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The heartfelt message of Pope Francis to the Ecumenical Patriarch for the feast of Saint Andrew the Apostle

The message sent by His Holiness Pope Francis to His All-Holiness Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew for the feast of Saint Andrew was particularly heartfelt.

“May the noise of weapons, which brings only death and destruction, be able to cease, and may governments, as well as religious leaders, always seek the path of dialogue and reconciliation,” among other things, wrote Pope Francis in his message.

At the same time, Francis emphasised that “the example of Pope Paul VI and Ecumenical Patriarch Athenagoras shows us that the steps towards the re-establishment of full communion among the Lord’s disciples are characterised by personal contact and the time they spend together.”

The Pope concluded in his message that what everyone remembers, almost sixty years after their meeting is “the warm embrace” of the two religious leaders and “the mutual recognition of ecclesiastical brotherhood,” from which “the journey of reconciliation began, increasing closeness to overcome the obstacles that still prevent full and visible communion between Catholics and Orthodox.”