Interview with Kayhan London in Farsi

Interview with Fr. Nathanael Symeonides from the Kayhan London, a Persian-language newspaper outside Iran, on the visit of Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew to Jerusalem.

Hurriyet Daily News - Is Ankara aware of the Patriarch Bartholomew, Pope Francis summit?

“The meeting of the pope and the ecumenical patriarch in Jerusalem 50 years after the historic encounter of our ever-memorable predecessors, Paul VI and Athenagoras, should not be underestimated by anyone,” said Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in an interview published last May in the National Catholic Reporter. Obviously he is addressing a Catholic audience in that specific interview, but when I read that sentence I had a feeling as if he was addressing the Turkish audience too; as the historic meeting that will take place in Jerusalem next weekend is about to go unnoticed by the Turkish public.

NCC - Church leaders celebrate historic meeting of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis

Washington, May 28, 2014 – Officers and staff of the National Council of Churches USA expressed “joy and celebration” at the historic meeting of Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew and Pope Francis in Jerusalem this week. While media coverage has focused on Pope Francis’ meetings with Israeli and Palestinian leaders, the NCC noted the original purpose of the visit was “ecumenical in nature.” “The real significance is the fact that both Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew traveled to Jerusalem to embrace the unity that has been growing for fifty years,” said Jim Winkler, president and general secretary of the NCC

CatholicCulture.org - Pope recalls pilgrimage to Holy Land

Departing from his weekly catechesis on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, Pope Francis devoted his May 28 general audience to his recent pilgrimage to the Holy Land. The trip, he said, had three purposes. The “principal purpose” was “to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the meeting of Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras …

The Advocate - Pope invites leaders of Palestine, Israel to Vatican

JERUSALEM — Pope Francis pursued peace of both body and soul here Sunday, inviting the leaders of Israel and the Palestinians to the Vatican to pray for peace and later embracing his own estranged Christian brother, Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew. Representatives of the president of Israel and the Palestinian Authority said they would accept Francis’ offer, although it was questionable how productive the event could be. The Israeli presidency is largely ceremonial.

The Atlantic - The Pope's Holy-Land Trip Wasn't About the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

On the second day of his pilgrimage to the Holy Land over the weekend, Pope Francis got in trouble. Several media outlets called it a "propaganda war": The pontiff made an unscheduled stop to pray at the wall that divides Jerusalem from Bethlehem, which is in the West Bank; the following day, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accompanied him on yet another unscheduled visit, this time to an Israeli memorial for victims of terrorism. There were endless photo ops—a competition to capture the pope's most politically poignant moment: praying at the Western Wall, praying on the banks of the Jordan River, praying before a Palestinian security checkpoint covered with Arabic graffiti. But even though Francis met with Netanyahu and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, his trip wasn't about the Arab-Israeli conflict. It was about Christians.

Haaretz - Patriarch Bartholomew, the man behind the pope's mission

JERUSALEM — If anyone gets credit for bringing Pope Francis I, leader of the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics to Israel this week, it is All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, spiritual leader of over 300 million Orthodox Christian faithful worldwide. It all started when Patriarch Bartholomew attended Pope Francis’ investiture last March — the first time that a spiritual head of the Orthodox Christians has attended such a papal inaugural Mass since the "Great Schism" in 1054. Seeing as the moment was historic, Patriarch Bartholomew went one further, suggesting a joint religious road trip of sorts to Jerusalem — to mark and celebrate the reconciliation between the two churches 50 years ago.

GMA News Online - Pope, Orthodox patriarch in historic prayer for unity

JERUSALEM - Pope Francis joined Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I in an historic joint prayer for the Christian unity at Christianity's holiest site in Jerusalem on Sunday. They met at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher inside the walled Old City after signing a landmark pledge to work together to further unity between the eastern and western branches of Christianity, estranged for a millennium.

The Huffington Post - Pope Francis, Patriarch Bartholomew Pray In Holy Sepulcher Church

JERUSALEM (AP) — Pope Francis and the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians prayed together Sunday inside the Jerusalem church that symbolizes their divisions, calling their historic meeting a step toward healing the centuries-old Catholic-Orthodox schism. Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I embraced one another in the stone courtyard outside the 12th century Church of the Holy Sepulcher and recited the "Our Father" prayer together once inside, an unprecedented moment of solemnity at the spot where Catholic and Orthodox believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

abc News - Pope, Patriarch Pray in Holy Sepulcher Church

Pope Francis and the spiritual leader of the world's Orthodox Christians prayed together Sunday inside the Jerusalem church that symbolizes their divisions, calling their historic meeting a step toward healing the centuries-old Catholic-Orthodox schism. Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I embraced one another in the stone courtyard outside the 12th century Church of the Holy Sepulcher and recited the "Our Father" prayer together once inside, an unprecedented moment of solemnity at the spot where Catholic and Orthodox believe Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected.

