Metropolitan Methodios and Cardinal Sean O'Malley Issue Joint Letter to Clergy and Faithful on the Meeting of Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis

Press Release: May 21, 2014

Media Contacts: (Greek Orthodox) Rev. Dr. Thomas FitzGerald 508-868-8941, (Roman Catholic) Dr. Vito Nicastro 617-435-0019

His Eminence Cardinal Sean O’Malley O.F.M. Cap. of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston and His Eminence Metropolitan Methodios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis of Boston have issued a rare joint letter to their clergy and faithful on the imminent meeting of His Holiness Pope Francis and His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew.

The Catholic and Orthodox “Sister Churches” throughout the world are working and praying to regain the full unity they had for the first thousand years of their existence.

The upcoming historic meeting Sunday May 25 will continue that journey toward unity by building on one of its most important milestones, the encounter of Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI on the Mount of Olives 50 years ago.  That was the first meeting of the leaders of Eastern and Western Christianity in five hundred years, and it began a new era of fidelity to Jesus’ prayer that his followers would “be one” (Joh 17:21.

“Together, we have envisioned the real possibility of a fully shared ecclesial life, which is our vocation in Christ” – Patriarch Bartholomew, speaking of the Catholic Church.

The Churches have committed themselves to the path of restoring full communion – no matter how long or short it may be.   The unity is imperative in order to: love God by obeying His will; reflect the love and communion which are God’s nature, empower our compassion to serve the world better; show clearly the true nature of the Gospel as reconciliation; and honor the eternal relationship of Christians through faith and baptism connecting us forever in Christ.

Joint letters between the Cardinal and Metropolitan are very rare, numbering only a handful in Boston’s history.

The Pope and Patriarch are the successors of the brothers of Galilee, Peter and Andrew.  The Pope is successor of Peter, and the Ecumenical Patriarchate is the See of St. Andrew.  Both are committed to be witnesses to the faith, as their predecessors were – and brothers as they were too.

Christians throughout the world, especially those millions whose families include both Orthodox and Catholics, take encouragement from this meeting renewing the momentum started fifty years ago.

Joint Letter co-signed by Metropolitan Methodios and Cardinal Sean O'Malley below.

Click here for the PDF version of the joint letter.

For further information and details of these upcoming events please visit http://www.apostolicpilgrimage.org/.