Metropolitan, cardinal pray for ‘fruitful’ dialogue

BOSTON — Metropolitan Methodios of the Greek Orthodox Metropolis

of Boston and Cardinal Seán P. O’Malley issued a joint statement of

fraternal understanding and prayer for the three-day visit of Pope Benedict

XVI with Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew in Istanbul, Turkey on

Nov. 28 through Dec. 1. As global tensions ran high, the local Greek Orthodox

and Catholic leaders said they would pray for the safety and fruitful

ecumenical dialogue of their respective Church leaders.

Pope Benedict was to visit the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople

at the invitation of the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, the spiritual

leader of more than 270 million Orthodox Christians worldwide, for

the occasion of the feast day of St. Andrew the Apostle, the older brother

of St. Peter. St. Andrew traveled across Asia Minor and is the founder of

the Ecumenical Patriarchate of Constantinople, the former name for present-

day Istanbul. Both prelates are noted throughout the world for their

extraordinary efforts to create bridges of truth and love across religious,

ethnic, environmental, and political divides.

In their statement, Metropolitan Methodios and Cardinal O’Malley

said they were hopeful that the meeting between Ecumenical Patriarch

Bartholomew and Pope Benedict, the two “bridge builders” and “peacemakers”

of Apostolic Christendom, would infl uence ties between their

respective churches and have a profound impact on religious freedom

and on the recognition of minority rights.