak of the pandemic and the expansion of its dramatic health, social and economic consequences, his testimony and teaching on the necessary spiritual turning of man, became even more important,” he noted.
Concluding, the Primate of the Roman Catholic Church focuses on the effort to return to the full Christian community, stating in his message: “It is our common belief that the closeness and solidarity between us Christians and our Churches is an imperative contribution. to ecumenical solidarity and social friendship, which humanity has a great and immediate need “.