His heartfelt wishes to the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, on tomorrow’s 30th anniversary of his ascension to the Patriarchal Throne of the Church of Constantinople, were expressed in a letter by Pope Francis.
“I pray to God to give you health, spiritual exultation, and divine grace to support every aspect of your high ministry,” said Pope Francis.
Elsewhere in his letter, which was written in English, the Pope referred to his relationship with the Ecumenical Patriarch. This bond, as he noted, over time has developed into a fraternal friendship, which has been cultivated through their many encounters, and points to their mutual understanding “of our common pastoral responsibility to the urgent challenges that humanity is facing today”.
“I sincerely thank you for pointing out the path of dialogue, in love and truth, as the only possible way of reconciliation between the Christian faithful and the restoration of full society. With God’s help, this is the path on which, with deep certainty, we will continue to walk together, as the closeness and solidarity between our Churches.”
It is recalled that Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was elected by the Holy Synod of the Ecumenical Throne on October 22, 1991.