Monday, March 18, 2013

Andrew and Peter: East Meets West in Rome

From the Associated Press:
ANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Bartholomew I, the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians, left Monday for the Vatican to attend Pope Francis' installation Mass — the first time a patriarch from the Istanbul-based church is attending a papal investiture since the two branches of Christianity split nearly 1,000 years ago. 
Bartholomew said he was attending the installation Mass to underscore the importance he attaches to "friendly ties" between the churches and reflects expectations that the new pontiff will advance rapprochement efforts that began decades ago. 
"It is a gesture to underline relations which have been developing over the recent years and to express my wish that our friendly ties flourish even more during this new era," Bartholomew told private NTV television in an interview in Istanbul before his departure. "I am very hopeful in this matter." ... 
In a sign of common bonds between East and West, the Vatican said the Gospel during the installation Mass would be chanted in Greek instead of Latin, the language that will be used for many of the other elements of the ceremony.
And not to be overlooked, from the National Catholic Register:
Orthodox Church leaders had great respect for Benedict XVI and particularly valued his approach to the liturgy.
May that 'approach' continue. One thing, among many, that I admire so much about the Orthodox is how fiercely they guard their ancient liturgical traditions. And perhaps Benedict's greatest legacy is his effort, despite much opposition, to call Catholics back to an appreciation for their own beautiful and ancient liturgy. I cannot emphasize enough how much I hope and pray the liturgical reforms of Benedict continue under Pope Francis.

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