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Saturday, July 01, 2006

Said the West to the East: "Psst.. are we there yet?"

Well, not exactly, but that's what I feel like asking: will the Schism of East and West finally end? Will the Holy Spirit finally bring the two lungs of the Church together again? Has the Lord finally relented, and have the lessons we needed to learn finally been learned, that the Church must be one, because so much is at stake? Will we now get past the fruits of our pride and lack of charity, and finally bear the fruits of unity that the world desperately needs to partake of?

Zenit publishes the full English text of the welcome address given by Papa Benedict XVI to visiting delegates of the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople. Here are some gems (that are thrilling to read):

  It gives me pleasure to welcome you in the words of the Apostle Peter: "Simon Peter, a servant and apostle of Jesus Christ, to those who have obtained a faith of equal standing with ours in the righteousness of our God and savior Jesus Christ: May grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord" (2 Peter 1:1-2).
The fact that the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul is celebrated on the same day by both Catholics and Orthodox evokes our shared apostolic succession and ecclesial fraternity.

I am pleased to recall here how Byzantine hymnography attributes to St. Peter a title charged with meaning, that of "protocoryphaeus," the first in the choir who has the task of maintaining the harmony of the voices, for the glory of God and the service of his people.
May the Lord help us to move forward with renewed confidence toward the day when we will be able to celebrate together the holy Eucharist of the Lord, as a sign of full communion.


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