Pope gives relics to Patriarch of Constantinople

 Pope John Paul II met the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople yesterday morning at a Service in St Peter's Basilica on Saturday. The Pope and! the Patriarch His Holiness Bartholomew I, presided at the ecumenical service during which the Pope made a gift of the relics of St Gregory Nazianzen and St John Chrysostom, Bishops and Doctors of the Church, former Patriarchs of Constantinople. The Holy Father said: "Beloved Brother, I will never tire of striving resolutely and determinedly to restore communion among Christ's disciples because I desire, in response to the will of the Lord, to be the servant of communion " in truth and love so that the ship "that beautiful symbol which the World Council of Churches has chosen as its emblem" will not be buffeted by the storms and will one day reach its haven." Recalling his letter to Bartholomew I, the last time they met in Rome on June 29 on the occasion of the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul, the Pope said in that the opportunity for a fraternal encounter "in love and prayer and the will to walk together towards that full and visible unity which Christ desires for his disciples" stemmed from their shared veneration of the relics of St Gregory the Theologian and St John Chrysostom, - two Saint Patriarchs of Costantinople, Doctors of the Church who, together with St Basil the Great have always been honoured with a feast day by the Catholic Church. He said: "In this act of returning relics of these Saints to Constantinople, we see a blessed opportunity to purify our wounded memories, consolidate our moving towards reconciliation and to confirm that the faith of these two Saintly Doctors of ours, is the faith of the Churches of the East and the West." Source: Fides

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