On the occasion of the arrival of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and his honorable escort in Florence, in the context of the Patriarchal visit to Italy, Pope Francis of Rome sent the following heartfelt telegram on Wednesday, May 3:
You can read the letter below
His Holiness the Archbishop of Constantinople
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew,
Your Holiness, beloved brother in Christ,
The visit of Your Holiness to some cities in Italy and to their local Churches offers me the pleasant opportunity to express to You my cordial and fraternal closeness.
I thank you warmly, because with this visit you are promoting the culture of meeting and strengthening the fraternal relations that already exist between Roman Catholics and Orthodox.
Wishing you a blessed stay in Italy, I exchange with Your Holiness an embrace of peace.
Vatican City, May 3, 2023