CNS - Fifty years later, pope and patriarch meet again in Jerusalem

JERUSALEM (CNS) -- Half a century after a historic encounter between their predecessors, Pope Francis and Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew met in the same place to seek inspiration for Christian unity at the site of Christ's death and resurrection. "We need to believe that, just as the stone before the tomb was cast aside, so, too, every obstacle to our full communion will also be removed," the pope said May 25 during a prayer service at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

DW - Pope joins Orthodox patriarch in historic prayer for unity

Pope Francis has met with Orthodox Patriarch Bartholomew I in Jerusalem, with the two religious leaders praying for Christian unity. The meeting was a highlight of the pontiff's three-day Middle East trip. Sunday's joint prayer took place at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, revered in Christian tradition as being built on the site of the crucifixion, burial and resurrection of Jesus.

The Times of Israel - Pope’s East-West church summit sends message to Mideast, NY rabbi says Read more: Pope's East-West church summit sends message to Mideast, NY rabbi says

The Jerusalem location of Pope Francis’s meeting with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew I was no coincidence: Commemorating the first summit between a Roman Catholic pope and ecumenical patriarch (the spiritual leader of Orthodox Christians) 50 years ago after a millennium of schism between the Eastern and Western Churches, Sunday’s meeting was a reminder to Israelis and Palestinians that their battle, too, could have an eventual resolution.

The Guardian - Why the meeting between pope and patriarch in Jerusalem matters

In Jerusalem on Sunday, Pope Francis will meet Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the honorary head of the Orthodox church. The two men, representing Christian traditions estranged for 1,000 years, will pray together in public. They will sign a hitherto undisclosed joint declaration. It is likely that they will give each other a hug. For many people a meeting between Christian leaders wearing different hats might not seem like such a political high point. But, in fact, it's the reason for Francis's three-day trip to the Holy Land.

Patheos - Like Pope Francis, the Church breathes with one lung

There are few things in the World that break my heart as much as reading about the tragic moments in the Church’s history that have caused schism. Perhaps the greatest wound the church has endured is the severing of its Eastern and Western lungs, the schism of the East from the West. For nearly 1,000 years, half of our history, the West has lived divorced from the wisdom of much of the Eastern Church, and Most of the Eastern Churches have lived divorced from the wisdom of the West. The wounds have been tended too, but have never fully healed.

Patheos - Religious leaders back US work for Holy Land peace

Washington D.C., May 23, 2014 / 04:04 am (CNA/EWTN News).- Two U.S. bishops have joined other religious leaders in asking Secretary of State John Kerry to continue “determined U.S. leadership” in negotiating for peace between Palestine and Israel. “Indeed, no past progress toward peace has occurred in this conflict without U.S. leadership, facilitation and resolute support,” said the May 20 letter to Kerry from the National Interreligious Leadership Initiative for Peace in the Middle East.

VOA - Pope Francis Prepares for Holy Land Visit

JERUSALEM — Pope Francis Saturday begins a three-day trip to the Middle East, his first to the region since becoming head of the Roman Catholic Church. On Saturday, Pope Francis travels to Jordan, where he will meet King Abdullah and celebrate Mass before 40,000 people in Amman's main stadium

WPTZ - Pope Francis in the Holy Land: 5 things to know

(CNN) -- So, a rabbi, a sheikh and a pope travel to the Holy Land… It might sound like the start of a trite joke, but it’s actually the entourage for one of the most highly anticipated papal trips in recent history. As Pope Francis heads to Jordan, Bethlehem and Jerusalem this weekend, he’s bringing along two old friends from Argentina: Rabbi Abraham Skorka, who co-wrote a book with the Pope, and Sheikh Omar Abboud, who leads Argentina’s Muslim community.

Patheos - Pope’s Holy Land visit sparks US call for dialogue

Washington D.C., May 22, 2014 / 12:07 pm (CNA/EWTN News).- Catholic and Eastern Orthodox leaders in the U.S. celebrated the closeness between the two churches, recommitting to continued dialogue as Pope Francis’ trip to the Holy Land approaches. Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz of Louisville, Ky., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, joined Archbishop Demetrios, primate of the Greek Orthodox Church in America and chairman of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the U.S., in issuing a May 15 joint statement rejoicing in the “good fruit” that dialogue has yielded between the churches.
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