HOLY FATHER GREETS DELEGATIONS FROM 22 CHURCHES AND ECCLESIAL COMMUNITIES
Pope John Paul II
Following the Ecumenical Celebration held on Tuesday morning, 18 January, at the Basilica of St Paul-Outside-the—Walls, the Holy Father went to the Benedictine Abbey attached to the basilica for a luncheon with the members of the delegations from various Churches and Ecclesial Communities that had participated in the service. The Benedictine community of St Paul's hosted the gathering, At the end of the fraternal meal the Pope expressed his gratitude to all the delegations and to the Benedictine monks. Here is a translation of his greetings, which were given in Italian.
I would like once again to thank the Lord who has enabled us to spend this important ecumenical day together. After meeting this morning to pray in St Paul's Basilica, we are gathered round this festive table for a pleasant, fraternal agape. I express my deepest gratitude to each of you, venerable and dear Brothers.
I specifically thank:
—the Delegation from the Ecumenical Patriarchate, representing His Holiness Bartholomew I, Ecumenical Patriarch;
—the Delegation from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, representing His Beatitude Petros VII, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa;
—the Delegation from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, representing His Beatitude Ignace IV Hazim, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East;
the Delegation from the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Jerusalem, representing His Beatitude Diodoros, Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem;
—the Delegation from the Patriarchate of Moscow, representing His Holiness Alexei II, Patriarch of Moscow and All the Russias;
—the Delegation from the Patriarchate of Serbia, representing His Beatitude Pavle, Serbian Patriarch;
—the Delegation from the Orthodox Patriarchate of Romania, representing His Beatitude Teoctist, Patriarch of the Romanian Orthodox Church;
—the Delegation from the Orthodox Church of Greece, representing His Beatitude Christodoulos, Archbishop of Athens and All Greece;
—the Delegation from the Orthodox Church of Poland, representing His Beatitude Sawa, Orthodox Metropolitan of Warsaw and All Poland,
—the Delegation from the Orthodox Church of Albania, representing His Beatitude Anastas Archbishop of Tirana and All Albania;
—the Delegation from the Orthodox Church of Finland, in the person of the Archbishop of Karelia and All Finland;
—the Delegation from the Coptic Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria, representing His Holiness Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of the See of St Mark,
—the Delegation from the Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate of Antioch, representing His Beatitude Mar Ignatius Zakka I Iwas, Syrian Orthodox Patriarch of Antioch and All the East,
—the Delegation from the Armenian Apostolic Church, representing His Holiness Karekin Il, Catholicos and Supreme Patriarch of All Armenians, I also remember his predecessor, Karekin I;
—the Delegation from the Catholicosate of Cilicia for Armenians (Atchas, Lebanon), representing His Holiness Aram 1, Catholicos of Cilicia,
—the Delegation from the Assyrian Church of the East, representing His Holiness Mar Dinkha IV, Catholicos and Patriarch of the Assyrian Church of the East;
—the Delegation from the Anglican Communion, in the person of the Archbishop of Canterbury;
And lastly, the Delegations from:
—the Old Catholic Church—Union of Utrecht;
—the Lutheran World Federation;
—the World Methodist Council;
—the Disciples of Christ;
—the Pentecostal Church;
—the World Council of Churches.
Lastly, I thank the Abbot General , the Abbot and the monastic Community of St Paul, who have generously offered us hospitality, arranging everything with the utmost care for the success of our meeting today. I invoke God's protection and blessing upon each and every one, as I recall that it was in St Paul's Basilica that John XXIII announced the Second Vatican Council.
Weekly Edition in English
26 January 2000, page 7
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