Tuesday, January 01, 2013
The Pope to John X, "United in building peace and reconciliation between peoples"
"At a time when the Middle East is so unstable and prone to violence, it is increasingly urgent that the disciples of Christ offer an authentic witness of their unity, so that the world may believe the Gospel message of love, peace and reconciliation".
This is what Benedict XVI has written in a greeting, published by Vatican Radio, to the new Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and all the East, John X, elected on the 17th of December of last year by the Holy Synod which met at the monastery of Our Lady of Balamand, North of Beirut.
He succeeds Patriarch Ignatius IV Hazim, who passed away on the 5th of December at 92 years of age.
"We have a responsibility,” says the Pope, “to continue together along our path to show in a more visible way the spiritual reality of communion which, although still incomplete, already unites us.”
Benedict XVI expresses his hope that the relationship between Greek-Orthodox Patriarchate and the Catholic Church might continue to develop through forms of fruitful cooperation and ongoing efforts to resolve the issues that still divide the two communities. He especially recommended active and constructive participation in the work of the Joint International Commission for Theological Dialogue Between the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church as a whole."
Lastly, the Pope "assuring his prayers to the new Patriarch, elevates his invocation to Christ to bring consolation to those who are the victims of violence in the Middle East and to inspire gestures of peace".