Pope Francis met with the international joint commission for dialogue between the Catholic Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church.
The Pope met with them to mark the close of a study on the sacraments. He hopes that the final document will be a “new step forward towards full communion” between the Churches, and praised Eastern Christians, Catholic or Orthodox, who have already learned to live side by side.
Ecumenism already exists as a reality, especially locally. Many faithful, I think of those in the Middle East but also those migrated to the West, already live an ecumenism in the daily life of their families, work, and everyday events. Together they often live this ecumenism of suffering, in the shared testimony in name of Christ sometimes even at the cost of their lives.
Pope Francis highlighted the examples of Christians of different denominations who have died together. He says that their stories and far more important than the differences of the past.
At the end of their meeting, the Pope’s guests gave him a very special gift.
This icon represents Saint Cyril and Saint Celestine in the council of Ephesus. That’s guided by them and you have Syrians, Armenians…
The visit is another step towards better relations between the Orthodox and Catholic Churches, which has been a priority for the most recent popes.