Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew: Pilgrims for Unity

This pilgrimage commemorates the 50th Anniversary of the meeting between Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras in 1964. That blessed encounter captured the attention of the Christian world. As the first meeting between a Pope and an Ecumenical Patriarch since 1438, it marked a dramatic turn for the churches from alienation to engagement.
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The Orthodox Church and the Catholic Church: What Has Changed in Fifty Years

Within five decades, the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church formally have moved from isolation to engagement, from monologue to dialogue, and from misunderstanding to mutual enrichment. These developments can only have taken place with the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and with the commitment of devoted clergy and laity to the process of reconciliation. While the relationship between the churches may differ from place to place, this article outlines somme of the significant developments in the past fifty years.
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The Purpose of the Meeting Between Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Jerusalem

On Sunday, May 25. 2014, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis will meet at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher to commemorate a meeting in the Holy Land fifty years ago by their revered predecessors, Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras and Pope Paul VI.
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Visits of Ecumenical Patriarchs to Rome and Popes to the Ecumenical Patriarchate

The official meetings of the Primates of the Churches have always been ecclesiastical events of great importance, for the reinforcement, and hopefully, the restoration of the unity of faith in the nexus of love. Such visits are in accordance with the commandment of the Divine Founder of the Church, our Lord Jesus Christ. This article outlines meetings and visits between Popes and Ecumenical Patriarchs from the early centuries of Christianity through 2014.
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Patriarchate of Jerusalem

The Church of Jerusalem, which is biblically speaking, the "Mother of all Christian Churches," was elevated to the rank of Patriarchate in the year 451 at the Fourth Ecumenical Council held in Chalcedon.
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The Green Patriarch: Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and the Protection of the Environment

His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew has persistently proclaimed the primacy of spiritual values in determining environmental ethics and action. His endeavors have earned him the title “Green Patriarch” – coined and publicized by the media in 1996, while being formalized in the White House in 1997 by Al Gore, Vice President of the United States. In 2008, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew was named one of Time Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World for “defining environmentalism as a spiritual responsibility.”
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The Return of the Holy Relics of St. Gregory the Theologian and St. John Chrysostom

In 2004, responding to the request of His All Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, and recognizing the importance of St. John Chrysostom and St. Gregory the Theologian to Orthodox Christians around the world, Pope John Paul II agreed to return the relics of these two great Fathers of the Church and Ecumenical Teachers to their original resting place in the Ecumenical Patriarchate.
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History of The Ecumenical Patriarchate

Following the establishment of Constantinople (the ancient city of Byzantium) as the state capital of the Roman Empire in the early part of the fourth century, a series of significant ecclesiastical events saw the status of the Bishop of New Rome (as Constantinople was then called) elevated to its current position and privilege. The Church of Constantinople is traditionally regarded as being founded by St. Andrew, the “first-called” of the Apostles. The 3rd canon of the Second Ecumenical Council held in Constantinople (381) conferred upon the bishop of this city second rank after the Bishop of Rome. Less than a century later, the 28th canon of the Fourth Ecumenical Council held in Chalcedon (451) offered Constantinople equal ranking to Rome and special responsibilities throughout the rest of the world and expanding its jurisdiction to territories hitherto unclaimed.
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The Ecumenical Patriarchate

The Ecumenical Patriarchate is the highest see and holiest center of the Orthodox Christian Church throughout the world. It is an institution with a history spanning seventeen centuries, during which it retained its see in Constantinople (present-day Istanbul). It constitutes the center of all the local Orthodox Churches, heading these not by administration but by virtue of its primacy in the ministry of pan-Orthodox unity and the coordination of the activity of the whole of Orthodoxy.
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